As winter weather drops below freezing in many states, fleas slow down their development and many die off. Fleas prefer that the temperature to be roughly around 75 degrees. With the cold weather, fleas end up cocooning themselves and remaining for months. This may cause you to believe that all fleas die once freezing temperatures hit, but that is not the case. While it’s true that these pests can’t survive freezing temperatures, they seek out warmer locations when the temperature drops. Here, Any Pest discusses flea infestations during the winter and ways to prevent them.
During The Winter Months
Your Home Is The Perfect Nest
The regulated temperature created within your home by your HVAC system creates the perfect environment for fleas to live and reproduce. The perfect conditions for flea larvae to thrive are between 65-80 degrees. This is typically the temperature the majority of homes stay at during the winter months. Fleas can survive outdoors in temperatures as low as mid 30 degrees for up to 5 days. Within that short period of time, these pests find a way indoors and make themselves comfortable in your home. Flea eggs can live year-round in protected areas like crawl spaces, porches and garages.
It Only Takes One
When it comes to a full-blown flea infestation, it only takes one to start the process. An individual flea can enter your home by catching a ride from outside. That one parasite has the ability to cause an entire infestation. A flea pupae can also remain in their cocoons until the environment is warm enough for them to hatch. A single pupa is able to remain dormant for more than a year waiting for a suitable, warm condition.
These pests are not only annoying, but they can also pose serious health risks for you and your pets. Fleas will bite people, but they prefer animals with fur. Some cats and dogs are allergic to flea saliva, which results in severe skin irritation and causes them to continuously scratch at the infected area. Cats and dogs can also develop anemia as a result of blood loss during a flea infestation.
Prevention Before Infestation
It’s a lot easier to prevent pests than to get rid of an infestation. Since fleas reproduce so fast, they can often infest your home or backyard before you realize what has happened. Fleas can also cause other problems, like tapeworms. Because of this, it is best to treat fleas all year round. Treating your pet’s area as well is also recommended for faster control of an infestation.
Of course, having pets in your home increases the risk of a flea infestation. They can carry fleas into your home which in turn spreads them around. Fleas typically target hosts that aren’t as healthy or that have undeveloped immune systems. These include puppies, kittens, and older animals. This means that things like your pet’s diet, immune system, and how much exercise they get each day are very important when it comes to flea control and prevention.
Grooming is another key aspect of flea treatment. Combing your pet with a flea removal comb will help to remove adults and destroy eggs. Even though this can be time-consuming and tedious to search for fleas, it will allow you to keep your pet flea-free. It will also save you from having to deal with a full-on flea infestation later.
Prevention is the real key to reducing your pet’s risk of exposure to fleas. The most effective way to control flea infestations is to treat the pet directly all year round. Prescription and non-prescription direct treatments in the form of topical applications, flea shampoo’s, tablets and sprays are all products that can be obtained to effectively treat fleas on your pet.
Keeping your home clean is one of the most effective ways to combat fleas. Cleaning and vacuuming the carpets and furniture will pick up eggs and existing fleas. This is crucial if your pets sleep or inhabit your sofa, bed, etc. Actively cleaning your pet’s sleeping areas and washing used blankets will significantly remove eggs and larvae.
Many over-the-counter products can be used to control your home against fleas. Products like sprays and traps have been designed to allow a low concentration of insecticide to be used by untrained homeowners. If you decide to choose a DIY pest control, be sure to follow directions as some insecticides can be harmful to your health. The best thing to have your home fully taken care of is to call your local pest control company for flea service.
While the risk of your pet catching fleas in the winter is lower than in other seasons, it is not impossible, making flea treatment necessary year-round. Below are a few preventative measures to take to keep fleas out of your home and off your pets. While do-it-yourself pest control treatments can be effective they are not 100%. To be sure an infestation is taken care of properly, it is recommended to call your local pest control company.
- Topical Drops – Protect your pet for up to 30 days with a single application to kill fleas, and ticks, plus prevents re-infestation.
- Topical Sprays– Kill pesky fleas and ticks for up to 7 days while preventing re-infestation by stopping flea eggs from hatching for 30 days.
- Collars– Kills fleas and ticks for an impressive 7 continuous months, and can be worn in addition to your pet’s regular collar.
- Powders – Water-resistant powder effectively kills fleas, ticks and lice for up to 7 days.
- Shampoo– Shampoos provides your pet with immediate relief from pesky fleas and ticks. Each cleansing formula is specially designed to kill parasites on contact.
Call Any Pest Today
Have a possible flea infestation? Homeowners should first contact their pest control professional to conduct a thorough inspection in order to localize the problem, identify the root, and determine where fleas are inhabiting. Attempting to tackle a flea problem on your own could lead to much worse damage and exasperation of the problem. If you have a flea infestation, call Any Pest today or contact us online here.