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Can you see fleas?

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Can you see fleas?

Post  smoochieface on 7/27/2010, 9:57 pm

I know it's a stupid question but if we had fleas, would we be able to see them if we looked for them? Karl, Shelly and I looked in all the couches and the dog beds and the dogs and we can't see any fleas. Shelly even turned the dogs beds upside down and shook them on the floor and we didn't even see flea dirt fall out. No one has had a single flea bite, including Logan who has juicy skin.

So am I nuts? Could we still have fleas if we can't see them? I'm wondering if my housekeeper just saw dirt and mistook them for fleas. Regardless, our carpet and couch are foul and definitely need to be cleaned, but if I can save myself the chore of sprinkling Borax over everything and a ton of vacuuming which I hate, I'd like to.

So, what say you? If you look high and low and can't find any fleas, could you still have fleas? Karl and Shelly think I'm nuts, which is entirely possible.

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Re: Can you see fleas?

Post  northernwitch on 7/27/2010, 10:06 pm

Yes, you can see them, but they are small and they hop around like little black seeds. I would think, however, that if you had fleas Logan would be covered in bites. The one and only time I had fleas in the house they ate Tucker alive.

Flea dirt when mixed with water turns reddish brown--since it's excreted blood.

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Re: Can you see fleas?

Post  Amanda on 7/27/2010, 10:13 pm

Sit still and watch your ankles for a bit (or put on some white socks). They're jumpy things but you can definitely see them. We've thankfully never had any flea issues but used to when I was a kid.

***********************
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Re: Can you see fleas?

Post  smoochieface on 7/28/2010, 12:55 am

Well, I'm going to pick up some Borax anyway just to be safe. Will take another look around tomorrow. Our housekeeper was here today and she vacuumed everything so maybe a bunch of them got sucked away and haven't come back yet. I would think that a housekeeper knows what a flea looks like. But she's only been with us for three weeks because our old housekeeper who was with us over 6 years decided to move back to Guadalajara because the economy is so bad in California. Now, if our old housekeeper had told me she saw a flea, we'd have exterminators here in an instant.

It's so confusing. Maybe the little buggers will be back by tomorrow. I'm totally aggravated and completely creeped out. I've even started to itch but Karl says it's all in my head.

Amanda, Logan sits around in white socks all the time and we haven't seen anything. I'm really scratching my head (no pun intended).

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Re: Can you see fleas?

Post  pugpillow on 7/28/2010, 6:44 am

Don't forget to treat the vacuum with Borax too. If they've been vacuumed, they can incubate in there.

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Re: Can you see fleas?

Post  Puglove2 on 7/28/2010, 7:23 am

you can see fleas. my yorkie, charlie, had fleas years ago and you could definitely see them. plus, he was itching all the time. and logan would probably have bites, too, like blanche said. i'm sure you don't have them, but it's worth treating the carpets if it's going to drive you insane thinking about them. good luck, kendie!

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RE: Can you see fleas?

Post  Sidrah on 6/2/2011, 12:34 am

Yes, they can definitely be seen and another sign is itching especially when you are seated on a couch or near carpet that is possibly infested with them. Also, fleas are visible as bouncy bugs on your pets’ coats and sofas.


Last edited by Sidrah on 6/2/2011, 12:38 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : was not in proper format)

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Re: Can you see fleas?

Post  lisamak on 6/6/2011, 4:52 pm

Sentry makes and all natural powder (you can get at Petco/Petsmart) that I used recently. We didn't have fleas but had a foster for 1 night that had 'flea poop' on her. So being OCD I treated *everything* with this powder. Safer than Borax around the animals (totally kid & pet-safe) and smells good. I use it now on the welcome rugs outside the house and right inside the door as its also effective against ticks so provides a nice barrier.

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Re: Can you see fleas?

Post  Sandra & The Gang on 10/21/2011, 2:56 pm

Yes, you can, but there's another little parasite with the same nasty habit of biting and causing itching, that is not so easy to spot.

If you go to the pugs.org web site and look under the Health section on the left, look for the topic: Cheyletiella.


This is the highly contagious and rapidly growing epidemic to be sweeping the country. Very few people are aware of it, and because it is not usually seen without a mircroscope, it is not treated. I'd be willing to say most of the allergy problems people think their Pugs have, are either this or related to the food they are feeding their Pugs.

Just sayin' I have been fighting this little creature on my Pugs since our first one back in 1994. It took me five years of having a rash on my chest and thinkin I was allergic to something before I knew about these bugs. You treat them like fleas, but they are as hardy as ticks, so hard to get rid of once your Pugs have them. It is so bad, most people will find they are re-infested after a trip to the grooming solon, or vet clinic, too!

FrontlinePlus works, but they will develop a resistance, so I would recommend asking your vet about using Revolution. It is also a Heartworm preventative. Anything that protects against Heartworm seems to work on the mites.

Good luck!


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Re: Can you see fleas?

Post  pugpillow on 10/21/2011, 10:27 pm

Very timely thread to be resurrected. My new foster boy, Murdoch was at the vet on Wednesday where she found a flea on his back. Yuck! I spent all day yesterday and most of today laundering everything, including all the dog beds (and there are a lot) and toys as well as bedding and rugs. I bathed all 4 dogs yesterday and didn't see any sign of another flea so hopefully we got it quickly and completely.

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Re: Can you see fleas?

Post  thminis on 10/21/2011, 11:47 pm

pugpillow wrote:Very timely thread to be resurrected. My new foster boy, Murdoch was at the vet on Wednesday where she found a flea on his back. Yuck! I spent all day yesterday and most of today laundering everything, including all the dog beds (and there are a lot) and toys as well as bedding and rugs. I bathed all 4 dogs yesterday and didn't see any sign of another flea so hopefully we got it quickly and completely.

As anti-chemicals that most of us are, I'd strongly recommend bombing the house (and leaving for a few hours). Fleas can jump crazy high, and by when you see them on the dog, they're commonly invading the environment (think human couches and beds, even if the dog doesn't go there). Keep up with monthly flea preventative in order to prevent re-infestation, and good luck with the nasty little parasites.

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Re: Can you see fleas?

Post  pugpillow on 10/22/2011, 7:09 am

Thanks. Fortunately there is virtually no fabric on the main floor - no broadloom, leather furniture and the window treatments are mostly swags which are very high. I have washed everything fabric except the table mats and sprayed quite a lot of the kitchen where the dog beds were and where the dogs mostly hang out. I even sprayed the foam parts of the dog beds and our Big Bed mattress. (DH and I went out and bought a new mattres last night - not because of fleas, but because it was well overdue and on sale).

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Re: Can you see fleas?

Post  northernwitch on 10/23/2011, 5:07 pm

Sandra & The Gang wrote:Yes, you can, but there's another little parasite with the same nasty habit of biting and causing itching, that is not so easy to spot.

If you go to the pugs.org web site and look under the Health section on the left, look for the topic: Cheyletiella.


This is the highly contagious and rapidly growing epidemic to be sweeping the country. Very few people are aware of it, and because it is not usually seen without a mircroscope, it is not treated. I'd be willing to say most of the allergy problems people think their Pugs have, are either this or related to the food they are feeding their Pugs.

Just sayin' I have been fighting this little creature on my Pugs since our first one back in 1994. It took me five years of having a rash on my chest and thinkin I was allergic to something before I knew about these bugs. You treat them like fleas, but they are as hardy as ticks, so hard to get rid of once your Pugs have them. It is so bad, most people will find they are re-infested after a trip to the grooming solon, or vet clinic, too!

FrontlinePlus works, but they will develop a resistance, so I would recommend asking your vet about using Revolution. It is also a Heartworm preventative. Anything that protects against Heartworm seems to work on the mites.

Good luck!

It's also called Walking Dandruff. I've never had a case of it or even seen one and I've had hundreds of dogs through my house--but I do use Revolution with my dogs so that may account for it.

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