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Please be sure to read the product label of any insecticide you choose to use to get information on the personal protective safety gear you will need. In most situations, it is recommended that you wear long pants, a long sleeved shirt, closed toe shoes with socks, chemical resistant gloves, and goggles. In areas where ventilation is poor, a manufacturer may recommend you wear a mask or a respirator. We have put together two different safety kits that will make selecting the correct safety gear easier for you.

How to Tell If You Have Fleas

Flea Inspection Guide

By DoMyOwn staff

Learn Where Fleas Live & Hide

If you suspect you may be dealing with fleas, there are three main places you need to inspect to look for a flea infestation, on pets, in your home and outdoor areas where pets may spend time. By learning where fleas live and locating the areas of infestation you will be able to make sure your treatment applications are concentrated in the correct areas.
Step 1

Inspect Your Pets

Use Flea Combs to Check For Fleas On Dogs & Cats
If you start to notice that your pet is scratching frequently, losing hair, is more restless than usual or has started shaking his or her head, we recommend inspecting your pet for fleas. Adult fleas and flea feces can be found on infested animals. Fleas can be found around the neck area, groin area, around leg folds and around the base of the tail.

Comb through your pet's hair slowly. After each stroke, inspect the comb for live fleas and flea dirt. Any live fleas can be placed in a bowl of soapy water. If you are not sure if any dirt found in your comb is actually from fleas, you can put the dirt in the soapy water and if it turns red, this is a tell-tale sign that it is flea dirt.

Tools Needed:
  • Flea comb
  • Bowl of soapy water
Step 2

Inspect Your Home

How To Tell If You Have Fleas In Your House
If you have pets that live in your home you will likely encounter a flea infestation at some point. Learning how to inspect for fleas indoors can help you spot an infestation early on and cut down on the cost and length of a flea control program. Once you've determined that you have fleas indoors, we'll show you how to get rid of fleas in the house.

  • Inspect carpets and rugs. Wearing a pair of white socks, slowly shuffle your feet over the carpet or rug. After several seconds, stop and use your flashlight to look for live fleas.(any live fleas can be tossed into bowl of soapy water)
  • Check your pet's crate and bedding. Look closely at bedding and inside crate for live fleas and flea dirt. Flea dirt looks like coffee grounds. If you are not sure the dirt you found is flea dirt, you can place it in water. If it turns red, this is a sign this is flea dirt.
  • Check upholstered furniture and other places your pets spends time resting or grooming for flea evidence.
Tools needed:
  • Flashlight
  • White socks
  • Bowl of soapy water
Step 3

Inspect Your Yard

Check Areas Outside Where Fleas Live
Graphic showing where fleas live outside the house and around the yard
If you have found fleas on your pet there is a good chance they may have picked them up from your yard. Knowing where fleas live outside and finding the infested areas is the first step in learning how to get rid of fleas in the yard and will help you target your treatments and also prevent your pet from getting reinfested.

Fleas thrive in moist, shady areas and your inspections should be targeted to these areas. Put on the tall white socks and a pair of shoes you don't mind getting a little dirty. You will need to slowly shuffle your feet through the target areas while stopping to shine the flashlight on your socks to inspect for live fleas every few seconds. There are several hot spot areas you should inspect:

  • Any place your pet spends time playing or resting outdoors
  • Under and around trees and bushes
  • Under and on decks or porches
  • In areas where leaf debris has collected

Tools needed:
  • Flashlight
  • Tall white socks

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