Some pet owners only put flea/tick preventative on their pets in the warm months. After all, don’t the cold temperatures kill these parasites?
Not necessarily. As Americanveterinarian.com says, “they don’t disappear when the temperature drops.”
Fleas & Ticks Can Survive the Cold
Long thought of as summer-time pests who thrive in warm and humid climates, it turns out, they can survive cold temperatures too. In fact, fleas and ticks can survive temperatures in the 30’s. They may be less active, but it takes sustained freezing temperatures of a month or more than kill them.
Which means, dogs and cats who don’t have year-round flea and tick protection can be even more attractive to shivering fleas and ticks looking for a warm place to burrow.
The other thing to keep in mind is that flea pupae (the stage just before they turn into an adult) is the hardiest of the flea lifecycle. So even if flea eggs and adults are killed off by freezing temperatures, the flea pupae can still survive and turn into adults.
Prevent a Flea Infestation
A flea lifecycle is 3 months and they can lay eggs on your dog or cat that can lay dormant and then hatch weeks later. They lay dozens of eggs too. Female fleas lay up to 50 eggs a day within 24-36 hours after latching onto your pet.
So, it doesn’t take but one or two fleas to start an infestation in your home that will have you vacuuming and cleaning like a crazy person for months as you try to rid yourself of them.
Besides being itchy pests that often lay eggs in carpet, bedding, and on furniture, fleas can carry diseases like the Bubonic plague that can affect both pets and people.
The Tick Problem
While both fleas and ticks are blood sucking parasites, there is a big difference between the two. Ticks don’t reproduce like fleas do. That’s the good news. The bad news is they carry Lyme disease which can be debilitating for both pets and people.
Lyme disease can cause seizures, lameness, and lethargy that lasts months. It’s also possible that your dog can test positive for Lyme disease yet not show any symptoms. Plus, they can still be a vehicle for ticks to come into your home and potentially bite you or another family member.
To Check Your Pet for Fleas and Ticks
To check your pet for fleas, run your fingers through the fur backwards and see if you see tiny dark specks of flea “dirt.” This is flea poop.
You can also use a flea comb to comb around your pet’s ears, between the toes, and other popular flea and tick gathering spots to check for fleas or ticks. In the summer, it makes sense to do this after every outing but it’s a good idea to do it in the winter months too if you don’t use flea and tick prevention.
Prevention is Your Best Defense
Year-round flea/tick preventive is your best option against these pests. Most dogs are happy to snap up the monthly oral pills as treats but topical treatments work well too.
These are our best-selling flea/tick preventives: https://www.bestflea.com/catalogsearch/result/?cat=&q=bravecto