How do I Identify a Flea Infestation?

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  • Written By: Anna T.
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 19 November 2019
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You can most likely identify a flea infestation both in your home and on your pets if you know what signs to look for. If your pet has fleas, it will probably be scratching itself much more than usual. In addition to scratching, you might be able to see the fleas on your pet's coat if you move the fur aside and notice any tiny black specks moving around on the surface of the skin. It will likely be hard to miss a flea infestation in your home because you will probably notice that the fleas have bitten you. If fleas are inside your home, you'll probably feel painful bites on your legs and ankles that might leave behind a small, flat, red mark on the bitten area.

Fleas are very small insects that are dark brown to black in color. In addition to being tiny, fleas are capable of jumping extremely high. When fleas jump, they do it so quickly that it might look as though they disappeared into thin air. Fleas thrive on blood and require it in order to live. Most fleas get the blood they need from animals living outside, but people with pets that live both indoors and outdoors are occasionally at risk of flea infestation in their homes. If fleas are introduced into a person's house, they will feed on the blood of whatever humans or animals they are able to come in contact with inside the home.


If you want to get rid of fleas on your pets, you can usually do this by purchasing flea medication from your local vet's office. You can also buy flea medicine at most retail stores that sell pet supplies, but the products offered by your vet may be more powerful and effective. Most flea medicines for pets are designed to be applied to the nape of the neck. Once applied, the medicine enters the bloodstream so that any future flea bites will result in the death of the flea. Flea bites are not typically harmful for either animals or humans, but very young animals occasionally die from flea anemia when flea infestations are severe.

You will probably have the best chance at eliminating a flea infestation in either your home or on your pets if you catch it early. Fleas multiply rapidly, and it normally only takes a few days for a small flea infestation to become widespread. There are over-the-counter products available that may effectively eliminate fleas in your home, but the services of an exterminator might be necessary if these products are ineffective. You will probably also continue to have a flea problem in your home if your pets have fleas and are not given the appropriate medication to get rid of them.



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