Cellophane tape method

Clear tape containing lice applied to a microscopic slide

Cellophane or scotch tape is used to collect surface mites and fur mites, and lice infestations in animals. The tape is applied sticky side down to collect any white flakes or powdery looking material that is on the skin and hair shafts. It is acceptable to collect a few hairs in this manner to look for nits or organisms clinging to the hair shafts. The tape is applied sticky side down onto a microscopic slide. A drop of oil or water can be placed on the slide between the tape and the slide, but it is not necessary when collecting for large organisms such as lice.

Cellophane tape preparation is also used to detect pinworms, which occur in primates, horses, rabbits, and rodents. The eggs are collected by using the sticky side of the tape against the anus and anal folds. The tape is then applied sticky side down on the slide with a drop of water or oil to reveal the pinworm ova and examined microscopically.