The joint-hottest May on record and an unseasonably wet and humid June has created ideal breeding grounds for fleas, ticks and worms across Scotland’s outdoor spaces, according to experts.
Although a recent ‘European monsoon’ in June was welcome news to gardeners, bringing much-needed rainfall after a drastic dry spell, subsequent humidity and temperature highs have created perfect conditions for some of the UK’s most dangerous parasites.
According to experts at the leading pet care brand Bob Martin, fleas and ticks thrive best in warm, humid weather, and with lockdown easing, the company is warning pet owners to be vigilant over the summer whilst on walks or staycations.
Bob Martin’s research has also identified a tenfold spike in demand for people looking to purchase a companion animal whilst in lockdown; with online search volumes for cat and dog adoptions and purchases at all-time highs.
Aurelie Gayraud, Senior Brand Manager at Bob Martin, says the UK’s increase in potentially inexperienced pet owners, combined with the heat and humidity, has created a perfect storm for parasites coming into contact with us and our furry friends.
Aurelie comments: “With the country coming out of lockdown, we’ll all be itching to get outdoors to make the most of the Great British summertime. But we think a more unwelcome itch could be making its way onto our pets and into our homes if we’re not careful whilst out and about.
“We’ve seen some really unusual weather patterns across the UK in recent months, and when you twin this with thousands of potentially first-time owners purchasing or adopting a pet in lockdown, we could be facing one of the worst flea and tick seasons for years.
“Regardless of experience, it’s really important that all pet owners keep on top of prevention and treatments, and ensure they’re aware of the risks associated with flea, tick and worm infestations. It can be a nuisance at best, or at worst, life threatening for you and your pet.
“Tick bites can cause Lyme’s Disease in humans, a potentially life-threatening infection, and, as well as being itchy and painful, flea bites can also carry diseases and worms. Only 5% of a flea’s life cycle takes place in your pet’s fur, with the remainder in your home. As a result, it’s incredibly easy for infestations to spread rapidly in our homes.
“You can take steps to avoid this, but consistency is key. Your dogs, cats and your home should be treated with a flea and tick control product to keep you and them safe from unwanted parasites.”
She concludes: “With lockdown easing, we want everyone to get out and enjoy the beautiful British countryside as much as possible, but we also want to ensure people are aware of the risks and safe in the knowledge they’ve prepared and protected their pets for the great outdoors.”