Mosquitoes. Your Dog. Heartworm Disease.
Recently I took my dog to the vet’s office and the vet talked to me about heartworms. I learned quite a bit in that visit, like: the ONLY way your dog can be infected is with the bite of an infected mosquito.
My backyard has a lot of mosquitoes and within two minutes of outdoor exposure during mosquito season, I can have as many as 12 bites. The vet told me if I am getting bit, my dog is getting bit. It only takes the bite of one infected mosquito to give your dog heartworm disease and it is easier to prevent then to cure.
Mosquitoes In Tucson
Mosquitoes are typically associated with water-rich conditions – not the dry desert conditions we are used to. Despite the hot, dry Arizona weather, there is an unusually large number of mosquitos in Tucson. As Tucson’s population expands, we create more green spaces and anything that is green needs water. Mosquitoes only need a small amount of water to breed – everything from water in a cup to dishes under a potted plants to swimming pools to irrigation – anywhere they can find standing water.
Can People Get Heartworms From Their Dog?
Heartworm disease is not contagious, meaning that you and your other pets cannot catch the disease from being near an infected dog. The only way heartworm is transmitted is through the bite of an infected mosquito. However, you can get heartworms after being bitten by an infected mosquito, but it is very rare. You are not a natural host for heartworms, the larvae usually dies before they become adult worms.
What Are The Symptoms of Heartworm Disease In A Dog?
Once a dog is infection, it takes over 6 to 7 months for the larvae to develop into adult heartworms, causing severe health issues and potentially death.
There are four stages of heartworm disease. The higher the stage, the worse the disease and the more obvious the symptoms.
- Stage 1: No to little symptoms, like an occasional cough.
- Stage 2: Mild to moderate symptoms, like an occasional cough and tiredness. Chest x-rays will reveal heart and lung changes.
- Stage 3: More severe symptoms such as a sickly appearance, a cough, and tiredness after activity. Trouble breathing and signs of heart failure are common. Chest x-rays will reveal heart and lung changes.
- Stage 4: There is a large mass of worms that block the blood flowing back to the heart. It is life-threatening and surgical removal is the only treatment option. The surgery is risky, and even with surgery, most dogs will die at this stage of infestation.
The Best Heartworm Treatment Is Prevention!
Because my backyard is mosquito friendly, my vet suggested having a quick blood test to determine if my dog has heartworms. Thank fully the test was negative. As a preventative treatment, each month my dog takes Heartgard Plus chewables. Chewy.com sells the chewables. Be careful when shopping, because the treatment is dependent on the weight of your dog.
To reduce the mosquito population in your backyard, you have to reduce stagnant pools of water around the property, which can be very difficult! Conquistador Pest Control uses a specialized mosquito trap that is US-EPA registered. The trap lures and contaminates mosquitoes with special slow killing larvicide, which the mosquito spreads to other breeding sites. This means the mosquito larvae are not only killed inside the trap but also in the surrounding areas, it also kills the adult mosquito within a few days to prevent them from transmitting deadly viruses.
How Does The Mosquito Trap Work?
The mosquito trap works by attracting mosquitoes with water that smells delicious to them. The female mosquito lands on a special gauze which contains larvicide, the larvicide attaches to the mosquito slowly killing it. The mosquito will lay her eggs in the trap, after a few days the eggs will hatch and become larvae. The smell of the larvae will attract more mosquitoes who will lay their eggs in the trap as well. The chemicals in the water will kill the larvae before they become grown adults. The now contaminated mosquito will leave and lay more eggs, when she goes to another stagnant water site, the larvicide on her body is left to contaminate the new breading site. All mosquito eggs will be contaminated, in addition any previously laid eggs at that site will be killed as well. In this way, the trap kills the mosquitoes and their offspring so that populations are reduced and disease transmission risks are lowered significantly.
- Easy to Use
- Uses the mosquito itself to kill other mosquitoes.
Lab and field data show that it can be used to control mosquitoes.
What Do I Do Now?
If you’re concerned about mosquitoes around your home, request a free inspection from Conquistador Pest & Termite. A mosquito trap is included in the Conquer All Program. Next time you enjoy your backyard, your dogs will thank you!