Backyard Pests and Pets

As we gear up for warm weather by purchasing insect repellents, it is important to think about your furry friends and the pests that pose a threat to them. Playtime in tall grass, nearby stagnant water outside, or evening walks can expose them to a variety of pests and that’s why backyard bug control is key. Here are a few to look out for this summer.


One of the most common pest threats to dogs and cats is fleas. Fleas are small, wingless, flat-bodied pests that are typically a brown, reddish-brown, or black color. They have six legs, are very quick, and are high jumpers. Skin irritation and excessive scratching are common signs of a flea invasion. Fleas not only leave skin feeling irritated, but also are intermediate hosts for tapeworm larvae. If your pet were to digest a flea, this could result in tapeworms entering their system. Signs of a tapeworm infection are weight loss, abnormal eating patterns, and lethargy.


Dog tick and flea prevention is highly important when considering the health of your pet. One of the more common ticks in the midwest is the lone star tick. These pests have eight legs and a deep brown exterior. Females have a prominent white dot on their backs. Ticks will attach themselves to dogs, cats, and other animals for a meal and once full, drop off to lay eggs. Similar to fleas, they can pose a health risk to your furry friend. They have been known to spread Lyme disease, canine ehrlichiosis, anaplasmosis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and more. Each disease can result in serious health consequences for people or pets.


From dawn to dusk, mosquitoes are on the hunt for their next meal. These pests are thin, long-legged, two-winged insects that are mostly gray in color. They are known for the red, itchy spots they leave behind after feeding. Unfortunately, both people and pets can fall victim to mosquitoes. The primary health concern for cats and dogs is heartworm disease. This disease can lead to liver, kidney, or other organ failures which can result in death. To prevent such a disease, be sure to take your backyard bug control seriously.


Horseflies are one of the less spoken-about pests to watch out for throughout the summer months. They can grow up to 1 inch in length, have dark eyes, and are mostly dark brown with a metallic sheen. They can typically be found near bodies of water, and they administer a painful bite. Not only are the bites worrisome, but they can also transmit diseases to a variety of animals. The most common disease spread is Lyme disease.

Speaking with your vet to explore preventative flea, tick, and heartworm options is a great way to combat these pests. Your vet will inform you of the best practices for dog tick and flea prevention. However, it’s just as important to target the root of the problem which is the bugs in your backyard.  Find out how your local pest experts can help suppress these pests or treat your home in the case of an invasion by clicking here.