Detection

Is your dog or cat scratching itself more than usual? Is it biting itself with its front teeth? Have you seen any fleas? Do the people who are in contact with the pets get itchy red bumps – especially at the ankles? Check for fleas in the pet.

Regular flea inspection. Look closely in the groin of the pet where fleas like to sit. Go through the fur by moving your hand against the direction of the hairs, so that the hairs separate, and you have a clear view of the skin. Look for black irregular pieces of dirt (flea droppings) in the fur. Also check the place where the pet sleeps.

Thorough flea inspection. Collect material from the skin and examine it under a microscope. The material can be obtained by combing and brushing the dog or cat or by vacuuming the fur with a handkerchief on the mouth piece of the vacuum cleaner. Look for adult fleas, flea larvae, eggs and excrement.

The flea excrement. Small, black particles that dissolve and turn red in water can be flea excrement. Flea excrement contains blood from the host animal. The blood can be determined by means of one of the test strips used for the detection of blood in urine. Shake a little dust from the pet’s fur or sleeping place into a glass of water. Dip the test strip in the water and read the results. Positive result for blood (hemoglobin) can be caused by several different things, but flea excrement is the most common cause. More importantly, a negative result almost certainly proves that the pet is not infested by fleas and that it has not been infested by fleas recently.

ِTraps can also be used for the detection of fleas in the home. However, the traps only attract adult fleas. Despite this, they are occasionally used to keep the flea infestation level down. Lighted candles in water dishes on the floor of houses have been used to trap fleas. The fleas are attracted by the warmth of the light and are then trapped on the surface of the water. During the middle Ages, people wore small patches of fur underneath their clothes. The fleas liked to crawl around in the fur. Occasionally, they shook the patch of fur vigorously, and the fleas fell off. Another personal flea trap was a hollow stick with holes in it. It was placed under clothing in warm places and the fleas crawled through the holes. Inside the hollow stick, there was another stick which was covered in honey. The fleas then stuck to the honey-covered stick.

Today, it is still o you can buy flea traps. It is basically a light source placed on the floor and the fleas jump onto a tray with adhesive paper. By examination of the adhesive paper, it is possible get an idea if there is a need for flea control, or if control of a flea control treatment has worked satisfactorily. Since only adult fleas are attracted to the trap, it is not as effective as the control methods, which work on all stages of fleas, but it may work as a supplement other control measures.