The Signs of a Flea Infestation
Fleas are relatively common, bu that doesn’t mean that they’re not a supremely irritating discomfort to your pet that needs to be taken care of as soon as possible. That’s also because not only are fleas hurting your pet, but they can and will move off it right into your house as well. Fleas lay around 50 eggs at once, and there is no way all of them will stay embedded in your pet’s fur. Both dogs and cats love to roll around the floor, rub their bodies over everything they can, and cuddle up to their humans, which means that a large portion of the eggs laid by your pet’s fleas will end up in your carpet, couch, or even your clothes. That’s why you should pay special attention to the potential signs of fleas living on your pet and take it straight to the vet if you notice any of these signs:
- Actual flea sightings or flea droppings on your pet’s coat
- Flea dropping on pet bedding, carpets, etc.
- Your pet is exhibiting the classic signs of flea infestation
Check your pet’s coat for anything out of the ordinary.
In order to spot a flea, you have to be able to know what you’re looking for. Fleas are generally up to 2mm long and reddish-brown in color. They also have a very hard outer shell, so if you do find an insect looking like that on your pet and can’t crush it easily by squeezing it between your fingers, it’s most likely a flea. Fleas tend to live mostly on the warmer areas of the body, so when checking your pet, pay special attention to the armpit and genital areas. Flea droppings are also a telltale sign of flea infestation, so be on the lookout for small dark specks that look like ground pepper scattered through your pet’s fur.
Check other areas.
As mentioned earlier, flea feces are dark specks. If the infestation is far enough along, you may find actual fleas in any or all of the following places as well: your pet’s bed, the couch, car upholstery or the carpet/rug.
The different signs that should tell you your pet is infested.
The thing that everyone expects a pet with fleas to do is scratch a lot, and of course this is something that should concern you, especially if it is excessive and very frequent. However, if you’re not home most of the day you may not have the opportunity to see how your pet is behaving most of the time, especially since it may well be so excited to see you when you get home that it will ignore the itch for a while just to spend time with you. If that is the case, be on the lookout for other signs as well, such as dry, scaly or flaky skin. In more severe cases, the animal may scratch so hard and so often bits of its fur begin to fall out and reddened skin is visible underneath. If you notice any of these things, you should take your pet to the vet immediately.
As with any infestation, the sooner you take action against the fleas making your pet’s and eventually your life miserable, the better.