What Is a Flea Comb?

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  • Written By: Alicia Sparks
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 09 October 2019
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A flea comb is a tool designed to remove fleas from pets. Generally, flea combs are designed for dogs and cats, but owners of other furry pets, such as ferrets or guinea pigs, also can use flea combs. Pet owners can use flea combs by themselves or in addition to other flea removal products. Once they master using them, many pet owners decide to regularly use flea combs to help keep their pets’ coats free of fleas. Flea combs are generally affordable and available at a wide variety of retail locations.

Flea combs are similar to human combs, except they’re much smaller and their teeth, or prongs, are positioned closer together. This design is to ensure the combs pick up the fleas. When the pet owner combs the flea comb through his pet's fur, it picks up fleas, loose hair, and any other debris hidden in the coat.

Some people use flea combs as part of an overall process for getting rid of fleas. Others use them as the sole tool for flea removal. For example, a pet owner can treat his pet for fleas using a special shampoo, powder, or medication, and then remove any remaining fleas using a flea comb. On the other hand, a pet owner might not want to use anything but a comb. Regardless of the initial method, flea combs are effective tools in maintaining a flea-free pet.


Generally, using a flea comb is a simple process. Depending on the pet’s demeanor and the owner’s experience, however, it might take some practice. Once the owner fills a bowl with water and liquid dish detergent to kill the trapped fleas, he can begin combing his pet. He should begin at the pet’s head and work his way back with firm strokes to remove fleas and loose hair, making sure to comb the pet’s belly, too. Each time the comb becomes full of hair, and especially once the owner sees fleas in the comb, he can then rinse the comb in the bowl of water.

A pet owner can purchase a flea comb at most online and in-person pet shops, pet supply stores, and even grocery stores and larger supermarkets. Most flea combs are relatively inexpensive, though the price can vary depending on the brand, size, and quality. When choosing a flea comb, the owner should first search for combs designed for his kind of pet. He can then look for a comb small or large enough to accommodate his pet’s size and fur type. Conveniently, some combs are designed for multiple kinds of pets, which means the owner of a cat and dog can save time and money by purchasing just one comb.


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