If you’re like most pet parents, you only think of fleas and ticks affecting your dog or cat in the summer. Well, think again! Fleas and ticks can and will attack your four-legged friends in the winter too.
Flea pupae are able to survive for up to a year in cold weather conditions. This means that when the weather starts to warm up they will turn into adult fleas. Fleas tend to latch on to your pets when they go outside, and once inside your home these tiny pests like to burrow into your area rug, carpet or even comforters and blankets – “snug as a bug in a rug” as the saying goes. Your home’s warm environment is the ideal habitat for fleas and your pet is the ideal restaurant for these unwanted “guests”. But it’s not just about adult fleas, flea larva are able live in your house for up to two years.
Ticks are just as bad as fleas. Natural-born bloodsuckers, ticks are not only a threat to your pets, but ticks carry diseases that can affect you and your family. Disease such as Babeiosis – microscopic parasites that infect the red blood cells, Powassan disease – can infect the central nervous system and is known to cause encephalitis and meningitis; and Lyme disease – which can cause fever, headaches and skin rashes – to name just a few.
How can you protect your pets and family against fleas and ticks inside the home in the winter?
- Vacuum It Up – if you have carpeting, area rugs, or fabric-covered furniture, it would be a good idea to vacuum frequently. The suction created by a vacuum cleaner is strong enough to pick up fleas and ticks at any stage.
- Use a room fogger – most foggers can kill adult and pre-adult fleas and their eggs for up to 7 months.
- Shampoo them out – there are plenty of over-the-counter shampoos and sprays that help rid your pet’s coat of fleas and ticks some use natural ingredients (so you don’t have to worry about harmful chemicals hurting you or your pet).
- Collars for dogs and cats– easy-to-apply and long-lasting flea collars are the least invasive way to help your pet get rid of fleas.
- Topical spot-on – fast-acting, easy-to-use, waterproof and long-lasting topical spot-on products for dogs and cats can kill adult fleas within 12 hours and ticks within 48 hours. Now, that’s fast!
- Chewable Tablets – once your dog or cat ingests the tablet it starts working right away. In most cases, the tablets will protect your pet for up to 12 weeks. Some tablets can be purchased without a prescription while others require a veterinarian to issue a prescription.
As with all treatments for pets, we strongly recommend that you consult with your veterinarian first.