How to Check for Fleas Indoors
As most homeowners probably know, flea infestation inside the house is among the worst problems that can ever happen. The moment your home becomes infested, getting rid of fleas can be quite difficult because they mostly stay dormant. It is too easy for them to hide in the crevices and cracks of furniture pieces, mattresses, and other similar furnishings.
The hard and tough body of fleas makes it hard to kill them with a mere squeeze. They can even thrive in most climatic conditions. But, this doesn’t mean that you can’t eliminate these pests from your home.
Thousands of flea eggs are laid in just a month and spread very fast. Thus, taking the necessary steps early on is a must. This is the reason why it is important to know how to check and find fleas indoors.
It All Starts with Inspecting Your Pet
Have you ever noticed your dog or cat frequently scratching himself? This could be one sign of a flea problem. Move your pet’s fur around to inspect his skin. If there are fleas, it is likely that you will see some of these on the skin of your pet, particularly near the base of the tail or around the neck.
Flea feces that appear as red or black specks can also be found on your pet’s skin. There can also be tiny scabs that form because of flea bites. Put a white pillowcase or piece of white paper on the floor or ground then let your cat or dog stand on it.
Use of fine-toothed flea combs and run it through your pet’s fur. Check the comb, pillowcase, or paper for specks that indicate flea dirt. You may also find fleas on the comb.
Use White Socks to Check for Fleas
If you often walk around your house wearing slippers or socks, this might be the perfect time for you to check for flea hitchhikers. The reason why bites from these insects are found in the ankle or lower leg area is that the flea from your carpet could have jumped up and bitten you while passing through its territory.
When you wear socks or slippers, you don’t just protect your feet and legs from unwanted bites for at the same time, it also gives a canvas where fleas can paint themselves on. Socks of white colour are perfect for this because the insects’ dark reddish brown colour can be seen easily.
If there are dark specks on your socks after you wander around the home for a while, you know that it is time for you to get rid of the fleas before it gets too late.
Look Over the Pet Bedding
Check the bedding or sleeping area of your pet for any signs of fleas. Tiny particles that resemble pepper and salt may be eggs of these insects. Move or lift the cushion or fabric to confirm the presence of fleas.
Fleas are black or brown and extremely small, with adult fleas measuring an average of 1/12 inch with no wings. They can move really fast and can jump, hop, or crawl around your pet’s bed.
Your pet’s bed is among the top places where you can spot fleas, aside from your pet itself because these insects often attack when your pet is eating or resting. Similar signs can also be observed on frequent hang out locations of your pet, like your bed sheets or on your couch.
Water and Heat Can Do the Trick
One more way to check if there are fleas indoors is to use heat to attract them. Here, you will need warm water, dishwashing detergent, a bowl, and a lamp. Fill warm water in the bowl and use the detergent to make it a bit soapy. Put the bowl on the floor then shine the lamp over it.
The light will attract the fleas and they will jump towards it, landing in the water instead. The soap will keep them so you got lots of evidence of the presence of fleas as they float in the bowl.
Mysterious Skin Bumps
Once your pet gets fleas, it won’t take long before they reproduce and look for other prospect hosts. Although your skin might not be as tempting as the furry body of your pet because you shower on a regular basis, it will still do. While they might not live on your skin just as how they do on your pet, they will always take a bite if given the chance.
Bites of fleas look like tiny red bumps, with itchiness ranging from mildly annoying to extremely irritating. These bumps often appear in clusters on your ankles, feet, and arms. When you notice them on your skin, it is possible that there are fleas in your couch, bed, or other places where you sleep often.
Examine Your Yard
If you check your pet and you found fleas, chances are they got it from the yard. Being aware of where fleas are living outside your house and locating the infested locations is an important step that will help you in targeting the treatments and preventing your pet from being infested again.
Fleas mostly thrive in shady and moist areas and thus, inspections must focus on these areas. Wear tall socks of white colour and a pair of shoes that you won’t mind if they get a little dirty.
Shuffle your feet slowly through those target areas and stop every now and then to shine your flashlight on your feet to check if there are live fleas stuck to your socks. The most common hot spot locations that you have to inspect include the following:
- On and under porches or decks
- Any area where your pet spends time resting or playing outdoors
- In places where there is a collection of leaf debris
- Around and under bushes and trees
Fleas can cause lots of trouble inside your home not just to your pet but also to you and your whole family. Aside from the mess they create that you have to clean up all the time, they can also cause illnesses and other physical conditions. You can spot fleas easily indoors if you know where to look and what to look for. Make sure you watch out for fleas and take the necessary action for you, your family, and your pets to stay safe and healthy.