Fleas and Ticks in the Winter: Frozen or Flourishing?

Fleas and Ticks in the Winter: Frozen or Flourishing?

After the
first frost of the season, it may be tempting to skip Fluffy’s dose of flea and
tick prevention, but contrary to popular belief, fleas and ticks can still be a
threat in the winter.

near-freezing temperatures will kill adult fleas living outdoors, not all fleas
will die in the winter. Fleas can survive outdoors in temperatures as low as 33
degrees Fahrenheit for up to 5 days, long enough to latch onto your dog, enter your
home, and find a warm place to hide out for the winter. Without a proper dose
of flea and tick prevention, that flea can go on to continue its life cycle in
your home.

In fact,
one single adult female can lay as many as 50 eggs per day. As your dog shakes,
scratches, or lies down throughout your home or yard, those eggs disperse and
hatch into larvae that can hide in your furniture before finally maturing to
adults and leaving your dog (or even you) scratching uncontrollably.
fleas, however, ticks can actually survive freezing temperatures. Most ticks
will find shelter in leaf litter and lie dormant during the winter months.
However, certain species of ticks such as the deer tick (the tick that most commonly
transmits Lyme disease) are actually at their most active stage from October to
February. Skipping flea and tick prevention for the winter gives those ticks
opportunity to transmit potentially fatal diseases to both you and your pet.
So while
it may be tempting to forego Fluffy’s flea and tick prevention this winter, it
is in your pet’s best interest to continue flea and tick prevention year around
and with many different flea and tick preventatives on the market, it is easier
than ever.
By Megan Murray, D.V.M.
Companion Animal Hospital of Norridge

What's Next

  • 1

    Call us or schedule an
    appointment online.

  • 2

    Meet with a doctor for an
    initial exam.

  • 3

    Put a plan together for
    your pet.

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