What is Flea Dirt? (Is It Harmful & How To Get Rid Of It?!)

If you own a dog or a cat then chances are, you may have encountered flea dirt at some point in your journey with your beloved furry pet. You may have spotted it on your pet’s fur or the vet may have pointed it out.

>> Also read: Best Flea Killer Treatment (For Yard & Outdoor)

But what exactly is flea dirt? Is flea dirt harmful to your pet? How do you remove flea dirt from your pet’s fur if they do get them? Read on to find out.

What Exactly is Flea Dirt? Are Flea Dirt Harmful?

Flea dirt is actually a mixture of blood meal and faeces that fleas excrete as they feed on your pet’s blood. In other words, flea dirt is simply a waste material that fleas leave behind. As such, other than the fact that your pet has likely been bitten by fleas, flea dirt itself does not cause any harm to your pet.

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In fact, consider flea dirt a blessing as they allow you to spot the presence of fleas which could otherwise be difficult to spot due to their tiny bodies. When you do find flea dirt on your pet, do take it as a warning sign and start investigating and seek treatment.

How Does Flea Dirt Look?

Flea dirts are dark to black flecks or sometimes clumps of small material that are mostly found along your pet’s belly or rear end. Dogs are more prone to having flea dirt than cats as cats tend to groom their bodies excessively.

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Once flea dirt has been spotted on your pet, you have to assume that there are many fleas nearby. The presence of flea dirt means that the fleas would likely have spent some time on your pet’s fur and could even possibly have deposited eggs. Female fleas usually lay their eggs within two days of feasting.

>> Also read: Advantage Dog & Cat Flea Treatment Review

How To Remove Flea Dirt

The good news is that flea dirts are quite easy to remove. Here are the steps you can follow to remove flea dirt together with any flea that’s living in their fur. 

  • Give your pet a thorough bath. Use a flea and tick shampoo formulated for cats and dogs. Follow the instructions on the shampoo bottle and shampoo your pet.

>> Also read: Best Flea Shampoo For Dogs

  • Next, use a fine-toothed flea comb to go through your pet’s fur. Comb your pet’s coat of fur part by part starting from the head, working your way down the shoulders, body, legs, and finally the belly. Be diligent and check each body area for flea dirt or fleas. If your pet has long hair, use clips to part hair to ensure you’ve covered everything.
  • Once this is done, your pet should be pretty free from any fleas or flea dirt. You might need to repeat this process a few times to ensure that they are completely gone.

> Related: Best Flea Comb (for Cats & Dogs)

  • For maximum effectiveness and for prevention, consider applying flea and tick treatments after showering your pet. These will help kill and remaining fleas and deter fleas from coming back.  
  • Natural products like vinegar are popular natural treatments for fleas as it is safe, effective, and will relieve other symptoms like itching and irritation. But make sure to follow up with other pest control products as vinegar will only work for a short time.

Beyond cleaning your pet, also make effort to clean and disinfect their bedding, bed, toys, and eating area. Fleas may hide in cracks and crevices waiting to hitch a ride on your pet. Vacuum the area thoroughly as well.

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Consult a vet if the previous steps are unsuccessful. Your vet may advise a tougher flea shampoo formula or oral treatments to help increase the effectiveness.

Final Thoughts

On top of applying flea and tick treatments, also consider using flea collars. They are safe, reliable, and easy to use products that come in different sizes to prevent fleas from getting to your pet. 

>> Also read: Best Flea Collar For Cats

Flea dirt is preventable. Keep fleas away from your pets and you won’t need to deal flea dirt issues anymore.