Finding flea dirt1st November 2017
If your dog or cat has never had fleas but you’ve noticed some itching, nibbling and scratching, it might be time to take a look, and one of the best ways to confirm the presence of fleas is to look for flea dirt.
What is flea dirt?
“Flea dirt” is actually flea faeces. It contains digested blood and can look and feel a bit like ground black pepper. It’s the evidence you need to confirm that fleas are on your pet or in your home.
Where do you find flea dirt?
Fleas are usually found on the back of your pet around the tail base and along the spine. It’s also common to find them around the neck, back of the ears, on the belly and in the groin. If you run your fingers or a fine flea comb through your pet’s coat you may even find some fleas.
Hold the flea dirt between some damp cotton wool you’ll be able to see a red stain from the digested blood colouring the cotton wool.
It’s also worth taking a good look around the home for evidence of fleas. Check your pet's bedding, the carpets and around the edges of the room. The flea dirt can literally get everywhere.
Are fleas a problem in the winter?
A common misconception is that flea control isn’t necessary in the autumn and winter. People presume that fleas die off during this period when the outside temperature drops. However the warmth created with central heating in our homes allows the flea life cycle to continue and provides the perfect environment for fleas to breed.
Even a modest flea infestation during winter can give rise to significant flea populations in the home.
The majority of fleas live in the home and not on your pet. Eggs and immature developing fleas, which account for 95 percent of total flea population, live in carpets, furniture or your pet's bedding. It’s for this reason that to effectively control fleas, you must control this reservoir of immature fleas as well as the adult fleas you see.
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