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What month do fleas start coming out?

What month do fleas start coming out?

As the weather gets warmer and Summer begins peeking around the corner, many people like to get outside and bring their furry friends along with them. However, some not-so-friendly foes, otherwise known as fleas and ticks, tend to have the same idea. The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) wants to remind you of the importance of keeping your pet safe from fleas and ticks during the warmer months with these helpful tips!


Fleas are the most common external parasite for our four-legged friends. They are wingless insects that feed on blood, can jump up to two feet high and are persistent in the environment. They can live for as few as 13 days or as long as 12 months, and during their lifespan they can produce millions of offspring.

Symptoms of fleas, such as excessive scratching and hair loss, are similar between dogs and cats, but it is important to know what to look out for as fleas can cause health complications, like anemia.

Consult your veterinarian if you suspect your pet has fleas. Once your veterinarian confirms the diagnosis, a treatment plan may include:

  • Topical or oral treatment or the use of shampoos, sprays and powders on the pet.
  • Thorough cleaning of your house, including rugs, bedding and upholstery. Severe cases may require using a spray or a fogger, which requires temporary evacuation of the home.
  • Lawn treatments may also be needed if your pet keeps getting re-infected ever time they go outside.

*It is very important not to use products on your cat that are intended for dogs.

Finding the right flea treatment product can be difficult as they come in all different forms with a variety of side effects. For flea prevention, there are many products available, both prescription and over-the-counter. You could also try using a flea comb on your pet and washing their bedding once a week. Keeping the outside of your house free from organic debris like rake clippings and leaves could also help prevent fleas since they like to hide in dark, moist and shady areas.

Use this list and consult with your veterinarian to pick the best options for flea protection for your pet.


Ticks are parasites that feed on blood and can plague our dogs and cats. Though their presence may not be noticeable, ticks can transmit many diseases through their bite.

Ticks tend to be most active in late spring and summer, but species and disease transmission can vary based on where you live. They can be found living in tall brush or grass where they can attach themselves to dogs and outdoor cats and are more prominent in warm climates and certain wooded areas of the Northeast. Ticks are often the size of a pinhead before they bite and prefer to attach close to the head, neck, ears and feet but can be found anywhere on your pet’s body. They can also transfer from pets coming into the household from outdoors.

While these parasites don’t often cause obvious discomfort, you should regularly check your pet for ticks if you live in an area where they are common, especially if they spend a lot of time outdoors.

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Run your hands carefully over your pet every time they come inside and pay close attention to the inside and exterior of the ears, as well as their head and feet. Common signs of a tick include:

  • Blood Loss
  • Anemia
  • Tick paralysis
  • Skin irritation or infection
  • Lyme disease
  • Cytauxzoonosis

If you do find a tick on your pet, it is vital to take proper care when removing it as any contact with the tick’s blood can potentially transmit infection to your pet or even to you. Follow these step-by-step instructions for a prompt and necessary but calm removal.

Consider mowing your lawn regularly, removing tall weeds, and making it inhospitable to rodents by keeping garbage covered and inaccessible to prevent picks. Many of the same products that treat fleas also kill ticks and prevent against future infestation.

If you think your pet has fleas or ticks or is showing any adverse reactions after receiving their flea and tick product, contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888)426-4435 immediately.

Fleas and ticks

Fleas are small, parasitic insects that feed by sucking blood from mammals and birds. All fleas are uncomfortable for your furry friend. Animals can experience skin irritation, itching, redness, swelling and sometimes suffer an allergic reaction from the bites. Fleas feed on your animal’s blood, so it is possible for your furry friend to become anemic (low red blood cell count). This can become a very serious condition quickly, especially in young puppies or kittens or in cases of heavy flea burden. It is also possible for your companion animal to become infected with tapeworm if they ingest fleas carrying a larval tapeworm. Fleas can also carry diseases that you and your furry friend can both get.

Flea season can be year-round, especially when the winters are milder. Fleas can be picked up anywhere, including;dog parks, on trails, or anywhere an infected dog has been. Though adult fleas feed off the bodies of animals, they jump off to lay their eggs and can move easily from animal to animal. There are cat fleas and dog fleas, but they are not host specific, so they can be passed from one animal to another.

How to prevent

A good preventative program developed with your veterinarian is important for preventing fleas.

How to check for fleas

Using a flea comb, comb the hair against the fur to see the skin. Look for
“flea dirt” or spots of dried blood that look like black pepper. If you notice that there’s a lot of black peppery spots in the fur, that could be an indication of fleas. Check with your veterinarian first before using any flea products on your animal.

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How to remove fleas

There are several life stages of a flea (eggs, larvae, pupae, adult). It is important to treat both the animal as well as the environment, as these life stages can survive for many months without a host. Consult with your veterinarian for proper treatment of fleas for your animal. Clean your home environment regularly and thoroughly to destroy life stages.


What are ticks?

Ticks are members of the spider family and are strong biters. They are attracted to three things: body motion, body heat, and carbon dioxide. Ticks are ground-dwellers, so they jump from low shrubbery, or the ground to latch onto your furry friend. They are usually found on the body parts of your animal that sit closest to the ground: neck, head, around the ears, the front part of the chest, and the underside of the chest.

Ticks can transmit several diseases including Lyme disease, a serious illness which can be spread by the bite of infected blacklegged ticks. When a tick bites, disease transmission can start to happen within 24-48 hours. The longer the tick remains on the animal, the higher the risk of Lyme disease is.

How to prevent

There are ways to protect your animal from ticks. Speak with your veterinarian to learn about what products are best for your furry friends.

How to remove ticks

Removing ticks improperly can cause many problems. It is best to consult your veterinarian to ensure proper removal of the tick is done and to develop a preventative program for your companion animal. Some tick products kill ticks before they can infect your animal. There are also topical options, but if considering one of those products, it’s important to rely on your veterinarian to help you use it properly.

Clean your home environment regularly and thoroughly to destroy life stages. Don’t forget to consult with your veterinarian for safe flea preventatives for your other furry family members too, to help break the flea lifecycle.

When is Flea Season: Map by State

When is Flea Season: Map by State

Fleas and ticks are a few of the many pests that can wreak havoc on your pets and household. So when is flea & tick season and where are they the biggest threat to both you and your beloved dog or cat?

Explore this article to find out:

  • When fleas are the largest threat in your state
  • What are fleas and ticks and where do they live
  • How to prepare and protect your pet from unwanted diseases
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Are fleas and ticks seasonal

Fleas and ticks have impeccable fighting power. Even in colder months, they will do anything to stay alive. While these pesky parasites tend to increase as temperatures rise, they aren’t completely seasonal.

What time of year are fleas most active

Temperature and humidity play a big role in creating the perfect climate for fleas and ticks. The ideal temperature ranges from 75° to 85° F and around 90% humidity. Both thrive in warmer climates and fleas are particularly favorable to humid conditions. Fleas are most active in the early spring, summer, and fall. Adult fleas may have a hard time surviving harsh winters. But flea eggs, flea pupae, and larvae can survive all year. Common hiding spots include your attic, floorboards, and furniture. So when do you need to worry about protecting your pets? Here’s what you need to know about the seasonality of parasites in your area.

When is flea season

Flea season can last anywhere from 6-9 months to all year round in some states. Fleas love warm temperatures, so your season can start early in spring and last until September, October, or November.

What months do fleas and ticks thrive

  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September

Flea & tick season map by state

flea and tick season by state

When does flea & tick season start in each state

Year-roundAlabama, Arizona, California, Georgia, Florida, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, North Carolina, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas, Washington
MarchDelaware, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia
AprilColorado, Connecticut, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, Wisconsin
MayAlaska, North Dakota, Wyoming

When is flea & tick season over in each state

Year-roundAlabama, Arizona, California, Georgia, Florida, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, North Carolina, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas, Washington
NovemberIowa, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, Wyoming
DecemberArkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wyoming


Flea Season in California

California is a vast area that spans the entire west coast. This geography makes for a variety of climates and temperatures depending on where you live.

While most of California is warm and dry, there are some areas that are far more humid and wet. Mild temperatures make California the perfect home for fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, and more.


Flea and Tick Season in Florida

If you’ve ever visited Florida you know how humid it can be no matter the time of year. Florida is part of the humid subtropical climate zone which makes for long, hot summers and mild, wet winters. Because of this, fleas and ticks can be big issues for your pets year-round.

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New York

Flea and Tick Season in New York

New York is part of the humid continental climate zone. Bordered by several large bodies of water, New York has warm summers and cold winters. Large urban areas also make it easier for your dog to host fleas even as temperatures drop. These are ideal conditions for fleas to survive cold weather.

Large urban areas also make it easier for your dog to host fleas even as it gets colder. These are ideal conditions for fleas to survive cold weather.

Michigan and Ohio

Tick and Flea Season in Michigan and Ohio

Unlike other midwestern states, Michigan and Ohio get hit a little harder by pests. This is due to large bodies of water and tall grasses nearby. Both states are part of the humid continental zones and experience mild to hot summers with rain all year.


Flea and Tick in Pennsylvania

Like much of the northeastern United States, Pennsylvania falls in the humid continental climate zone. Similar to New York, this area suffers from hot, wet summers and tons of rain. Mild, damp conditions are great for fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes..


Tick and Flea Season in Texas

Texas’ size ensures there are several climate zones represented throughout. Hot semi-arid climates are prevalent along the border of Mexico. And in the eastern part of the state, you might experience humid subtropical climates. Either way fleas and ticks are a year-round threat to your pets.

What are ticks and where to find them

There are over 200 types of ticks in the United States. Ticks transmit diseases (like Lyme disease) when they feed on the blood of animals like dogs, cats, and rodents. Most species of ticks live east of the Rocky Mountains.

Common types of ticks in the United States

Tick speciesTick-borne diseases
American dog tickEhrlichiosis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Tularemia
Blacklegged tickLyme disease, Babesiosis, Anaplasmosis
Brown dog tickRocky Mountain spotted fever
Lone star tickEhrlichiosis

common types of ticks

But, even if you live on the west coast you aren’t entirely out of the woods. Ticks can be an even bigger problem if you live in more rural areas (i.e. tick-infested regions). Hiking in tall grass and wooded areas are other ways you can encounter ticks.

What are fleas and where to find them

Finding fleas on dogs or cats isn’t fun. They are easy to pick up from places like the dog park or kennel. And, they can become an even bigger issue if they remain active in your home.

Common types of fleas in the United States

Flea speciesFlea-borne illnesses
Cat fleasCat scratch disease (CSD), Murine typhus
Dog fleasTapeworm
Ground squirrel fleaBubonic plague
Oriental rat fleasBubonic plague, Murine typhus

types of fleas

Fleas are extremely common in indoor or outdoor cats and dogs, and they live all over the world. Fleas tend to find an animal host (like your pets) to feed on and reproduce. Their itchy bites can cause hair loss, bacterial infection, and disease.

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How to prepare your pet for fleas and ticks

By now you know that these disease-ridden parasites are a nuisance every year. But do dogs need flea and tick prevention in the winter? What about cats? How can your veterinarian help you and your pet?

No matter where you live, it’s best to use preventive medication to avoid tick bites or an active flea infestation. Even in the winter months, continuous treatments can be helpful for year-round flea prevention for your pet. The best strategy is to at least start in your state’s peak month.

Here are some other ways you can prepare for the warmer months ahead.

Learn where to check your pet for pests

There are common areas where parasites like to nest on your pet. Know the signs of fleas and where to look for ticks.

Understand how to remove ticks on dogs

There are lots of myths about tick removal. Be sure you know the right way to remove them from your pet and what tools you need (like a flea comb).

Know how to treat flea eggs and fleas found on pets

Just like tick removal, there’s a lot of misinformation about getting rid of a flea infestation. Do your research and make sure you’re taking care of every life stage on your dog or cat.

Clean and safeguard your house

Infestations don’t stop at your pet. They can also infest your home. In the spring and summer, keep the grass short to discourage bugs in your yard. Use a household spray with an insect growth regulator (IGR) to protect against future flea infestations.

Consult with your veterinarian

Not every dog or cat responds the same to preventative medication. Check with your vet if you’re unsure of the right flea treatment for your pet.

Monitor your pet’s health

Keep up with your pet’s vaccination schedule and nutrition. If your dog or cat exhibits new or odd behavior, contact your vet for a check-up. They can assess their diet and overall health to determine if a supplement is right for them.

Protect your pet year-round

The right preventative flea and tick treatment will kill ticks and fleas. This includes all life cycle stages (eggs, larvae, and adults).

Protect your pet this spring with a monthly flea preventative.

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