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How to Use a Flea Comb

What to Do With the Flea Comb

By Matt Popkin. January 01, 2011 | See Comments

How to Use a Flea Comb

If your pet is constantly itching and scratching, take them out of their misery and get yourself a flea comb to help with immediate relief.

Your pet has been scratching like crazy, and you want to provide some immediate relief. That means it’s time to use a flea comb. While combing your pet won’t do as thorough a job as a spot on treatment or an oral pill when it comes to killing fleas, it can help your pet feel better quickly.

What You Need

First thing first! To comb your pet for fleas, you need a flea comb. There are several options out there, depending on what you are looking for. The Safari Double Row Flea Comb has not one, but two sets of metal teeth meant to pick up fleas when you use it to comb your pet. The JW Gripsoft Flea Comb has its metal teeth turned at a ninety degree angle away from its handle, which it claims will make the combing process more comfortable for your pet. The Millers Forge Vista Mini Flea Comb offers a more portable option. Its small frame and curved handle also make it easy to use for both children and parents.

Before you begin combing, you should fill a bowl or bucket with hot and soapy water. This will be used to kill the fleas you find on your pet. Make sure your water bucket is deep enough that a flea will not be able to jump out of it.

You need to pick a location for your combing. Many recommend that you do it outside to make sure any flea eggs you knock loose do not end up all over the floor of your home.

Now Begin Combing

Take the comb and run it through your pet’s fur. Start your combing at your pet’s ears and head and move towards their tail. Pay close attention to both the underside and the top of your pet’s neck and the area around their rump. These are all areas where fleas are known to hide out!

After a thorough combing of an area, stop and look at the comb’s teeth to see if there are any fleas on it. You then should pull the fleas off the comb into the soapy water. You also have the option of dunking the comb into your water bowl, but some have found this is a less effective way of cleaning fleas off the comb.

After you have combed your pet, wait for a few minutes for the fleas to move around and then comb again. Some pests that had been hiding in hard to reach areas like the legs may now have migrated to a more accessible part of your pet.

Clean Up

Dump your flea-infested water down the drain. If you combed inside your home, vacuum around the area to pick up any flea eggs that were knocked loose. If you combed outside, hose down the area to drown any fleas that may have escaped.

It is recommended you comb your dog up to once a day, depending on the level of their flea infestation. Remember, a spot on or oral treatment will provide more complete results. But in a pinch, a good flea comb can help make your pet feel better right away!

Products Mentioned

The Safari Double Row Flea Comb
The JW Gripsoft Flea Comb
The Millers Forge Vista Mini Flea Comb

More on Flea and Tick Control Advice

How to Get Rid of a Tick
Combining Flea Treatments: What You Need to Know
What if My Dog Eats a Flea or Tick?
Flea and Tick Season: When to Use What Treatment
Flea Treatment for Dogs with Sensitive Skin

This information is for informational purposes only and is not meant as a substitute for the professional advice of, or diagnosis or treatment by, your veterinarian. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian or other qualified professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard or delay seeking professional advice due to what you may have read on our website. 

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