Risks of fleas in the winter
While fleas are more of a nuisance for dogs compared to the danger ticks pose, they’re often present year round as even when the weather drops, fleas find refuge indoors. Fleas can also become highly active with sudden warm spells and their life cycle makes it difficult and time consuming to rid your home and dog of them completely.
Myth: Fleas and ticks don’t bite people.
While fleas and ticks prefer cats, dogs and other mammals with fur, they definitely bite people, too, Dr. Coates says. In homes with a severe flea infestation, people can develop itchy bites, mostly on their legs.
To protect both you and your pet, expand your battle plan to include treatments for your home, Dr. Coates says. She recommends vacuuming to remove flea eggs and larvae from carpets, rugs and other flooring. For severe infestations, a home spray, such as Vet’s Best Flea + Tick Home Spray, can kill and repel the pests too. Use it on furniture, carpet and bedding.
While itchy flea bites can drive you crazy, tick bites can be downright dangerous, Dr. Williams says. Certain tick species, such as deer ticks, carry Lyme disease, which can cause serious illness in humans. And ticks can latch on to humans almost as easily as dogs and cats, she adds.
If you see a tick on your pet, there’s a good chance you have ticks in your yard, Dr. Williams says. Outdoor sprays, like Advantage Yard & Premise Spray, are formulated to kill fleas and ticks, including deer ticks.