By Ashley Watson
You might be wondering why we’re posting a blog post about fleas in the fall when the weather gets cold. Many pet owners don’t realize that flea season doesn’t end when cooler temperatures arrive in autumn. Your pets are actually more likely to carry fleas in the fall than in the spring or summer, when most people are using flea and tick products regularly.
Dr. Michael Dryden, a professor of Veterinary Parasitology, calls the surge in flea populations the “fall flea surge,” and this surge is caused by certain conditions that encourage fleas to reproduce.
First, there’s more precipitation in the fall, and fleas are attracted to moisture. While fleas get worse in the fall in northern states, the worst months for the warmer parts of the country are January and February. In addition to added moisture, your pet’s winter coat will start to come in during the fall, which makes it more difficult to pick off fleas. These pests also reproduce rapidly. Flea eggs can be laid on carpets, furniture, or on the pets themselves. Fleas can lay up to 50 eggs a day, which hatch within 10 days. Once the cocoon transforms into the pupae state, it can remain there for days or even months until an adult flea forms.
It’s important to protect your pets and your home since fleas can bite people as well, and they may be looking for a warm place to lay eggs when the weather turns cold; however, Dr. Dryden says that one of the main reasons fleas are such a problem in the fall and winter is that people stop using flea and tick products. At Pet Naturals® of Vermont, we always recommend that you speak with your vet about the best solution for your pet and your particular situation. An insect repellant may prevent fleas from getting on you or your pets, but once they’ve infested your home, you may need a more comprehensive plan to take care of the issue.
The good news is that there are many ways to discourage fleas and ticks from getting into your home, such as yard maintenance, which you can read more about in our post on flea and tick season from last spring. But as Dr. Dryden argues, one of the best ways to keep these pests at bay is to continue using flea and tick products. Always be sure to read the instructions on flea treatments, and never use a product intended for dogs on a cat. This can seriously harm the cat since the dose may be too strong. It’s best to ask your vet about using medicated flea treatments.
If you are looking for an all-natural product, the Flea + Tick products from Pet Naturals® are made with natural Brazilian oils that are safe for cats and dogs. They are available in a spray or a convenient wipe, and the spray can be used on carpets, furniture, and other places where fleas are likely to lay eggs. You can find Pet Naturals® products at several different retail stores online, and our recognizable label makes it easy to find us in the store! Don’t invite fleas into your home this fall. Make sure you stock up on Flea + Tick products from Pet Naturals® of Vermont.
Do you find that fleas are a bigger problem in the fall and winter? What tips do you have for other pet owners? Share your thoughts with us on Facebook.