Climate Changes and Flea & Tick Infestation
“Earth’s 2016 surface temperatures were the warmest since modern record keeping began in 1880,” reports NASA and the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration. While we could traditionally count on the late spring and summer months as being “flea and tick season,” the effects of global warming are extending the season dramatically. When the weather gets warm and more humid, fleas and ticks come out in force, even if it is during an unseasonably warm day or two in November. It is clear that as our world is experiencing global climate changes with rising tides and extreme weather, flea and tick activity has moved beyond the typical flea & tick season.
Fleas flourish and breed in temperatures 70 degrees and above. As long as adult fleas have a feeding source (dogs, cats, humans), they can breed. It’s no longer unusual to experience hot and humid days in the winter, even in places like the Northeast that are traditionally cooler. “As temperatures rise, fleas and ticks come out to bite, and dogs and cats run the risk of catching flea or tick-borne illnesses,” says Georgette Wilson, DVM, Hartz Mountain Corporation.
“It is important to monitor your pet 365 days a year for fleas and ticks,” adds Dr. Wilson. “Make it a year-round practice to use flea and tick topical drops or a collar on your dog or cat and be sure to maintain regular veterinarian visits.”