How to Tell if Your Pet Has Fleas

“My Dog Has Fleas” may be a quirky old tune, but there’s nothing funny about a flea infestation. Besides causing your poor pets to itch like crazy, flea can cause or trigger reactions and illnesses in animals and humans. These range from mild to serious and can include secondary infections, anemia, inflammation, tapeworms, bacterial illnesses, and cat scratch fever. To make matters worse, you may not even know your best friend’s fur has been invaded by these ectoparasites. As pest control providers since 1981, we at Advanced IPM have seen our fair share of cats and dogs with fleas. From behavioral changes to physical symptoms, we’ve learned that these cues will help you determine whether your pet needs flea control.

Watch for Symptoms

At 1/16″ to 1/8″ long, fleas can be hard to see. But excessive scratching, biting, licking and restlessness are often signs that these tiny parasites are feeding on your beloved pet. Head-shaking may indicate that your dog or cat is trying to shake off fleas from the ear area, a common infestation site. Along with hair loss, itchiness can also be an indicator of flea-allergy dermatitis. This condition can lead to infections, so effective flea control treatment is essential.

Examine Your Pet

Although fleas aren’t always easy to spot, there are ways to find them on your pet. Inspect the ears and surrounding areas for scabs, fleas, and flea dirt. Fleas have flat, dark-brown bodies that may be lighter-colored when they fill with blood. A flea comb is an excellent tool for drawing out these insects and their feces, or “dirt.” If you are not sure if you are seeing fleas, save a specimen in a sealed container or bag and send in a photo for our specialists to verify.

Inspect Your Home

Your pets’ fur isn’t the only place you can find fleas. The parasites also lurk in your home’s nooks and crannies. You’re likely to find them in pet bedding, around food and water bowls, and basically anywhere else your pets hang out. When pets stand up, they often shake their heads and bodies in an attempt to get rid of fleas. That’s why fleas can often be found in carpet, especially the high-pile variety. Pest control professionals provide flea control treatments to eliminate these parasites from your home.

Advanced IPM Can Help You and Your Pet

If you have a cat or dog with fleas, protect your two- and four-legged loved ones with help from Advanced IPM. We provide effective pest control in Northern California and Northern Nevada. Call or request a quote online today!