Fleas are a horrible enough problem when it comes to keeping pets in your home. They stick to everything and breed like crazy, giving you an infestation problem before you can even blink twice. However, fleas in winter are a whole new concept that you should know well about to better care for your pets. Some people believe that fleas die in the winter and have all sorts of questions buzzing around in their heads. Questions like: “do fleas die in the cold?” or “what temp kills fleas?” are all answered for you over here in this highly informative post. Let’s delve into whether or not fleas die in the winter:
Can Fleas Survive During the Winter?
The great big question that has all pet owners scratching their heads is: do fleas die in the winter? Of course seeing as how persistent and annoying these critters can be during spring and summer, it must be relief that the owners are itching to get to. Finally getting rid of these pesky bugs without having to input any substance effort, is like a dream come true. So let’s discuss the possibilities on how fleas die in the winter and if that is even possible.
Answer is…no! Not really. Fleas are just like any other living thing and they find a way to survive through the cold. The cold does not kill the fleas unless or until they are submerged in a foot deep snow for a week straight. In that way, honestly a bear could die then.
However, since fleas have a habit of sticking to the bodies of your pets, they do not get cold quickly. They feed off the warmth of your pet’s coat and also have a constant supply of food from your pet’s blood as well. And since you keep your pet indoors during the winter and provide them with warmth and food, the fleas will also survive since they live off your pet’s life.
But it is worth mentioning that due to internal heating systems in most homes, the humidity that is created interferes with the life cycle of a flea.
How Fleas Overwinter?
Winters are tough for any and everyone. Especially when it comes to the teeny tiniest of bugs, as fleas are usually associated with your pets, during the wintertime, they will most likely stack up on resources. They may find a place to nest in your home like in the carpets, pillows, and cupboards, or they will stick in your dog’s fur till the summer comes. Usually, in such situations, the adult fleas suck up enough blood to last them the winter, and they reduce their movements and activities to the least amount. In doing so, you might notice your pet isn’t itching as much, and it’s because the fleas are just motionless and waiting the winter out and not because fleas die in the winter.
Fleas Don’t Hibernate
A common misconception is that fleas hibernate, but they are not the hibernating type of bugs. They decrease their activities and movements. This leads pet owners to believe fleas die in the winter. However, that is entirely wrong, and as soon as the weather warms up, these fleas will be back on their usual life cycle.
This is why most people recommend that if your pet is on some medication for flea removal, then do not halt the process when the winter arrives. Instead, it will be more beneficial for you to go all through with the removal process as it is easier to kill the fleas during the wintertime. That is mostly because they are lethargic and not willing to move too much.
Cold Temperatures Kill Fleas
If your fleas find a way to survive the cold indoors, then the possibilities are that they will probably live through the season and breed as well. But there are certain limits of winter temperature, after which fleas die in the winter.
- Adult Fleas
Adult fleas die in the winter if they are exposed to below freezing temperatures of cold. The process of dying takes around five days at the temperature of -1°C. On the other hand, if the temperature is above 0°C then it will take them about ten days to die out.
- Flea Eggs
Flea eggs will die at a temperature below 13°C, as that is the temperature they need to survive and grow.
- Flea Larvae
When the flea is at the larvae stage, it has no protection whatsoever. At least when it is in egg form, it has some shield against the cold temperature (still not strong enough, but it is there). However, the larvae are weak and independent, so it is more susceptible to death because of low temperature.
If the larvae hatch at 10°C then the fleas die in the winter within ten days. And if it hatches at 8°C then more than half of the larvae will die in 10 days as well. By the 20th day, all of them will be dead. As the temperature drops below 8°C, then the fleas will die sooner and won’t live past 3-5 days.
Do I Need to Treat My Pet for Fleas in the Winter?
Yes! A definite, absolute must. Like it has been mentioned before, fleas reduce their activities in wintertime (just like many animals do), but that does not mean they die or leave your pet alone. They still stick around their food source (your pet), waiting for the warmer temperature to settle in so as they can resume their life. So if you are following any treatment, go through with it through the wind, sleet, and snow. You should continue to treat fleas and ticks treatment for your dogs. You could read “Best Topical Flea and Tick For Dogs – A Complete 2019 Guide for Pet Owners” if you looking for best medice to treat your buddy and “7 Best Dog Flea Collar to Stop the Itching Scratch” for flea collars to protect your dogs from fleas and ticks while they’re play outside.
Fleas die in the winter is a hoax! They don’t, but they do become more lethargic and stop being as active as they used to be. You must continue flea removal treatment throughout the winter months and also clean your home as well regularly with pest removal techniques.