By very definition, the word “pest” is something (or even someone) who is annoying or destructive and other synonyms range from being a nuisance, irritating or a complete menace. Many different types of critters can fall into this category, from tiny mosquitoes to much larger rodents, skunks, raccoons and other animals.

As a matter of fact, when it comes to animals that can kill human beings, one might think a larger predator like a shark or lion would take out the most number of people. But these carnivores didn’t even break the top ten on the list of the world’s most deadly animals. It’s the mosquito that kills more people than all other animals combined and by a huge margin. Obviously it’s not the bug or the bite itself that’s to blame, but the deadly diseases they carry and transmit.

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The biggest threat our pets face from mosquitoes is heartworm, which is why the majority of responsible animal owners have their four-legged friends on preventative medication from this often deadly condition. Homeowners should also make sure their outdoor areas are free from standing water, rinse out birdbaths regularly and keep rubbish down to a minimum. Inside your house, make sure that screens are in good working order, windows and doors aren’t left open without an operable screen in place.

 

Snakes made a surprising appearance at number three on the list of most dangerous animals and they can be equally as deadly for our pets. Here’s some advice for keeping these slithering menaces at bay, aware from your home and yard:

  • Keep clutter down to a minimum
  • Avoid thick growing shrubs near your home
  • Similar to mosquitoes, don’t give them sources of standing water
  • Consider “snake-proof” fencing as an option
  • Look for small holes around the exterior of your home and patch them

Ridding your outdoor areas of insects and rodents as a food source, will also assist with keeping snakes from moving into areas around your house and yard.

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Speaking of rodents, while they didn’t make the list of some of the deadliest creatures on the planet, they’re still a nuisance nonetheless. The recommendations listed above for snakes and mosquitoes also apply to mice, rats and skunks, but short of using traps and other methods, even some of the pros at trapping this critters offer some information about using some more “natural” remedies to keep these pests away:

  • Rodents, racoons and skunks are primarily nocturnal creatures so lighting and a good deal of noise during the daytime (like playing music or leaving the television on) could be enough to make them want to nest elsewhere

 

  • A hot sauce and soap mixture may be enough to ward off unwelcome visitors – mix one gallon of water with a jar of hot sauce and a few tablespoons of soap and put this into squirt bottles. Apply around fences and doorways, the scent and taste is unpleasant to them – BONUS: It’s also said to work for repelling ants!

 

If your pet(s) spend time outdoors, like a dog inside a fenced yard, use these remedies on the other side of the fence. This type of protective layer can exist on the other side of to keep pests inside and keep our pets inside. Basically it’s a way to keep pests away, while our pets can play more safely outdoors.

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