You may be wondering, can pets get fleas in winter, well the cooler months can be some of the worst times for fleas here in Australia. It very rarely gets cold enough in Australia for the fleas to just ‘die off’ during the winter, fleas can happily survive in temperatures over 8 degrees Celsius.
During winter your home can very quickly become a breeding ground for fleas, it takes one adult flea hitching a ride on your pet to infest a home. An adult female flea lays eggs after each blood meal, typically fleas feed twice in a 24hour period laying anywhere from 20-50eggs in a day.
Once an infestation takes hold within a home it can take months and sometimes up to a year to manage a particularly bad infestation and that is with the help of a professional pest technician.
Can your pet get fleas in winter?
Yes, fleas are still an issue in Australia year round. During the cooler months fleas usually make their way inside your home and take up residence in your pets beds and blankets, anywhere that is warm. This could include your bed and lounge as well.
Do pets need flea medicine in winter?
Yes, you should continue to treat your pets for fleas year round to ensure you don’t get fleas on pets in winter. Around 20% of pet owners stop giving flea medicine during the winter months as they are under the impression that fleas cannot survive during winter; but with the mild winter we have here in Australia it is very unlikely that fleas will disappear during the cooler months.
How can pets get fleas in the winter months?
Pets pick up fleas during the winter in the same ways they do during warmer months, usually from outside, and areas frequented by other animals (domestic and wild) such as parks, walking tracks and the vets.
The female flea lays her eggs on a host, but these usually fall off meaning the that be virtually anywhere for you pet to pick up at any time. While fleas may slow down a little bit during the winter months especially outside, but your warm house and pet beds (indoor and out) are the perfect breeding ground.
The best method to controlling fleas is prevention, keeping your pets up to date with their flea medications is one of the most effective ways to manage fleas within your home.
Cleanliness is very important in controlling flea numbers, frequent vacuuming, washing your floors and steam-cleaning carpets with particular attention paid to areas favored for sleeping by your pet. As well as regular and frequent vacuuming of upholstered furniture and beds.
The vacuum contents should either be incinerated or sprayed with an aerosol insecticide.
While it is possible to purchase ‘flea bombs’ from a supermarket or hardware store they are less effective and more damaging to your health and leave an unnecessary amount of chemical in the air and on your personal belongings.
An Integrated Pest Management carried out with the support and help of a professional technician is your best bet at beating a flea infestation; working as a team the occupants and professional should devise a plan to ensure all areas are treats (including pets) to minimise the possibility of a re-infestation.
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