“Ticks are certainly one of the most concerning warm weather pests,” noted Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for the National Pest Management Association (NPMA).
Ticks are endemic with various species posing different health threats, such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever, ehrlichiosis, babesia and Lyme disease. Tick-borne illnesses generally present with lethargy, weakness, anemia and even organ failure. Henriksen suggests pet owners minimize the risk of ticks in yards by regularly trimming grass and other vegetation. As nuisance wildlife and rodents are common tick carriers, seal trash cans, remove brush piles and keep firewood two feet off of the ground to keep them away.
Mosquitoes also pose health risks to dogs and cats as their bites can transmit heartworm, a parasitic roundworm that can infect a host and result in a potentially serious disease. To help keep these pests at bay, Henriksen advises homeowners to repair any torn screens and eliminate mosquito breeding grounds by removing standing water in the yard.