Winter is fast approaching signaling the annual purge of everything creepy-crawly. Before you let your guard down and think you don’t have to worry about fleas until next spring, think again. Fleas may not be a problem outside but if fleas are already inside your house then they can continue to be an annoyance for your dog or cat throughout the winter.
How Do Pets Get Fleas
If your dog or cat ventures outside at all then they are exposed to fleas. Fleas can live almost anywhere without direct sunlight and love high temperatures and humidity. Flea eggs can lay dormant in the grass or dirt for a long period of time until your pet approaches triggering them to hatch and jump on. Once inside a female flea can lay up to 50 eggs a day during her 6-month life-cycle and not only on your pet. She can lay eggs in the carpet, in beds, and sofas. Remember, just because your pet might be rid of fleas doesn’t mean they are gone. Eggs, larvae, and pupae may still be lingering in your house.
A Flea’s Life-Cycle
The life-cycle of a flea has four stages.
Eggs that are laid on your pet can drop off into the carpet or any other place of your house and stay dormant until the time is right. It’s important to vacuum regularly if your pet has fleas.
After the fleas hatch they feed on the digested blood left behind by adult fleas or other organic matter. In about 1 to 2 weeks the larvae will spin a cocoon.
The third stage can last from 3 days up to a year as they lie in wait for ideal conditions to emerge.
Once the flea reaches the adult stage it can start laying eggs 36-48 after it’s first meal and can lay up to 2,000 in her lifetime.
Winter Is The Best Time To Fight Fleas
A flea’s ideal temperature is between 70 and 85 degrees with 70% humidity. Usually, flea eggs hatch between 2 days and a couple weeks but in the winter humidity is lower in our houses which slows down the development of the egg. This gives you ample time to clean the house before the eggs have a chance to hatch. Winter is also the perfect time to have a professional treat your house for fleas and deal with all four stages at once.