If you see your pet scratching or licking his skin, you probably should inspect for fleas. You should first examine the pests hair to look for fleas. The examination must be done under sufficient light. To start with, you can part your pets hair and look at the skin for fleas. Fleas are tiny, (less than 1/8th inch), reddish brown and they move rapidly.
Manual examination of the skin and fur is laborious and not very successful. You can also buy a special fine toothed flea comb. The teeth are spaced so closely that a flea can't pass between them. Just run the comb through the pets hair and any fleas will be pulled away from the fur.
A better test is to look for "flea dirt." Flea dirt is a misnomer for flea feces, which consists mostly of dried coagulated blood. Rub the rump of the animal or between a cat's shoulders or any area where a pet scratches with moist while paper. On contact, the flea dirt will dissolve and turn red.
You can have a flea infestation even without having a pet, and you can have fleas that are in the home but not currently on the pet. To test for house fleas try this trick. Walk across the suspected area wearing white socks. Fleas are attracted to white and vibration and will jump on the socks. You can recognizing them as tiny black specs on the socks. If you find more than five fleas in a room you have a major infestation. Flea feces may also stick to the socks and appear as tiny brown or black specs.
You can also set up a nifty little flea trap and let it run overnight. At night, before you go to sleep, place a small lamp over a bowl of water mixed with a little detergent. Fleas will jump towards the light and fall in the water and drown. The next morning you should find them floating in the water.
If you find fleas or suspect you have fleas, confirm your discoer by calling a professional flea inspector. Dovid David, a Baltimore pest control specialist who directs %A # 1 Pest Control recommends that anyone who sees one or more fleas in the home or is told by the vet that he has fleas should call an exterminator who can advise him about what to do to get rid of the fleas.
This research has been supported by Entymologist Dovis Davis, a Baltimore Pest Control
specialist and Director of A 1 Pest Control Exterminator Bed Bugs
and Termite Control
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