If you think your furry friends are safe from external parasites during the winter, think again – fleas can survive the cold weather by living on your pets. Fleas and ticks usually die when temperatures drop below 37 degrees, but many fleas and ticks have adapted to survive by clinging to a warm-bodied host. These hosts usually consist of stray or wild animals, but they can just as easily attach themselves to your domestic house pets.
When temperatures drop, fleas and ticks can commonly be found hiding in barns, hay, kennel bedding, carpet and heated garages. Fleas and ticks are very small, with the egg of a flea measuring only 1/64 of an inch long. Despite their small stature, they can make their presence known quickly, giving you time to react and stop the invaders before they become a serious problem.
Anyone who has ever dealt with a flea infestation or discovered ticks on a beloved pet will tell you it can be devastating. No one wants to see their pet suffering, or deal with the damage these parasites inflict on their pets, their lives and their homes. Fleas and ticks are parasites, getting their sustenance from sucking the blood of their host, and during which, often transmit diseases. Because fleas reproduce at a quick rate, they must be dealt with quickly and efficiently. While ticks don’t reproduce on their hosts, the threat of them spreading is less, but removing and preventing them are even more important as they are known carriers of Lyme disease and other serious infectious diseases.
To prevent fleas and ticks, there are a variety of pet products that can be used for preventive measures. More important is regularly checking for ticks every time your pet comes inside after being out. Symptoms that may signal fleas include intense itching, rashes, swelling and bleeding in affected areas. By determining the severity of the problem, you can better treat it.
When is the right time to call a professional? Consult a veterinarian or pest control expert, like ScherZinger, for advice on how to prevent fleas and ticks before they reach your pet. Because preventive measures aren’t always 100% successful, many options and home treatments also exist, including:
- Shampoos and cleansers to deter/remove pests
- Protective collars
- Sprays and mists
- Dips and dusts
- On-the-spot treatment products
For the best assessment of your problem, contact a professional with your questions or concerns. Getting rid of fleas and ticks can be a time-consuming and bothersome problem, but with professional help and expert solutions, your home will be pest-free in no time.