Fleas… in Winter?

With the holiday season upon us, you might be giving little thought to fleas and ticks.  Did you know that your dog or cat can still get fleas, even in the middle of winter? First, remember the flea has four different stages: the flea egg, flea larva, flea pupa, and the adult flea. The pupal stage of the flea is resistant to topical flea products and, not surprisingly, to cold weather, too.  While cold weather will kill adult fleas, the immature pupal and larval stage of the flea becomes dormant until the arrival of warmer weather.  Even in winter, you can track fleas in their dormant, immature stages into your house where the warm, heated atmosphere in your home allows them to hatch and thrive.

Fleas have been around for millions of years and are very hardy and adaptable; think about it: even after the coldest of winters, you always see fleas again, right? It is always easier to control fleas with year-round prevention than to try to treat a flea infestation.  The way to prevent fleas is to use flea prevention on your dog or cat year round.  The Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC) recommends the following for every pet in your household:

Administer year-round broad-spectrum parasite control with efficacy against heartworm, intestinal parasites, fleas, and ticks.

About author

Erin Gleeson

Erin Gleeson is the Outreach Specialist at 1-800-PetMeds® and works with the 1-800-PetMeds Cares donations program. She has loved animals as long as she can remember and has worked in several veterinary offices in the past as a veterinary technician. She has one cat, Kitsy, and frequently fosters kittens for a local rescue group. You can also find Erin on Google+.

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