Fleas. What an absolute pain in the neck. These little parasites live everywhere and cause so many problems. If you have ever lived through a flea infestation or had an animal with a bad case of fleas, you probably get a little jittery every time Fido starts scratching. Knowing when the nasty little insects are biting in your area is half the battle. This Flea Season Map will help shed some light when fleas and ticks are most active.
Why worry about Fleas?
Like I said before, fleas are parasites. It isn’t bad enough that they suck the blood from your dogs and cats causing them to itch like crazy. No. They also have to spread horrible diseases.
Fleas can do a number on the health of our animal. From minor hotspots, bare bloody patches on your dog’s skin from itching, to anemia, the lack of red blood cells, to allergies to their saliva. These are mild. Bartonella is a flea spread disease that could cause severe symptoms in your pet such as nosebleeds, lameness, and brain swelling. What’s worse, Bartonella can be spread directly from your dog or cat to you or a member of your family.
Bartonella is also known as “Cat Scratch Disease”
That’s why it is so important to study this flea season map and determine when you are at risk and read up on the ways to prevent fleas from getting a foothold in the first place. Our Best Flea and Tick prevention for puppies article is a great place to start.
Flea Season Map
What Environments Do Fleas Thrive In?
Two conditions make up the perfect environment for fleas. Heat and humidity. Fleas love warm weather. You will notice on the flea season map that the fleas come out in the early spring in the northern states of the US. They can stick around until very late in the fall. It takes several days of below freezing temperatures to kill off the adult fleas that are still hanging around from the summer. Adult fleas do not like cold. The larvae and eggs can survive these frigid temperatures by going dormant and waiting until the temperatures are more hospitable.
But not too warm either. Fleas do not like super hot temperatures. If you want to kill a flea infestation in the house, wash your pet’s bedding on the hot cycle and dry it on the hot setting. Fleas want to stay in the 70 to 85 degree Fahrenheit range.
The second factor in the perfect flea environment is humidity. Fleas love places where the average humidity is around 70%.
Fleas need the humidity to advance their life cycle. Without it, eggs won’t hatch and their larvae won’t mature into adult fleas.
Where do Fleas Live Outside?
So, we’ve covered the heat and humidity aspect of a flea’s perfect environment, but where do fleas live outside?
When they are in their larval stages, Fleas like dark nooks and crannies where there isn’t much sunlight and the temperature stays relatively consistent. As adults, They spend their time looking for warm-blooded hosts to feed on, breed on and lay their eggs on.
Fleas do not like direct sunlight. You will find them mostly in crawl spaces or in shaded areas under bushes and shrubs.
If you want to eliminate the threat of fleas in your yard, open the area up to as much sunlight as possible.
What States are the Worst for Fleas?
Knowing what we know about the perfect environment for fleas, heat and humidity. and looking at the flea season map above, you can pretty much take a guess at the worst states for fleas. The southern states that border the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean are going to be pretty bad. Also, the northwest, which is a rainforest will have their fair share of fleas. The humidity coupled with the heat experienced in those states makes the perfect storm for fleas.
5 Worst States for Fleas
- South Carolina
Because of the moderate temperatures, It doesn’t get cold enough to kill off the adult fleas in these areas which make fleas a year-round problem.
Top 5 States with the Lowest Flea Population
On the opposite side of the spectrum are the states with the least amount of flea. These states will most probably be the dry, arid states. with temperatures that get too cold or too warm at some point in the year.
Top 5 States with the Least Amount of Fleas
- South Dakota
Do Fleas Live Year Round?
You can see from the flea season map that there areas of the country where fleas do live year round. The local climate is perfect for the fleas to thrive. High humidity and moderate temperatures make it so the flea cycle is never interrupted by extreme heat and cold.
What can You do to Protect Your Pet?
Prevention is a good first step when trying to stop anything. The best time to get a flu shot is befor you have the flu. The best time to buckle up in a car is before you are in an accident, and the best time to stop fleas is before they are on your beloved family pet.
Some Steps You Can Take to Prevent Fleas
- Scout your yard and areas where your dog or cat visit frequently. Is it a habitat for fleas. Try to reduce the amount of shade an area of the yard gets. If it is damp, see what you can do to dry it out, or make sure it floods occasionally. High humidity is just as bad as low humidity for fleas.
- Bathe your pet frequently. Grooming is an essential step in catching a problem when it is small and keeping it from turning into a big problem. Be careful not to bathe too much, or you can risk drying out your pet’s skin causing an even bigger problem.
- Vacuum the house regularly. Don’t forget to get the sofa and chairs and any area where Fido or Fluffy like to sleep regularly.
- Wash and dry pet bedding often. Use the high Heat setting to kill all the little pests.
- Use a preventative product to repel fleas and ticks. We list some of the Best Flea and Tick Prevention products in this Article.
The flea season map is a useful tool for determining when your area experiences the highest level of flea activity. Make sure you take notice of when the fleas and ticks are most active where you live and take the necessary steps to guard against them. Fleas and Ticks can be at minimum a horrible nuisance and a huge health risk at worst. An ounce of prevention could save your pet’s life.