5 Best and Worst States for Fleas

Fleas occur throughout the world. The most common flea is the cat flea, Ctenocephalides felis, and is found throughout the United States. Although it’s called the cat flea, it isn’t restricted to cats.

Fleas, like us, have preferred places where they like to live. They like warm and humid conditions. Flea eggs and larvae optimally need about 50 percent humidity to survive. They also prefer temperatures between 75 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit, however, they can live in slightly cooler and warmer temperatures. Eggs and larvae freeze at 37 degrees Fahrenheit.

You can imagine that fleas are more likely to live in places where it’s moist and warm throughout the year. Thanks to data from a large veterinary hospital group, Banfield, we can see where most of the states are for both dogs and cats. They’re focused on the West Coast and Southeast.

Top 5 states for Dogs with Fleas

  1. Arkansas
  2. Florida
  3. South Carolina
  4. Alabama
  5. Oregon

Top 5 States for Cats with Fleas

  1. Oregon
  2. Washington
  3. Florida
  4. California
  5. Alabama

So, those are the most common, what about the least common? These are focused in the Semi-arid and Desert regions of the U.S. of the North, Midwest and Western states.

Bottom 5 States for Dogs with Fleas

  1. Utah
  2. Montana
  3. Nevada
  4. Arizona
  5. South Dakota

Bottom 5 States for Cats with Fleas

  1. Utah
  2. Colorado
  3. Nevada
  4. Montana
  5. South Dakota

What these states have in common is low moisture and low humidity as reported in 2010. They still have fleas, but not the reported cases of the more moist regions.

Often times, people report a bloom of fleas after rain and warm conditions. Those fleas will jump onto your pet and start making themselves at home in your house. In a house, temperature and humidity tend to be controlled and don’t fluctuate as much as the outdoors.

Fleas tend to stay on one pet but their eggs fall off your furkid into places such as carpets, furniture, and beds where pets normally sleep. Readers of this blog know that fleas can lay up to 50 eggs in 24 hours.

Eggs and larvae then can live in those places. The stage between the larva and the adult flea is the pupa. This stage is pretty resistant to treatments. As adults make up a tiny fraction of the population, it can take up to 8 to 12 weeks to find and address the flea infestation in your home.

This is why in some instances prevention alone isn’t enough. When the flea population becomes established in your home, they don’t have to worry about conditions such as temperature and humidity fluctuations that can affect the egg and larval life stages. This is when area treatments, vacuuming, cleaning and your treatments become critical at preventing flea infestations.

*States with no data include Alaska, Hawaii, North Dakota, Wyoming, West Virginia, Vermont, and Maine.

 

Links:

http://pets.webmd.com/dogs/flea-tick-map-tool/default.htm

http://www.stateofpethealth.com/latest-news/pet-health-articles/states-with-fleas-2012

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