Mosquitoes Affecting Skin Of Dogs (Sand Flies, Stable Flies)


These flying insects are part of the Culici-dae family. Though they are small and weak, they have the most voracious appetite for blood out of all the blood-sucking flies. There are around 300 species all over the world, yet only around 150 species of mosquitoes are native to the temperate parts of North America.

Their favourite breeding area is stagnant water, with even small pools of water being used as egg-laying surfaces. Ensuring that there is no stagnant water around the house is crucial in eliminating them. Destroy or overturn any empty containers around the home, and ensure the roof gutters aren’t blocked. Stagnant water on gutters makes suitable locations for the eggs of a mosquito.

Protecting a dog that roams outside from mosquito bites is quite difficult. Limiting outdoor contact with mosquitoes can be done by avoiding dog walking during the early morning and early evening. It is such hours that mosquitoes tend to have the highest activity levels. Vulnerable animals, such as puppies, should be enclosed in screened kennels, and insecticide used to eliminate any mosquitoes inside. A topical drug that can be used to keep female mosquitoes away from dogs for around 4 weeks is Imidacloprid. ‘Bug zappers’ don’t do much good as mosquitoes aren’t attracted to light; they may even make the situation worse because they kill insects that feed on mosquitoes.

Sand Flies

These flies tend to be quite prevalent in tropical and subtropical areas. They are minute (0.06 to 0.16 inches long) and have furry, moth-like wings. The female of the species has sharp mouthparts which it uses to bite and suck the blood of dogs, humans, and other warm-blooded animals. They are not strong fliers, unlike black flies, and are most active at night. They hide out in caves, crevices, buildings, and vegetation. Their breeding preference is for dark, damp environments with a supply of organic matter that larvae use as food.

Tiny bite wounds are the sign that typifies sand flies. They are not usually found on animals, but act as a temporary host for visceral leishmaniasis, which is a result of a parasite that infects the capillary cells, the spleen, and other organs of horses, humans, cats, and dogs.

Managing sand flies effectively cannot be achieved using regular insecticide spraying due to the inaccessibility of their breeding locations. Eliminating thick vegetation assists in controlling sand flies in external places. Most times, sand flies are inadvertently controlled by mosquito control programs.

Stable Flies

These are also known as biting house flies (Stomoxys calcitrans). They may resemble the common house fly but are vociferous blood suckers, with both male and female insects feeding on blood. They are found worldwide, with the Midwestern and South-eastern states of the US having the lion’s share of stable flies. They prefer horses, though are known to attack dogs with pointy ears, usually feeding on the tips of German Shepherds. These flies spread equine infectious anaemia, anthrax, and Surra. It is possible to cut the stable fly population by 90% as long as proper sanitation procedures are adhered to. It is critical to keep clean areas below feed bunks, along fence rows, and wherever rotting organic material can pile up.

Tsetse Flies

These blood-sucking flies belong to the Glossina species, and are a major pest in certain parts of Africa. Tsetse flies are responsible for the spread of the trypanosome parasite that causes sleeping sickness in humans, and Nagana in animals. A trypanosome infection can be quite unpleasant, with dogs exhibiting signs like extreme weakness, progressive nervous system failure, blindness, unexpected howling, and great pain prior to death.

In order to prevent sleeping sickness and Nagana, it is vital that the tsetse fly is eliminated. The conventional methods of doing this include clearing bushes, insect repellents, fly traps, fly screens, and insecticides. A novel method now used involves introducing sterile males into the wild population of tsetse, thus resulting in an efficient and environmentally friendly course of action.

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