Many pet owners seem to think that fleas don't survive over the winter months. Therefore, proper flea control isn't upheld. This is a big mistake. The artificial environment created in our homes by heating systems allows for fleas to survive and thrive. Optimum conditions for flea larvae are between 65-80 degrees Fahrenheit – exactly what your home's heating system keeps the temperature at.
According to PetMD, the flea pupae can remain in their cocoons until the surrounding environment is warm enough for them to come out. In fact, the pupae can remain dormant for more than a year until the surrounding environment is suitable. When your heater kicks in and your home stays at a livable room temperature for the winter cold, all the waiting pupae will hatch together as a result of their newly discovered optimal habitat.
While fleas are a minor annoyance to us, they can be a huge danger for our pets. Some pets develop an allergy to flea saliva, resulting in severe skin irritation, causing your pet to continuously scratch at the infected area. Pets can also develop anemia as a result of blood loss during a flea infestation.
Take the proper actions
Flea treatment is certainly necessary in the winter, but which product should be used? If your home has been infested, there's the Hartz® UltraGuard Plus® Flea & Tick Carpet Powder, which kills fleas and ticks for up to 30 days and prevents reinfestation for up to one year. Along with product use, it's recommended you vacuum surfaces like your carpet, cushions and beds. Vacuuming can remove many of the eggs and pupae from your home. It's also important to thoroughly wash or destroy any of your pet's bedding or other surfaces that he or she commonly lies on.
If you're not sure if your pet has fleas there are a few key signs to look for. Constant itching is the main giveaway, but you should also look for red pimples or bumps, another sign of a flea infestation. Running a fine-toothed comb through your pet's fur is a simple way to check for fleas.
There's also the white towel test, where you have your dog or cat stand on a white towel or a similar white surface and rub its coat. Afterward, check the towel to see if there are any sand-like black droppings on it – this would be the flea dirt.
This content is provided by the flea treatment experts at Hartz. We offer flea sprays, shampoos and drops to keep your pets safe inside and outside your home.