Nov 01, 2019 | By, For Pet's Sake

Colder months are not the time to skip flea and tick medication

When the temperatures drop and the bugs don’t seem to be as prevalent, you might think you can skip the refill on your pet’s flea and tick medication for a few months. Think again!

Fall can be the worst time for fleas and ticks for several reasons.


Fleas don’t function well in extremely hot summer weather or extremely cold winter weather. Fleas generally thrive in temperatures between 65 and 80 degrees, but they can survive in temperatures as low as 30 degrees. If adult fleas find a warm host during the summer months, their pupae can survive until temperatures become ideal, perhaps when your furry friend comes inside your heated home or the moderate fall temperatures are just right. In warmer conditions, the pupae come out of their cocoons in bunches, creating a large number of fleas, if this happens inside your home, they can survive all year long.


Ticks work similarly, looking for a warm host during the months when they are most active. Then they will hang on during the colder months until the conditions become more suitable again. Ticks can cause problems for your pets until the temperature drops below about 45 degrees. In the fall when heavy leaf piles accumulate and collect moisture, they can provide a dark place for ticks to hide. Ticks can lay thousands of eggs in one breeding cycle, and those leaf piles or other areas with lots of brush are perfect places to store the eggs. Ticks will sometimes hatch their eggs during the fall and then look for a suitable host.

To help keep your furry friends safe, be aware of the common resting places for fleas and ticks:

– Avoid leaf piles, which become even more prevalent in the fall
– Avoid tall grass and trees that provide a launching point for attaching to another animal
– Outdoor feeding and sleeping areas should also be avoided, including ones in your own backyard or public areas like picnic sites or rest stops.
– Be cautious of wild animals like raccoons and possums who scavenge for food from trash cans or pet bowls. They often carry fleas and ticks that can jump onto your pet.
– Being aware and avoiding exposure risks is important, but the best way to keep your pets safe is to continue their flea and tick medication. The cost for pet medication varies, but it is extremely low compared to the cost of exterminating your home following an infestation.

Think of the colder months as a time when the enemy is weak. They are definitely not defeated, but they are vulnerable, so use the fall and the winter seasons to do things like vacuuming, dusting, grooming your pet, and most importantly, continuing their flea and tick medication.

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