Do Fleas Die In Winter? (Columbia, SC Exterminators)

May 29, 2020

Due to the increasing number of pet ownership in the world, it directly increases the flea population with it. More hosts mean greater chances of survivability and reproduction. This, too, increases the incidence of flea-borne infections. Other factors that increase flea populations in countries are climate change, conversion of wildlife habitats, and poor urbanization strategies.

Furthermore, because of the misconceptions that “Flea-borne diseases aren’t that bad”, more people contract these diseases. To understand the effects of flea-borne infections and to enlighten people that these bring danger to humans and animals, let’s take a look at some of the most common diseases from fleas:


This is brought by the Tunga penetrans flea. While the infestation is more common in the feet, it can spread to other parts of the body. This illness occurs when a female flea burrows itself inside the skin. 24 hours after, the site becomes irritated and painful. Edema and erythema can develop around it, causing discomfort and pain.

The Tunga penetrans flea takes around 12 days to mature, depending on environmental factors. As they do, their abdomen enlarges, reaching up to 1 cm. By the time they reach full maturity, the female flea already has around 200 ova stored in its belly. As these eggs mature, the host scratches the lesion on the skin which will help expel eggs from the mother’s womb. After every egg is released, the female flea dies. The victim will be left with a small scar which disappears over time.

Without proper treatment of the infection, secondary symptoms could arise. The lesion can catch various bacteria such as staphylococcus and streptococcus bacteria. Others even contract tetanus, E. coli infections, gangrene, and sepsis.

The diagnosis of this disease uses specialized tools for inspection, usually made of macroscopic materials to see the embedded female on the skin. This helps medical professionals extract the flea and prevent further complications. 


People believe that this is only brought by mice and rats because of the bubonic plague pandemic in the 1400s. Recent studies have shown that fleas, specifically the Y. pestis can transmit bubonic plague to human beings. But this is not the only disease caused by the Y. pestis flea. Statistics show that it caused three recorded pandemics deeming their existence a focus of worry.

There is a common belief that the bubonic plague can only be transmitted through the bite of an infected flea. However, there is significant evidence that shows a human being can contract the illness through the ingestion or inhalation of infected animal tissues such as inadequately cooked meat and the inhalation of infected respiratory excreta of animals. The worst part is, research proved that in optimal conditions, other fleas can transmit the disease apart from the Y. pestis flea. Plus, the growing population could spark the human to human transmission through flea bites. The common symptoms of bubonic plague include but are not limited to fever, headache, myalgia, malaise, and nausea. Every patient suspected to have contracted the disease must be isolated until a few days after they start treatment. This helps prevent the potential spread of this illness to nearby beings. 

Rickettsial Disease

Fleas are recorded to transmit two rickettsial diseases, the Murine typhus, and flea-borne spotted fever. Rickettsia bacteria are commonly associated with arthropods such as ticks, fleas, lice, and mites. When transmitted to humans, here are the following effects:

Murine typhus, caused by the Rickettsia typhi bacteria is a flea-borne illness, usually transmitted when a rat flea bites a human being. It can also be transmitted through food contamination from the excrements of fleas. The common symptoms of this illness include but are not limited to the following: severe headaches, myalgia, weakness, high fever, and nausea. 10% of patients without medical intervention require intensive health care. Which is why thorough examination and treatment is required. Studies report that this is an emerging disease that can spread in regions through travelers. 

Flea-Borne Spotted Fever

This is another illness caused by fleas. The R. felis flea thrives in temperatures below 35 degrees. If humans are infected by the disease, it causes fatigue, photophobia, conjunctivitis, vomiting, and diarrhea among many others. If there is a rising case of flea-borne illnesses in your area, do not underestimate the symptoms. Have yourself checked by a professional to prevent contracting any complications.

There is significant proof that shows the incidence of these illnesses is continually rising. The various vectors continuously shift and expand. Hence, we need to eliminate these fleas from our home, yard, and our pets by calling reliable Columbia flea exterminators. This helps prevent the consequences brought by flea infestations in our area. To understand more about these creatures, here are some facts:

Fleas Have Very Flexible Life Cycles

Compared to other insects, fleas do not have a standard timeframe when they hatch as eggs, turn to larvae, pupae, and adults. This depends on the situation and the environment they live in. If the conditions are detrimental for their health, they can stay up to 1 year inside their protective cocoon until the environmental conditions get better. Their ability to wait things out makes it more difficult to eliminate them. Especially when using foggers, the eggs can withstand the insecticide and hide until the residue is fully eliminated from the household.

Treating Your Pet Is Not Enough

Many people believe that treating their pets with spot-on treatments, oral tablets, and specialized shampoos is enough to eliminate all the fleas in their area. Did you know that when a female flea lays eggs on their coat, a huge percentage of them fall into your couches, floors, carpets, and bedding? Even after you treat your pets, there’ll always be another wave of fleas after these eggs hatch.

Fleas Can Live Without Eating

Fleas are one of the most versatile creatures on the planet. They can live for months without a host, especially after they are already fed. But if they get desperate for shelter, they push themselves to find a host, feed, and lay eggs. For example, you went on vacation for three months. You might think the fleas will be dead after you get back. With severe infestations, you can see them jumping on your socks as you open the door. That’s how ruthless these pests are. In numbers, they are almost unstoppable. 

Animal To Animal Contact Doesn’t Happen As Much

Contrary to popular belief, animal to animal contact is not the main reason for a flea infestation. When fleas already have a host, it is unlikely that they will move to another animal. Your pets catch fleas from the host-less parasites that dwell on the streets and grasses. If you’re wondering how your pet got fleas even if you don’t take it out for a walk, it’s possible that other animals might have brought it such as birds, raccoons, and rats. Some flea eggs might have fallen on your porch and started the infestation. 

Adult Females Lay Up To 50 Eggs In A Day

One female flea can start a full-on infestation since they can lay up to 50 eggs per day. In those 50 eggs, a significant number comprises females. Can you imagine how many days it can take before you have a full-on infestation on your hands? This is the reason experts believe that responsible pet owners should focus more on prevention rather than extermination. 

Fleas Can Jump Up To 6 Inches High

The reason why they can easily jump to hosts is their Olympic-caliber jumping ability. Did you know that fleas can jump over 150 times their height? That is about 6 inches. Even if you are a fast-walking human or animal, fleas can easily latch onto shoes, fur, and pants. Check yourself before you enter your home to prevent taking the fleas along with you.

Fleas Can Survive Frosty Weathers

Fleas are called winter pests because they cannot withstand freezing temperatures, but they can still survive. This is because of their instinct to look for hosts by the time winter comes. So, if you’re asking if fleas die in winter, some of them are in homes, enjoying warm blood meals now and then. Although their population is not as big, it is enough to cause severe infestations by the time summer comes. So, don’t stop treating your pet and your surroundings during winter. You might not see much flea activity, but if you watch closely, they are present inside your premises. Ask for help from Columbia, SC exterminators when treating your home during winter. They will make sure the methods are safe even if residents are around. 

Calling A Professional

While DIY procedures are effective in controlling flea populations in your area, that is not as efficient to completely eradicate these pesky creatures. Without continuous treatment, there will always be another set of infestation, especially if you don’t know how to target them, and when to apply pest control methods. Experts recommend calling professionals such as Go-Forth Pest Control if you are in South Carolina. The experts will make sure that you don’t have to experience that kind of infestation again. Therefore, the professionals pride themselves in using safe and effective methods for pest extermination. This way, you can ensure a pest-free environment for your entire family.   

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