Did you think your pets would get some relief when the “dog days” of summer passed? You may have to think again. Research has shown that in most areas of the U.S., fleas surge in the fall, far more than they do in the spring.
What factors contribute to this surprising phenomenon? Part of it is the extra precipitation we get in areas like St. Charles in the fall. Fleas thrive in moist environments, so often begin to breed at a faster rate when the dry summer season ends. Another contributor is temperature. The sweet spot for fleas is around 70 degrees, which is why we see less of them in the summer and the winter. Finally, pets’ winter coats begin to come in this time of year, which makes for extra cozy burrowing for these blood-hungry pests.
What can you do if the fall flea surge has visited your home? Here are a few ideas:
First, don’t give up on your flea-fighting regimen. If you were treating your pet for fleas during the summer, fall is certainly not the time to abandon this treatment. Even when winter hits and the fleas die off outdoors, it’s probably a good idea to remain vigilant against the fleas that have found their way into the warm shelter of your home.
Second, rake up those leaf piles. Jumping in leaves this time of year is a favorite pastime of children and pets alike, but don’t keep the piles out for too long, as the humidity and warmth can be a major attractor for fleas. Best practice is to bag them up as soon as they’ve been raked, then dispose of them in a secure outdoor trash bin.
Does your dog or cat sleep or eat outdoors? If so, its traffic patterns can become quickly apparent to fleas. Pay close attention to sleeping and eating areas so they don’t become infested. It’s also a good idea to bring food in at night, as nocturnal opportunists like raccoons may also pay attention and bring their own fleas and diseases to your front door.
Finally, address the whole problem. Don’t just treat your pet – flea larvae can burrow into areas like carpet, bedding, and furniture and continue to reproduce all winter long. If your problem has reached these proportions, it’s probably time to call in the experts. Pointe Pest Control has the tools and expertise to eliminate your flea problem, allowing you and your pets to enjoy this beautiful season comfortably.