10 Bugs And Pests That May Harm Your Pet

Bugs and pests are a major nuisance to humans. However, many people don't realize that unwanted critters can also pose a potential health risk to our beloved pets as well. Here are 10 of the most common bugs and pests that you should keep away from your four-legged family members.


Mosquitoes can transmit numerous diseases to humans, such as EEE and the Zika virus. However, these bloodthirsty vermin can also pass on heartworm to our cats and dogs. When left untreated, heartworm can prove fatal in a very short amount of time, making it essential to treat your yard and perimeter to reduce swarms in your yard.


Fleas are so common that many of us assume they are innocuous to our pets. Unfortunately, some cats and dogs are allergic to fleabites. Over time, these bites can develop into allergic dermatitis, which can lead to irritating skin sores and hairless areas on the animal. 


Ticks thrive in wooded areas and patches of long-grasses, making it critical to check your pets as soon as they come back inside. These tiny parasites can cause a slew of pet sicknesses and health conditions including anemia, Lyme disease, and even paralysis. Symptoms of a tick bit may include a change in their bark, vomiting, and heavy breathing.

Venomous Spiders

There are two poisonous spiders here in the U.S.: the black widow and the brown recluse. Both species can prove extremely dangerous to animals, particularly smaller pets such as cats and toy or teacup breed dogs; just a single bite from these spiders can cause significant neuromuscular damage. 


At best, a bee sting is uncomfortable for pets. At worst, certain bees, like yellow jackets and wasps, can cause an allergic reaction that includes severe mouth pain, swelling, respiratory distress, and even seizures.


Most cockroaches will flee at the sight of a dog or cat. However, sometimes, unlucky pets may ingest a cockroach, resulting in stomach worms for our furry friends. 


Ants are more than an everyday annoyance in our backyards. These arduous little crawlers can inflict several irritating bites on our cats and dogs in a very short amount of time. Fire ant swarms are especially threatening to our pets. Fire ants' venom can induce an allergic reaction, which is extremely painful. When left untreated fire ants can even lead to death.


Many pet owners assume chasing rodents merely is part of the animal circle of life. Unfortunately, catching a mice or rat can have a severe impact on your pet's health. Rodents carry several dreadful diseases, including Roundworms and Toxoplasma, which can be transmitted to your cat or dog.

Stink Bugs

Think that the worst part about a stink bug is their unsavory scent? Think again. Pets that ingest stink bugs can suffer from an upset stomach, diarrhea, and vomiting. In some severe cases, eating a stink bug may even require surgery.


The flashing light of a firefly mesmerizes most animals. However, beyond the glowing abdomen, lightning bugs carry a toxin known as lucibufagins that is poisonous to many smaller animals. While scarfing down a firefly or two may merely result in an upset stomach, lucibufagins has proven fatal in lizards and even cats. 
LawnMatters offers a full suite of insect and pest control services that can minimize swarms in your backyard to help keep your family and pets safe from unwanted property and perimeter guests.