1. K-State home
  2. »DCM
  3. »K-State News
  4. »News
  5. »Veterinarian says don't flee from flea and tick prevention now that fall is here

K-State News

K-State News
Kansas State University
128 Dole Hall
1525 Mid-Campus Dr North
Manhattan, KS 66506


Veterinarian says don't flee from flea and tick prevention now that fall is here 

Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2021

Dog in leaves

Flea and tick prevention for dogs and cats is important year-round — even when temperatures start to cool, according to Kansas State University veterinarian Susan Nelson. 


MANHATTAN — Just because fall is here doesn't mean it's time to stop using flea and tick preventatives on pets, according to a Kansas State University veterinarian. 
"These wonderful 70-80 degree temperatures that we are enjoying after a hot summer are also ideal temperatures for fleas to thrive," said Susan Nelson, clinical professor at the K-State Veterinary Health Center in the College of Veterinary Medicine. 
Nelson said that over the hot summer months, fleas laid eggs, their larva hatched and now the immature fleas are emerging from their pupae as they sense the more moderate temperatures. 
"There are typically a large number of fleas in the environment this time of year," Nelson said, "and if you haven't been using any flea preventives up until now, it is possible your pet  and home  have already been infested." 
Many areas of the country see fleas year-round as wildlife and stray animals serve as a warm host for them. Nelson said that ground temperatures near the foundation of buildings also stay warmer long past the first few frosts, so fleas can survive there as well. 
Fleas aren't the only pests that can stick around in the fall. Nelson said ticks also can survive in the environment for much longer than people think and that some species even prefer to live within the walls of your home. 
"Fall is also the time when the nymphs of some species hatch out," Nelson said. "It can be quite disturbing to take a peaceful nature walk with your pooch, only to find that you and your dog come back covered with hundreds of tiny nymph ticks, the latter which many refer to as 'seed' ticks." 
Since both fleas and ticks are capable of transmitting many diseases to pet owners and their pets, some that can cause severe illness and even death, it is important to continue preventives year-round. 
"If you are already treating your pets year-round for these pests, keep up the good work," Nelson said. 
If your dog or cat is not already on a flea and tick preventative, Nelson said it might take a little longer to rid them from your house and yard. She also said it is important all pets in the household be treated for fleas and ticks, even if they do not go outdoors. She said pets who stay inside and who are not treated are often a source of a persistent infestation and a reason your efforts may fail when trying to rid them from your environment. 
"The good news is there are fantastic products out there for both dogs and cats that can rapidly remove fleas and ticks from your pets and help rid them from your environment more quickly than in the past," Nelson said. "Be sure to ask your veterinarian about which product is best for your pet and your environment." 


Susan Nelson 


K-State Veterinary Health Center