How to Test for Fleas in Your House? Everything You Need to Know

It is common for pets to encounter fleas anywhere and come home with a coat full of them. Flea infestations worsen with time and can quickly spread to other pets. So it’s essential to test and eliminate the fleas as early as possible. Sometimes, a house can be infested with fleas (e.g., a previous owner whose pets brought fleas indoors). You can detect fleas in pets by their itching behavior and in your house by inspecting fleas and their droppings and eggs.

Fleas are tiny pests that live off the blood of their hosts. They often infest an animal, biting for blood, which irritates it. Household pets can pick up fleas outdoors or from other animals and bring them into the house. There are three main places to inspect if you suspect fleas in your pet: your home, your belongings, and the pet itself. By learning where fleas live and finding areas of infestation, you can ensure your treatment applications are concentrated in the proper places.

What Equipment is Required to Test for Fleas in Your House?

Flea Comb

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Steps to Test for Fleas in Your House

Observe signs of itching

Flea bites are irritating to animals, which causes pets to scratch the locations in which fleas are biting them. If you notice your pet itching or biting at its fur frequently, it is a sign that fleas have bitten them. It is natural for pets to scratch themselves occasionally under normal circumstances. Animals with fleas, though, will frequently scratch for long periods.

Does your dog have reddened skin and patchy hair?

Check your dog’s skin and hair if you’ve noticed him scratching constantly. The skin of pets infested with fleas is often reddened and bulged. Many animals with fleas itch and bite at themselves so forcefully that they pull out small patches of hair. On animals with heavy coats, you’ll need to part the hairs manually so you can see down to their skin.

Ensure to wash your hands immediately after you part the dog’s fur.

Examine the pet and his bed for fleas

If your pet has red, bumpy patches of skin or missing hair clumps, look for the fleas themselves. To accomplish this effectively, roll your pet over onto his back. Then check the pet’s head, neck, armpit, hindquarters, and groin areas where the pet’s coat will be thinner. Wear a pair of gloves (latex gloves) when you inspect your pet and handle their fur. Fleas can move from dogs to humans, so take precautions to ensure this doesn’t happen.

Besides your dog’s fur, check his bed and the places he frequently inhabits in your home for fleas- where he sleeps, sits on the couches, chairs, or your bed. Flea eggs are tiny and white that can hardly be seen on light-colored carpets and rugs. Use a magnifying glass to spot them correctly.

Check your dog’s gums

Suppose you doubt that your pet is infected with a flea bite. In that case, check his gums primarily. This is because fleas feed on your dog’s blood, and they, as a result, suffer from anemia. Anemia is a condition where your pet’s red blood cells count drops and affect his body function. 

Hence, if your dog has pale gums and is exhausted, it can be a severe flea infection. Kindly visit your vet immediately.

Spot fleas when you see them

Fleas are tiny and may range from 1⁄8 inch (0.32 cm) to 1⁄16 inch (0.16 cm), making them often hard to spot. Their bodies have six legs and are typically black or dark brown. Flea bodies are shaped approximately like avocados and have a scaly appearance. Fleas are good jumpers, and they can leap fast and high.

Use a flea comb

A flea comb’s close-set teeth are specifically designed to trap fleas. If you notice many tiny, black, or brown dots in the comb’s teeth after running it through your pet’s coat, it’s a sure indication that your pet is infested with fleas. When combing your pet, ensure to comb deep enough to catch any fleas hiding close to the pet’s skin. You can purchase a flea comb at a pet-supply store, at your veterinarian’s place, or in the pet section of a supermarket.

Wear white cotton socks

Wear white cotton socks and walk for at least 10 minutes by pulling the socks as high up on your calves as possible. Fleas will leap out onto the socks to catch a ride. After you are done, take the socks off and inspect them for fleas. Take an extra lap or two through door mats or carpeted areas where fleas are likely to inhabit. Shuffle your feet across carpets and rugs to build up friction; the warmth will draw the fleas out.

Inspect your home for “flea dirt” 

Flea dirt is the common name used to define fleas’ small, visible droppings, which look like tiny bits of dirt. You’ll most likely observe clusters of flea dirt on the floor of your house or in rugs and carpets. To confirm that the marks are flea dirt, rub a damp paper towel over them. Flea dirt will leave reddish streaks behind. A clump of flea dirt often looks like a pile of fine-ground black pepper.

Look for flea eggs in carpeting

Carpets and rugs are often safe shelters for fleas and places where fleas can lay their eggs in relative safety. To test carpets for flea eggs, put on a pair of light-colored plastic or latex gloves and run your fingers through the rug’s fibers. Flea eggs are tiny and are white and oval-shaped. You may also need a magnifying glass to look for flea eggs on the carpet and on your hands.

Check for flea bites near your ankles and knees

You may be a victim of flea bites if you often walk barefoot around your house. Fleas seldom bite humans above the knee, but their bites are itchy and cause tiny red bumps. A flea bite differs from a mosquito or spider bite due to its appearance. Unlike mosquito bites, flea bites cause minimal swelling.

Home Remedies: How to Test for Fleas in Your House?

Grow Flea Repelling Plants

One of the best home remedies for fleas is to have certain plants, like Chrysanthemums, Penny Royal, Lavender, Spearmint, etc., that keep fleas away. These plants contain specific oils, compounds, and chemicals that fleas hate. So you can place any of these plants inside your house to control fleas.

Flashlights can help

After you’ve tried the home remedies for fleas, use a flashlight to detect fleas in your surroundings. Using a flashlight, you’ll have the possibility to locate fleas quickly.

Use baking soda before vacuuming

If you’re struggling to get rid of fleas, know that one of the most effective fleas control home remedies is vacuuming. This helps eliminate fleas by removing them from your carpets and furniture fiber. However, there is a way to increase this effectiveness by using baking soda!

For this flea home remedy to work, lay down baking soda along your carpets and furniture, take a stiff brush and rub it into the fabric. After that, vacuum thoroughly and empty the contents of the vacuum into a bag. Now take this bag outside and place it in a trash can.

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Salt is another alternative

Like baking soda, salt is an excellent natural flea home remedy when accompanied by vacuuming. In addition, salt acts as a dehydration agent, helping to get rid of adult fleas.

To treat fleas with this natural remedy, take some salt (finely ground works best) and sprinkle it all over your carpets in every room. Leave the salt to rest for 1-2 days, then vacuum your home, emptying the contents in an outside trash can.

Lemon spray 

You can use lemon in many ways around the house, but aside from being an excellent way to treat wasp stings, it’s also a terrific natural home remedy for fleas.

Treatment using this natural remedy to eliminate fleas involves making a citrus spray on infected furniture. To make this flea spray, slice a lemon thinly, add a pint of water, and bring it to a boil. Pour the citrus solution into a spray bottle after letting it sit overnight. The next day, take the citrus solution and spray it on the infested areas in your home – sofas, pet bedding, chairs, etc. Do not soak; only dampen.

Final Thoughts

Getting rid of fleas in your house isn’t easy. It’s time-consuming and not always 100 percent effective. Even if you do everything right, you’ll probably have to keep killing fleas for 2-3 weeks. However, this is the same in every house with pets. So follow the easy home remedies mentioned in this post and get rid of them quickly.

Videos: How to Test for Fleas in Your House? 

How to Inspect Your Home for Fleas (4 Easy Steps)

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