For pet owners, heading into the winter months is something we look forward to as a much needed break from the bugs that can wreck havoc on our pets and homes. We think we can ease up on the medications we use on our four-legged family, as well as sprays and powders we use on our homes and ourselves. But, here is a news flash (and one you may not like), winter does not necessarily spell the end of bug season.
As the days get colder and the nights stretch longer, here are some things to keep in mind to help avoid fleas, ticks, and other bugs during the winter season.
Fleas Can Survive Through the Winter
The flea is a very resilient pest with a long lifestyle. It is so resilient in fact, that it is capable of surviving outdoor temperatures as low as the upper 30s. When an adult flea finds a suitable host, such as your pet, it can stay warm and alive through the winter. Flea eggs can also stay warm in their cocoons until they are safe from the freezing temperatures. These flea pupae can remain dormant for up to a year in their cocoons until their surroundings have reached good temperatures. This results in a mass emergence come spring.
Many States Have Too Warm of a Winter to Have an Off Season
If you live in the north, you may have a few months of a break where fleas cannot survive. However, for most people in the southern states and on the west coast, fleas remain active throughout the year. Fleas are in danger when temperatures drop below 30 degrees and ticks can survive before temperatures fall below 45 degrees.
Flea and Tick Treatment For Pets Should Be Used Year Round
With the warmer states’ lack of winter, and the possibility of warmer winters in areas that usually experience harsh cold fronts, flea and tick preventative treatment for your pets should be used year round. While fleas and ticks may seem like a mere nuisance, they are actually capable of causing health problems, skin disorders, infections, and anemia.
As the old saying goes, it is better to be safe than sorry. Using preventative treatment for fleas and ticks is easy to do, and will ensure your furry family members stay healthy and pest free this winter season.