Q: When I went to my veterinarian to pick up flea and tick preventative for the summer she told me I should be using preventatives all year long. Do I really need to do this all year round?
A: As New Jersey residents we are all aware that fleas and ticks are abundant in the environment during the warm weather. Here are some fun facts from the Companion Animal Parasite Council: fleas can live outdoors in temperatures as low as 33.8 degrees F. for up to 5 days, and flea eggs and immature stages can live year round in protected environments such as crawl spaces and under porches. The flea cycle can continue year round on unprotected pets in our homes as well.
The CAPC does recommend year round, lifelong prevention of fleas and ticks. Fleas cause many pets significant discomfort, and both fleas and ticks can transmit diseases. In our area, temperature fluctuations even during the coldest months can make it hard to determine exactly when to start and stop using flea and tick control products, and guessing wrong can allow an infestation to occur. So if the goal is to try to keep all fleas and ticks off of your pet (and out of your house!) at all times, then year round prevention is best.