Watch Your Dogs and Cats: Signs They Know Pests Abound

Watch Your Dogs and Cats: Signs They Know Pests Abound

Dogs and cats give their owners clear signs when a flea infestation begins, but it is not only itch-inducing pests your furry friends can detect. Homeowners that pay attention to pet behavior could discover an insect or rodent problem sooner than they normally would. Here are a few examples.

Tilt for Termites

Dogs often explore the corners of their homes. The sensitive nose of a dog allows them to experience much more from their surroundings than humans can detect. The scent of termites can alert a dog to their nest, but the sound of the chewing and movement may attract them even more.

Pay attention if a dog spends more time sniffing an area of the home they normally never noticed. A head tilt as they stare at the area is a strong sign they also hear something. Termites can remain unnoticed by humans until damage occurs, so an early warning has the potential to save homeowners money.

Smell a Rat

The benefit of a nasal cavity with 200 million scent receptors (which cats have) is that rodents will rarely have success hiding from a cat. A cat sitting silently in a certain area of the home could indicate that a rat lurks nearby or often uses the area as a path between their nest and a food or water source.

Cat owners may think their pet will take care of the rodent, but that is not always the case. A study of cats and rats revealed that many cats liked to stalk but not necessarily attack rats. Most cats preferred smaller prey like birds or mice.

Dig for Gophers

Dogs of all breeds seem to enjoy tossing a little soil out of the way occasionally. The love of digging may make it hard for homeowners to notice when their pet digs for fun or when they do it because they are on the hunt. People need to watch the behavior of their pet closely to know when the effort could mean gophers.

Dogs that sniff a trail and then stop to dig may have found a gopher tunnel. Be extra watchful if the pet returns daily to this area. A good sign they have found a gopher is when the areas they choose to dig are near gardens or trees because these areas are popular with gophers. Look closely at the lawn for small dirt mounds not made by the dog and wilting vegetation nearby. Wilted plants could mean a gopher has fed on the roots.

Sniff for Bedbugs

It is possible to overestimate the ability of a dog to sniff out bedbug infestations. Dogs find bedbugs by scent after extensive training programs. Most people are not at risk of bedbug infestations enough to put their pet through a training academy for this purpose. Even trained dogs may not perform at 100 percent accuracy in their detection abilities.

It is worth a look, however, to see what has their attention if a dog with an especially sensitive nose seems interested in a mattress or other soft furnishings. Bedbugs hide along the seams of mattresses, between sofa cushions, and elsewhere. Look carefully at any area that draws the interest of a dog. Small specks in the material could be droppings from the bugs or the bugs themselves.

Pest detection is one of the many important roles cats and dogs perform for their families. Discovery of a pest is a great first step, but it often takes professional help to remove the problem from a home or yard. At Eary Termite & Pest Services, we can help with removal and preventive treatments. Contact us for a complete inspection or to schedule a service. 

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