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Question
Posted by: Heidi | 2007/05/08

New home, new problems...

Hi there. I recently moved to a free standing townhouse in a very leafy suburb. My boundary walls are flanked by various trees and shrubs. Among them are those sour berry trees (red, fleshy berries with big pips inside). There are also two large trees in one corner of the yard. The bird life is also very prolific but I haven't seen any nests. I have two three month old cross Jack Russell/Fox Terriers who sleep in a wooden kennel on a wooden deck near the lounge door. The red berry trees are very prolific in this area and their fruit frequently drops onto the deck. My first question is: Can the dogs get upset tummies if they eat this fruit? This morning one of the dogs poo'd (on the carpet, no less). Part of it was firm, part of it was not. The other question involves mites, I think. Last night I saw small tick-like insects (brown in colour, no more than 1mm in size) crawling on them. I've searched the internet and these insects match the description of bird mites. I applied Advantage to both of them. Will this kill the mites, or is there another course of action I should be taking? I'm worried that they will get sick. I will spray a common insecticide along the skirtings in the house and vacuum regularly. From my research, it seems like it could become a big problem if left to get out of control. My primary concern is for my pets so can you please address the two questions above and respond via my email address?

Thank you,
Heidi

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberVet

Please have the dogs seen by your vet as the insects are most likely fleas if there are no nests around. How many berries do the dogs eat at a time?

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3
Our users say:
Posted by: Heidi | 2007/05/09

Thanks. The pest ppl are coming on Friday. When I got home last night though the doggies were free of pests. So perhaps they were just rolling around in a far corner of the yard and happened to pick up these things. Thanks for the Eugenia tip. Found a photo online. It's exactly that.

Reply to Heidi
Posted by: Chill | 2007/05/08

I think that first, you should identify the berries - it sounds like you may mean Eugenia - see if you can look this up in a gardening book. If that's what they are, they're not poisonous, I give them to my parrot who loves them, and I believe you can make jam from them.

You also need to identify the mite things - if they're bird mites, make sure there are no starlings or starling nests in the roof of the house. The pest control co. should be able to tell you what they are - see if you can catch some and put them in a little bottle or jar so they can see. I'd get professional input, because you really don't want to use a different poison every day - rather establish what you're treating, and then use the correct remedy for the particular insect.

Reply to Chill
Posted by: Heidi | 2007/05/08

They occasionally eat one. It's not a feeding frenzy. I'm taking them to the vet next week for their third innoculations. I must say I've gotten a bit more worried about the pest situation as my housemate's colleague is convinced they could be ticks, but I'm sure they were brown and not reddish in the least. I've called a pest control company who can come out and have a look on Thursday. I'm going tp bath them tonight and apply Frontline. I saw on an earleir post that Advantage is not good with ticks. Is this true? Also, my dogs were in a kennel from last Wednesday to Saturday. They could have picked these parasites up there. I've only been in the new place since Friday.

Reply to Heidi

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