Keep Fleas And Ticks Away From Your Dog And Cat This Winter
Fleas and ticks are two of the most common pet care issues in America, warns the ASPCA, and much of the problem lies in the fact that people don’t treat their pets against these critters all year round. Both can cause a host of issues that can seriously harm your pet’s health. Fleas, for instance, can cause several issues, including tapeworms, Lyme disease, and tick paralysis. Some diseases can also affect humans - including typhus, tapeworms, and ‘cat scratch disease’. If you want to keep your home and all the beings that live in it healthy and happy, ensure that your fight against fleas and ticks lasts all year round.
How Can Fleas And Ticks Survive Cold Weather?
Fleas and ticks thrive in the summer, but they can still post a problem in the winter because of their life cycle. Ticks tend to be active at above 45ºF, but even in cold snowy climes, they can survive if they find warm, covered spots to nestle in. Fleas are more resistant to the cold; they can thrive in temperatures as low as 30ºF. Moreover, their pupae can hide in carpet fibers and other parts of your home in which they can be camouflaged. When the weather warms up, the pupae hatch and begin wreaking havoc on pets and other home dwellers. When fleas are in their pupae, they cannot be killed by insecticides. They are also very sticky, so they can easily cling to surfaces and remain safe until their time to hatch arises.
Signs Of Flea And Tick Infestation
If you suspect your cat or dog is infested, taking steps to end fleas and ticks is key. Signs to watch out for include itching, redness on the skin, black ‘dots’ on the skin (flea fecal matter), and behavioral changes such as restlessness, lethargy, and avoidance of usual resting spots (as they may be infested with fleas). In the case of tick infestations, look out for lethargy, loss of appetite, lameness, fever, swollen lymph nodes, and behavioral changes. Ticks are usually easier to spot than fleas because they become engorged once they attach to your pet’s skin and begin feeding. Once you treat your pet, the problem will usually be solved in a maximum of around 24 hours.
It is important to speak to your vet about treatment options, which include spot-on treatments, flea and tick collars, shampoos, and powders. Spot-on treatments vary, with some treating issues such as heartworm as well as fleas and ticks. Your vet will be able to recommend an ideal treatment depending on where you live and your concerns. Collars are also very effective, but some pets (and humans) are bothered by their strong smell. Shampoos and powders are shorter-lasting in effect, and are usually used in conjunction with trustier methods.
Fleas and ticks are capable of causing many health issues in pets and humans, so keeping them out of your home is vital. It is important to treat pets all year round since fleas and ticks can be very sturdy and can survive at chilly temperatures. There is a wide array of options available, so speak to your vet to find a trusted treatment that suits your pet’s and your needs best.