While summer is rapidly coming to an end that does not mean that your pets can get by without flea and tick preventative. For some areas fleas may even be worse in the fall than during other seasons. Fall weather typically brings mild temperatures and more precipitation, weather that fleas thrive in. It is very important to remain proactive against fleas and other pests all year round, especially in the fall.
Fleas are the most common external parasite in companion animals. They cause itching and other skin problems for your pets, as well as potentially transmitting diseases. The life cycle of a flea includes: eggs, larvae, pupae and adult fleas. Pupae can remain dormant for up to a year. Once suitable conditions are available, pupae can develop into adult fleas and begin feeding within hours. The entire life cycle of a flea can be completed in as little as three weeks.
Along with the added moisture in the environment from additional precipitation in the fall which is perfect for fleas. Your pet’s winter coat typically starts coming in during the fall season. A thicker coat provides an ideal environment on your pet for fleas. In addition to your pet’s winter coat there are many places for fleas to thrive during the fall. These areas may include:
- Leaf piles
- Tall grass
- Wooded areas
Even if your pet does not spend much (or any) time outside, fleas are canny creatures, and they have ways of making it into your home and onto your pets. Fleas can survive outdoor temperatures as low as the upper 30′s. Since most people keep their homes around room temperature, fleas can remain active indoors all year long. The ideal temperature for fleas is 65-80 degrees Fahrenheit with high levels of humidity.
Since fall/ winter in Virginia is typically mild, and the only way to kill outdoor populations is sustained temperatures that are below freezing, year-round prevention is important! If you are interested in discussing ways to be proactive about your pet’s flea preventative in the fall, please call us today at 804-642-5740.