Does Cold Weather Kill Fleas? Curious Flea Life Cycle Facts Answered!

Christian Mba
Feb 29, 2024 By Christian Mba
Originally Published on Nov 18, 2021
Flea on skin.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 5.3 Min

A flea infestation is indeed bad news for a house, the worst part about it is how fast they spread so before you know, your entire house is infested with them.

Fleas have a very flexible life cycle, in most cases, adult fleas leave their flea eggs on the hair strands of their host. The flea larvae and pupa emerges out after the eggs are laid, and one reason why the flea population is so much is that the adult flea can lay almost 20 eggs per day.

Fleas belong to the arthropod class, the same class as that of spiders and mites. However, when it comes to fleas it's very difficult to treat them. They have four stages of life, where stage one consists of laying eggs on the host and the other three stages are about the larvae, pupa and then in the final stage, they become adult fleas. Almost anyone can get fleas if they come in contact with an infected person. Mostly pets such as cats and dogs are the reason why flea populations thrive, as they get it from an infected pet, and the cycle goes on. Fleas love warm weather, fleas thrive at room temperature, and that way they stay warm. The first course of action after seeing a flea should be to vacuum all your bedding, spray on the infested pet or area, although there is no way to have them go away quickly.

If you enjoy this article, why not also read about whether all spiders have eight legs or if worms have mouths here on Kidadl?

What temperature kills fleas instantly?

Fleas in winter don't do very well, this is also one of the best ways to kill fleas without spending much time. Freezing temperatures are a death sentence for them, they thrive the best in warm and humid seasons.

Fleas don't do very well when it comes to cold temperatures. In most cases, they cannot even emerge from their cocoons in the winter months. The fleas in the immature stages are even more vulnerable to the cold season. Fleas die at freezing temperature. When the temperature falls to 55.4 F (13 C) they don't survive, all the flea eggs or their larvae die at this level. Once the temperature goes even below and gets to freezing temperatures the adult flea will start dying. They cannot survive on their host in compromising conditions. So if fleas are exposed to temperatures such as 30.2 F (-1 C) they die within weeks or even less than weeks. Warm weather can result in doubling their lifespan whereas winter weather can result in killing them. However, some fleas in winter can survive the season if their host is warm-bodied. If you are giving your pet too many layers to protect them from the weather, you are protecting those adults fleas as well, so they might just survive winter if such things are done. If they are at least exposed for five days fleas will die and they won't be able to lay any eggs in that time either.

What do fleas do in winter?

Fleas can live in your house or hair year-round, so the winter season ultimately doesn't mean that the flea infestation will be gone. However, it can be easy to get rid of flea eggs and fleas in the winter using simple tools such as a flea comb.

Winter is all about survival when it comes to fleas, the season can kill them as the adult fleas die at freezing temperature whereas the flea eggs die at even lower temperatures. Hence, winter puts a stop to a lot of flea activity, they become less active, but if they live on a pet or warm bodies host they might survive winter. Fleas don't go away entirely, they just become more reserved and less active. Your warm house during winter is an absolute treat for adult fleas. In this way they are protected from the killer climate outside, so they survive. It will be easy to kill them if you expose them to super cold environments directly. The fleas can live year-round with some adjustments of course. The protected areas of our house provide good space for them and enough warmth as well. Fleas also live just fine in barns and sheds.

Flea in animal fur close up.

What time of day are fleas most active?

Fleas follow a time schedule as well, understanding their most active hours can help you get rid of them more easily as then you can look for them at your pet's skin or the scalp of an infected person.

A flea is never entirely inactive, they do other activities all around the day. The fleas produce feces and lay eggs throughout the day, there is no specific time for that. However, during the sunset hours, they are more active and they are not so much during the sunrise. During the dusk hours, they produce eggs and have increased movement.

How do fleas survive winter?

Fleas don't go away in winters, they can still live on your pet and their bedding or other animals. However, it does mean that they need to work the extra mile for their survival.

If directly exposed to harsh winter environments, the fleas die. The immature eggs who are still in the larvae stage die even more quickly. Winter or cold season altogether is very deadly for fleas. Although adult fleas can last longer the immature eggs or larvae, they still cannot live past the freezing weather if they don't act quickly. However, fleas don't hibernate, hence they cannot just spend the writers by sleeping. Nonetheless, fleas are opportunistic pests and they are very smart when it comes to survival, they do almost everything to ensure their survival, and that starts with finding a warm host. A warm-blooded host is perfect to spend the winters with. The fleas lay eggs and even though their life cycle is slowed down in winters the eggs still hatch in proper conditions. Hence, fleas can live in the winter season with a warm-blooded host or in the right conditions.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for whether cold weather kills fleas, then why not take a look at if canned tuna is cooked, or facts about Doberman tail docking.

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Written by Christian Mba

Bachelor of Science specializing in Computer Science

Christian Mba picture

Christian MbaBachelor of Science specializing in Computer Science

Christian Mba is an experienced blogger and content writer with over a decade of experience. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from Nigeria and has a keen interest in Python programming. Along with his writing and blogging expertise, he is also an SEO specialist with more than six years of experience. Chris, as he is commonly known, has a passion for music and enjoys playing the piano.

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