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Fleas in Winter: What You Need to Know [FAQ]


What environment do fleas live in?

winterfleasTypically, fleas thrive in high humidity and warm temperatures. This is why southern, coastal states and warm summer months have the most active flea populations.

Fleas go through four distinct life cycle stages--egg, larvae, pupae, then adult.

Most of the time, flea eggs are laid on a pet's skin (the pet acts as the "host"). These smooth eggs often fall off of pets and into carpet, bedding, or plush furniture.

In the next life cycle stage, larvae, fleas avoid strong light and move deep into carpet fibers or under furniture, grass, branches, leaves, and soil. Flea larvae prefer warm, dark, and moist areas. If the larvae are outdoors, they develop in shady, moist areas.

Unlike the larvae, the emerged adult flea is attracted to light and stays at the top of surfaces in order to find a passing host to feed upon. In normal circumstances, the adult flea will live up to three weeks and lay up to 500 eggs. However, fleas can easily adapt to famine conditions. Just one blood meal can keep an adult flea alive for two months. Imagine staying alive on less than one meal a month!

What happens to fleas in winter?

According to Michael Dryden, DVM, fleas cannot survive exposure to temperatures below 30.2 degrees Fahrenheit (or -1 degree Celsius) for more than 5 days in a row. We generally recommend that it takes two hard freezes to kill fleas outdoors (although we'd guess the polar vortex is killing any outdoor fleas).

However, fleas are now showing up in places like Canada, which generally has harsh winters. This means fleas are finding ways to survive--likely by attaching themselves to warm-bodied hosts like you or your pets.

In cold weather, people and animals generally congregate inside, so you may notice more fleas indoors. Once fleas are inside, they can survive indefinitely as long as they have a host to feed on.

Unlike outdoor fleas, indoor fleas won't ever die unless they're treated. Wondercide solutions use cedar oil to kill the flea life cycle. Wondercide also repels future bugs, without exposing you or your family to harmful chemicals. We recommend spraying (for prevention) or using a compression sprayer (to treat active infestations) with Flea & Tick Pets + Home.

To prevent or treat an indoor flea population, treat your entire house with Flea & Tick Pets + Home, including flooring, furniture, bedding, and pet bedding. Spraying all of these areas allows you to treat and kill the flea life cycle. To treat severe or ongoing infestations, we suggest using Flea & Tick Pets + Home with a compression sprayer.

Spot treat your home or apply another full application until you don't see live fleas. At the same time, treat your pets daily with the same spray. Lightly mist your pet with Flea & Tick Pets + Home daily until you don't see anymore fleas.

What should I do when warm weather arrives?

If you're suffering from fleas during winter months, and you live in a seasonal climate, aim to control and get rid of your indoor flea population during the winter months. Then, when spring arrives, your pet and your indoor spaces will be flea-free and you can treat outdoor areas as a preventative measure.

At the first sign of spring, spray your lawn, garden, and any outdoor areas where your pet plays. We recommend an all-natural, water-based spray like Flea & Tick Yard + Garden. Spray outdoor areas twice within few days to knock out fleas that are present, then maintain results with a maintenance spray every 30 to 40 days.

Fleas and other pests originate outside, so treating outdoor areas will attack pests at the source and will prevent you or your pet from carrying fleas into your indoor living space.

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