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What is Flea Dirt?

The Mystery Residue

By Matt Popkin. January 01, 2011 | See Comments

What is Flea Dirt?

Flea dirt is the tell-tell sign that your pet has fleas! Yikes! Here is everything you need to know about flea dirt and how to get rid of it.

Flea dirt is another way to tell if your pet has fleas. If you start noticing small black clumps all over their fur, it could mean that your beloved cat or dog is dealing with a flea infestation. Here’s everything you need to know about flea dirt and what it means for your pet. 

Flea Dirt Explained

Simply put, flea dirt is flea feces, which appears on your pet in small, dark clumps. It is mostly made up of the blood the flea has sucked out of your pet, and it is a clear sign that your pet has fleas!

Here’s a flea fact for you: Most flea dirt comes from female fleas, who over their lifetime will digest close to 15 times their body weight of your pet’s blood if you don’t use some sort of treatment.

Where to Find Flea Dirt

Flea dirt is usually easiest to see on the stomach of your pet. This is where their fur is the lightest color and the least thick. Flea dirt can also be found on your pet’s bedding so make sure to check there.

If you have doubts about whether or not what you’re seeing is flea dirt or just normal dirt, there’s an easy test. Grab one of the small black clumps with a wet paper towel. If that black clump really is flea dirt, it will turn a reddish color once it gets wet. 

How to Get Rid of Flea Dirt

In the short term, you can wash and shampoo your dog to clean off the flea dirt. However, the flea dirt will just return as long as your dog has fleas.

The only way to get rid of flea dirt completely is to get rid of all fleas in your home, yard, and on your pet. There are many treatment options available, ranging from spot on solutions, like PetArmor, Advantage II for Dogs,or Frontline for cats, to oral pills, like Capstar Flea Killer. Use one to keep your dog flea dirt free!

More Flea and Tick Control Advice

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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