Do fleas survive in the winter?

You’ve probably noticed that there tend to be fewer spiders and bugs around in Winter. Fleas are one of them. It’s possible to go some months without seeing fleas, which might make you wonder if fleas survive in Winter.

The short answer is that yes, they do survive Winter. However, they aren’t as active during the wintertime, and it’s possible you could go the whole season without seeing them.

Why are there fewer fleas in Winter?

Like many other bugs, cold temperatures slow down the lifecycle of fleas. This means that females tend to lay fewer eggs and those eggs tend to take longer to hatch. Fleas have a four-stage life cycle: Eggs, larvae, pupae, and adult.

Adult fleas are the ones that are the nuisance. They bite because blood is their only food source. Fleas also don’t hibernate, so they’re active throughout the year.

For fleas to die, temperatures need to typically stay around 0 degrees. Once it heats up much above freezing, they can survive but prefer warmer weather. There are few places in New Zealand that stay below freezing consistently. As a result, fleas tend to move indoors. But why does there seem to be fewer in Winter?

Because winter weather is detrimental to them, fleas tend to avoid the outdoors when it’s too cold. Fewer of them will be outside so won’t spread as easily from property to property. But if you already have them indoors, you’ll probably still have to deal with them in Winter.

Fleas can survive winter inside

Fleas don’t like cold temperatures. Because of this, many fleas survive winter by heading to warmer areas. You’ll still find fleas in houses because of the warmth and because they have a source of food. Most homes also tend to be kept at more hospitable temperature ranges for them.

In some cases, there may even be more fleas inside during winter. If there aren’t any other warm places nearby, your property may become the unfortunate host for them. However, since you’re less likely to find them outside in the cold, if you’re able to clear out the infestation they are unlikely to come back.

How can I get rid of fleas?

If you notice that you have fleas in your property, there are a few things you can do to stop them.

  • Use flea treatment on any pets. Pets tend to have fleas because they are a source of warmth, protection, and food. A good cleaning and shampooing will help get existing fleas off, but a proper pet flea treatment will help keep them away.
  • Treat household furniture. Vacuum carpets frequently and shampoo with flea shampoo or spray when possible. Pay extra attention to carpets, especially carpet with high pile as fleas can be deep in the fabric.
  • Hot Wash all bedding. If you have pets, their bedding should be a priority. It is also recommended to hot wash any other bedding in the house thoroughly to keep fleas out of these areas. Using a hot wash will kill any eggs as well as the adults.

What if those steps don’t stop fleas?

Home remedies take precise usage and a little bit of luck to work properly. If they aren’t doing the trick or you want to make sure it’s done right the first time, you may need to call a professional for total pest control. There may be a source of fleas that’s hard to track down or access that may need to be removed. Nexus Property Services can help. We offer pest control throughout Southland and can help you get rid of fleas or other pests. Call us or get in touch today to get a free quote.