Fleas and Ticks Don’t Take a Break: Why Year-Round Parasite Prevention is Essential

A tick on a blade of grassWhen considering the smallest of foes (namely those itchy parasites like fleas) there’s good reason why they’re so mighty. They can proliferate and cause an infestation in the home that affects both us and our pets. For anyone who’s ever dealt with an infestation, avoiding a repeat episode is a must.

Although small, many parasites can cause a serious impact on the health of our furry friends. Fleas, ticks, and other parasites aren’t just a seasonal affair; they continue to thrive throughout the winter months. To learn more about why your-round parasite prevention is vital to your pet’s health, the team at Rocklin Ranch Veterinary Hospital is here to explain.

No Vacays for Itchies

For many people, the idea that fleas and ticks go dormant once the summer is over is a misconception. Even in places that experience cold weather and snow, many of these parasites are able to thrive; it only takes a few days with temperatures over 50 degrees for parasites to survive.

Even when temperatures are unusually cold, these insects can make their way inside our homes. Many fleas will continue to thrive and reproduce indoors, no matter what time of year. In fact, a single parasite can produce 4,000 eggs in its lifetime. Unfortunately, it takes only a few fleas hitchhiking their way into your home to cause an infestation that can be costly and time-consuming.

Wildlife can also harbor fleas and ticks and are much more adapted to urban environments these days. This makes coming into contact with the illnesses and parasites they carry much more likely.

More Than Annoying: Vector-Borne Disease

Like many parasites, fleas and ticks carry diseases that can be transmitted between animals and humans (zoonotic illnesses). Examples include:

  • Lyme disease
  • Tapeworms
  • Mycoplasma haemofelis
  • Cat scratch disease
  • Murine typhus
  • Tularemia
  • Plague
  • Rocky Mountain spotted fever

Steps to Year-Round Parasite Prevention

Given the zoonotic risk, as well as the troublesome impact of infestation, your easiest and best approach to combating these creepy crawlies is through prevention.

  • If your pet is not currently on a flea and tick preventive, be sure to schedule an appointment. We can help determine the right parasite control for your four-legged friend.
  • Maintain good grooming habits, such as daily brushing, bathing, and professional grooming, which can help identify the presence of fleas or ticks.
  • Keep your pet on their routine preventive. Do not lapse or skip a month.
  • Check your pet’s skin after coming in from the outdoors, especially after visiting a park or natural area.
  • Discourage wildlife from your yard and home by keeping trash bins in the garage and cutting back weeds and tall grasses.

Would you like to learn more about flea and tick preventives or have other questions about parasite prevention? Please call the team at Rocklin Ranch for more information. We’re your first line of defense in the fight against these parasitic foes!