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Serving Aiken, The CSRA & Midlands

Protecting Your Pets From Fleas And Ticks This Fall

a cat sitting on grass and scratching from fleas

Fleas and ticks are a huge problem here in South Carolina. Our comparatively warm winters and humid, wet climate make it easy for these parasites to multiply and establish themselves in new areas. Contrary to popular belief, fleas aren’t just a pet problem, and ticks aren’t just a deep woods problem. It’s possible to get breeding populations of both these parasites on your property. Fleas especially can establish themselves inside your house and ride out the whole winter feeding on you and your pets. That means you need to take lots of precautions to keep yourself safe this fall. 

The Autumn Surge

Both fleas and ticks can be very active during the fall. Black-legged or deer ticks are among the most active tick varieties in autumn, which is not a good thing since deer ticks are the main vectors of Lyme disease. These ticks often seek a final big meal this time of year as they prepare to go into a state of torpor. Ticks don’t hibernate, but they enter a low-energy state when temperatures drop below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. This means their metabolism slows down, and they don’t move around a lot during the winter. However, unlike hibernation, which cannot be interrupted by simple weather changes, ticks can come out of their low-energy state during a bout of warm weather. That means if there’s a warm snap for just one day in the dead of winter, ticks might be active.

Fleas are also active in the fall and the winter. Fleas don’t hibernate, and they cannot survive freezing temperatures for very long. That means they need to find a host that not only offers them food but warmth as well. Your warm pets and the warm house will both do just fine. Fleas like to get set up inside your home during the fall so they can ride out the winter in comfort. They won’t just establish themselves on your pets, though they can and often will reproduce right in your dog or cat’s fur. They can also breed and live on your carpet and furniture, hopping onto your pets or you to grab a quick bite before hopping off.

Flea and Tick Prevention

Fleas and ticks can pose huge problems for pets and people. Ticks, in particular, spread dangerous diseases like Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Fleas don’t spread these illnesses, but they can still cause anxiety and allergic reactions in dogs and cats – not to mention they can do the same things to people. That means you’re going to want to do everything you can to prevent them. Take measures like:

  • Talk to your vet about starting your pets on a preventative medication.
  • Bathe pets regularly, especially after going out in public.
  • Take measures to avoid bringing ticks in on yourself, like wearing protective clothing or using DEET bug spray when walking in wooded areas.
  • Vacuum frequently to remove fleas and eggs from carpet and furniture.
  • Keep trees and bushes trimmed short.
  • Clip your lawn frequently.  
  • Frequently wash your bedding and do the same for your pets.

It can be hard to get rid of if you wind up with a flea or tick infestation in your home or on your property. Treating ticks can involve climbing trees to spray and doing other dangerous work that can get you hurt. And fleas are often resistant to over-the-counter (OTC) sprays and foggers, meaning your efforts to get rid of an infestation might result in a temporary population reduction. Fortunately, there’s a better way. Here at Aiken Pest Control, we’ve got the tools and techniques to deal with fleas and ticks on your property in a way that keeps them gone for good. Give us a call at (803) 889-0952, or visit our contact page to schedule your inspection today and get started on our home pest control services.