How to Dispose of Tapeworm Segments

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To prevent tapeworms, ensure your pet avoids other animal's feces when outside.
To prevent tapeworms, ensure your pet avoids other animal's feces when outside. (Image: Cat dog friendship image by ftelkov from Fotolia.com)

Tapeworms are common parasitic afflictions that cats and dogs alike can come down with. These white parasites can be found around dog feces, in a cat’s litter box or even on sofas and pet bedding. Tapeworms can look similar to little grains of rice or longer spaghetti-like segments. Disposing of tapeworm segments is one important step in treating them in your pet and around your home, and learning how to properly do so will help fight a tapeworm infestation.

Things You'll Need

  • Rubber gloves
  • Plastic bags
  • Trash bags
  • Antibacterial cleaning solution
  • Vacuum with brush attachment
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • Washer and dryer

Put on rubber gloves to protect yourself from germs and pick up the feces where you’ve found tapeworm segments. Place the feces in a plastic bag and seal the bag by tying it shut. Throw away the bag in a receptacle that is outside.

Clean out any litter boxes outdoors, wearing protective gloves. Cleaning the boxes outside will prevent spreading the eggs inside the home. Double-bag your used litter and throw into the trash. Wipe down the surfaces of your litter box with some antibacterial cleaner, add a new litter box bag and some new litter.

Vacuum around any areas where you see eggs, or where your pet frequents. Use the brush attachment on your vacuum to make sure you get any eggs or segments that might be in the fibers of carpeting or furniture. If your pet frequents most of your home, then do a mass vacuum of all floors and furniture in the home. Dispose of the vacuum bag outside when finished.

Wash any pet bedding (or your bedding if the pet sleeps with you) on your washer's highest heat setting. Add one cup of white vinegar with the wash to further help kill any eggs. Toss into the dryer, again on the highest heat setting possible. Before using washer again, run one empty load with hot water and vinegar.

Tips & Warnings

  • Along with disposing of segments, treat your pet with a de-worming medication to get rid of the parasites. You can get one from your veterinarian, or try an over-the-counter medication.
  • To prevent any future infestations, keep your pet flea free, as tapeworms often occur through ingestion of fleas. Administer a monthly flea treatment and a flea bath every month as well.
  • Keep your pet from ingesting feces, either their own or another animal's, as this can lead to tapeworm infestation also.

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