Think fleas die in winter? Think again! That’s right folks – it’s a common misconception that the microscopic mingers kick the bucket as soon as the mercury drops. While they undoubtedly thrive during the summer months (June – September aka ‘peak flea season’), they absolutely refuse to let up the bitey fight during winter.
The fact is, your dog is vulnerable to fleas at any time of year. Regular flea treatment is important all year round for a healthy, happy pooch.
When those fleas grab hold, they can be a real challenge to get rid of. Prevention is always better than cure! Afterall, we’re sure you have more fun things to do over winter than fight fleas (binging Netflix in jammies anyone?).
Here are our top 5 reasons why you should continue to treat your dog for fleas this winter.
1. Central heating makes our homes warm and inviting all year round
Can’t blame those fleas for wanting to get in our homes really – we make it so inviting! Plus it provides everything a flea could want and more. It’s warm, there are plenty of dark nooks and crannies to hide in, and their favourite four-legged food source is never far away (*gulp*)
It’s not just adult fleas you have to be wary of either. Their eggs can be lying dormant around your home. As soon as you flick that central heating switch and it reaches a cosy temp, BAM! Their eggs will start hatching away.
A warm environment from having the heating on signals to flea eggs and pupae that it’s safe to hatch.
And once they do hatch, their thirst takes hold and the tiny vampires will be on a mission to hop onto your pet for their first feed.
Once they’ve had their fill of blood, the next item on their agenda is getting frisky. Fleas are born single and ready to mingle and once they start mating, you’ll be shocked at the rate they can multiply.
So if your pet is left unprotected at this time, you may as well be rolling out a tiny red carpet at your front door and welcoming them inside.
2. Chances are, flea pupae are already in your home
95% of fleas live in your home, and of this population, about 10% are flea pupae. This is the final stage before they become an adult flea – think of them as teenagers. And just like some teenagers in their bedrooms, they’ll only venture out when the conditions are just right. (For flea pupae, when it reaches the perfect temp. For teenagers, when the wifi goes down).
Flea pupae can be incredibly stubborn – they’ll stay wrapped up for as long as a year before hatching, if that’s what it takes. And they’re well protected too, thanks to the sticky outer layer of their cocoon, making them incredibly difficult to kill.
Giving the house a regular vacuum does help but due to their A* hiding skills and the fact they can go so long without hatching, flea pupae could be survivors from an infestation you previously celebrated getting rid of – little did you know…
If you use a regular monthly spot-on treatment like Itch Flea, you’re winning. You can switch on the heating safe in the knowledge that as soon as any pupae hatch and hop onto your treated pooch, they’ll be dead within 24 hours.
3. Fleas are a nuisance all year – for you, as well as your pet
Although fleas don’t live on people, they can still bite us! Flea bites can be sore and itchy, and the persistent chomping can really drive you round the bend. It’s irritating as hell!
If dogs are bitten by fleas and they’re left untreated, it can lead to severe health problems. And in very young puppies, it’s not uncommon for this to cause life-threatening or even fatal conditions, like anaemia.
4. Fleas can bring worms along for the ride, too
Fleas can act as hosts for worm eggs, which means they can easily transmit worms to our dogs too. And worms don’t just cause problems for our pooches – they can cause health issues for people as well, especially kids.
However, all of these problems are easily preventable with regular monthly treatment.
For a double whammy of protection, it’s a good idea to combine a spot-on flea treatment like Itch Flea with a worming treatment such as Itch Worm, and use both together for year round protection.
5. Severe flea infestations can take months to fully eradicate
The little blighters are persistent! Regardless of the time of year, it can quite literally take months to get on top of a flea infestation.
It’s super important not to get complacent with cooler weather and think the chill in the air will naturally kill them off. There’s no such thing as a change in season indoors; your home is warm and inviting to fleas all year round.
Lots of pet parents feel embarrassed at the thought of having a flea infestation, but please don’t be! Fleas are so common and having them set up camp in your home IS NOT a reflection of how clean your house is. You could be the next Mrs Hinch in the making and still have flea problems.
Because of the way the flea life cycle works, and because 95% of fleas live in your home rather than on your pet, it can take a few cycles of monthly treatments to get on top of an infestation. Don’t let the pests get you down – with time and patience you WILL beat them.
Never forget to treat with a monthly flea subscription
Once you’ve reclaimed your abode and banished those fleas, a monthly flea treatment subscription like Itch Flea can help you keep your home a flea-free zone. And it doesn’t just kill fleas dontcha know – it puts a stop to ticks and lice too.
With delivery through your letterbox, fully personalised for your pooch, you’ll never forget to treat them again.
Sign up today at itchpet.com and get your first month free.