How to Test to See If You Have Fleas

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The saliva in fleas can cause an allergic reaction in some people.
The saliva in fleas can cause an allergic reaction in some people. (Image: Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images)

There are around 2,500 types of fleas according to Purdue University. These parasites feed on the blood of animals and humans. Fleas are difficult to control, because they can lay up to 40 eggs a day. Many people and animals develop extreme itching from flea bites. If you have small red bites on your ankles and feet -- you need to know the cause -- so that you can properly treat the problem. The first thing you must do if you suspect fleas, is test your home and pet.

Comb your pet with a flea comb. If fleas are present, you will see black specks on the comb along with live fleas. When you are combing, look for fleas crawling on the pet and scabs, which are caused by flea bites.

Bathe your pet. Watch the water. If the water becomes red, that is a sign of fleas since fleas suck blood to survive. Also, look for black specks in the water which indicate dead fleas.

Walk around the house with white socks. The vibrations from your footsteps attract fleas, thus you will see black specks on the bottom of your socks.

Place a shallow bowl of water with a drop of dish detergent on the floor. Put a small lamp or a nightlight about five inches over the bowl. The light attracts fleas, so this is a good way to test for fleas in your home. The fleas will die when they fall into the water.

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