If you think you can get rid of fleas in the winter, you’re wrong. These pesky bugs aren’t just a pain in the summer; they’re ready to cause problems for you all year round. Many people believe that when the snow sets in, their pets will be free from fleas, but even in the frost, these pesky insects find ways to survive.
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A single flea can lay up to 50 eggs daily for over three months straight. In the cold, these eggs hatch slowly, but by spring, you’ll have an even bigger flea problem.
At What Temperatures Can Fleas Survive?
Fleas thrive at temperatures of around 75 degrees Fahrenheit. That being said, they can still mature in the cold weather since the cold doesn’t kill the eggs, it just slows the process down. If they are in the cocoon stage, they can survive temperatures of around 52 degrees Fahrenheit.
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However, once the temperature starts going below 37 degrees Fahrenheit (near freezing point), fleas start to die regardless of which stage they’re at in their life cycle.
How Long Can Fleas Survive in the Cold?
Fleas don’t die instantly as soon as the temperature gets close to freezing (32 degrees Fahrenheit). It may take over a week of constant cold for them to die out. This basically means that if the temperature is warmer when the sun is up, the fleas will be able to live a little longer.
How do Fleas Survive the Cold?
In warmer regions where the winter weather doesn’t get too cold, fleas can survive as they do in the summer. In colder regions, they need to be a little cleverer – many fleas build homes on wild animals like raccoons and find warmth among the fur and the animal’s hiding spots.
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They also leave eggs behind that that can start hatching at the first sign of spring and significantly grow in numbers. Some fleas seek comfort in garages, barns, pet kennels, etc. and hide in corners until it is warm enough to come out or until they run into an animal they can settle on.
Can Pets Still Have Fleas in the Winter?
Even when it’s cold enough for fleas to die, your pet might still have them. This is because spaces like the inside of your home, crawlspaces under the house, etc. are warm and protected from the cold, helping the fleas to survive. This includes fleas in the egg and cocoon stages. As the outside temperature gets warmer, the eggs hatch, and your pet’s flea infestation can get worse.
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How Can You Help Your Pets in the Winter?
Just like you help your pets get rid of fleas in the summer, you need to do the same in winter. Not protecting them will cause problems like inflamed skin, infections, and scratching, which will also spread germs around your house.
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#1 Keep Your House Clean
Make sure you vacuum all the carpets in your house daily. Be sure to dispose of the waste in the vacuum bag properly and far away from your house. If you have any specific bedding for your pets, wash it thoroughly with a disinfectant.
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#2 Use Flea Products
You probably use flea spray or something similar on your pets in the summer at least once a month. Make sure to do the same in the winter. Failing to do so frequently will cause the number of fleas to increase, and it’ll be difficult to get rid of them. These products kill fleas and prevent them from laying eggs and spreading diseases.
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To find out how to make your own flea spray, you can check out this video:
Winter is the best time to deal with fleas because they’re vulnerable, and their life cycle is slower, so you can get rid of an infestation faster.