Fleas don't always die off in the winter. They often go into hiding--maybe in your home. While the chances of fleas on your pet might decrease in winter months, foregoing flea prevention can allow small numbers of fleas to multiply. This can be costly if an infestation occurs.
Year-Round Flea Season
We see fleas most often in the spring and summer. As the temperatures drop during the fall and winter months, many pet owners let up on flea treatment. After all, the saying goes “out of sight, out of mind.”
But this can be a mistake. Fleas thrive in temperate weather with high humidity, which means cooler months can be prime flea time. Fleas reproduce year-round where environmental conditions are adequate, especially in southern climates where the winters are warm and humid. If you live in a cold-weather climate, fleas are more likely to seek shelter inside where it’s warm during the winter. To help avoid a surprise flea infestation, consider treating your pet for fleas year-round-- even when the weather turns cooler.
Prevention vs. Treatment
Many pet owners opt to use flea treatments only after seeing a flea on their pet. They think they’ll save the cost of monthly prevention by treating their pet only when a flea is seen. Keep in mind that even in the midst of a flea infestation, you’ll see only 5 percent of the infestation as adult fleas.1 The other 95 percent of the infestation consists of flea eggs found on the pet and flea pupae or larvae found in the environment, such as your carpet or yard.1
By the time pet owners see a flea, their pet or home could already be infested. An infestation can spread throughout a home and to multiple pets. Getting rid of an infestation can be costly and time-consuming. What’s more, fleas can transmit diseases to pets.
Recommended Preventive Products
We recommend treating your pet with a flea preventive, such as a monthly topical like K9 Advantix® II for dogs or Advantage® II for dogs or cats, or the 8-month collar Seresto® for dogs or cats. For more information on flea preventives, you can look at this buyer’s guide and this ingredient guide.
1. Grace SF. Fleas. In: Norsworthy GD, Crystal MA, Grace SF, et al, eds. (2006). The Feline Patient. 3rd ed. Ames, IA: Blackwell Publishing; 106-107.
K9 Advantix, Seresto and Advantage are registered trademarks of Bayer.