Learn how to detect fleas with these 6 flea finding tips and avoid a flea infestation as well as your pet's life becoming one big itch!
1. Check your pet regularly
Fleas are small, wingless insects with six legs. Their hind legs are long and powerful making them very proficient at jumping. They are usually dark, reddish brown in color and less than 1/8 of an inch long. Be sure to regularly check your pet for any signs of fleas by parting the fur and searching all over your pets body. It is a great habit to get into and can allow you to spot flea problems and also other threats such as ticks. Focus especially on areas such as the belly, neck and base of the tail as these are favorite spots for fleas to live on your pet.
2. Comb them out
If you suspect your pet may have fleas try using a flea comb to help pick up fleas and eggs that are on your pet. The flea comb is a very fine-toothed comb that captures fleas and flea dirt in its teeth when used to comb the coat of a dog or cat. Using a fine toothed comb will trap the fleas making them caught in the comb with no escape. It’s a good idea to have a bowl of warm water next to you allowing the flea to be put in the water and killed immediately when you find one.
3. Keep an eye on the itch
Take note if you start to see your pet scratching constantly and acting agitated. Your pet may also start biting themselves especially on their side, paws and tail. This behavior suggests that fleas might be crawling around and biting your pet causing them complete discomfort.
4. Flea bites on your pet
Check your pet's skin for signs of bites that they have received from having fleas. Flea bites can be recognized as little red bumps or even scabs that are located all over the body of your beloved pet. Some pet's skin may have worse reactions than others depending on different skin types and allergies.
5. Flea bites on your skin
Fleas can also live off human blood if they need to. Often if a flea infestation is quite extreme fleas will easily bite humans as well as pet's making life very uncomfortable for everyone. If you notice itchy little red dots on your skin they might be flea bites which mean it is a high possibility your pet has brought fleas into your home.
6. Spot the specs
Black specs on your pet's coat are a dead giveaway that they have fleas. The black specs are actually flea droppings that are simply digested blood. The specs may also be seen in areas where your pet sleeps and plays during the day. Check if they are flea droppings for certain by placing them onto a wet paper towel to see if they turn a brown, reddish color.
What do I do next?
After you perform the detection methods and find that your pet does in fact have fleas, what should you do next?
- Take action immediately, the longer you leave it the worse the problem will develop.
- Treat your pet using a recommended flea treatment such as one of the better monthly ‘spot on’ type products such as Bravecto Spot On, Revolution, Revolution Plus and Advantix.
- There are also chew options available for treatment of fleas and ticks, including Bravecto Chewables, Simparica, Nexgard Chews, Simparica Trio and Nexgard Spectra.
- Wash all of your pet's bedding and vacuum carpets, couches and areas that your pet spends time.
- Continue to treat your pet each month to prevent the flea problem from starting all over again.