How to Get Rid of Fleas in Your Carpet
There are about 300 species of fleas in the United States out of which only a few can affect people’s health. Fleas are found in pets and spread into upholstery in your house. Dogs and cats are prone to carrying these blood-sucking pests and they can cause contagious illness in humans. Fleas don’t fly, they are quick hoppers and deviously hard to kill. They are so tiny that you may not even realise that you have been bitten by a flea.
There are different types of fleas and let’s look at the common ones and why they are dangerous to humans
Cat Flea (Ctenocephalides Felis)- is known to Transmit flea-borne (murine) typhus and cat scratch disease (CSD). This is the most common type of flea present in dogs and cats. It spreads plague but is less dangerous than rat fleas.
Dog Flea (Ctenocephalides Canis)- Known to Transmit Aids, in spreading Dipylidium caninum, a tapeworm commonly found in dogs and cats, but occasionally found in humans. It is not found in the dogs of the United States.
Ground Squirrel Flea (Oropsylla Montana)- is Known to transmit the Plague associated with ground squirrels, including California ground squirrels and rock squirrels, which are known to aid in the spread of plague bacteria to people in the United States.
Oriental Rat Flea (Xenopsylla Cheopis)- is known to transmit Plague and flea-borne (murine) typhus. It’s the main type of flea associated with rats; a flea commonly known for transmitting plague bacteria globally.
Getting rid of fleas is difficult, A flea has a long lifecycle hence it may take months to get rid of moderate to severe infestations. Let’s discuss a few ways to exterminate them yourself.
Sanitation- Thorough cleaning of areas where fleas frequently breed is essential. This may include washing carpets, rugs, bedding, and pet bedding with a strong disinfectant while vacuuming floors, and lower edges of the walls.
Pet treatment– Pets should be bathed regularly with soap and water that kills adult fleas. Use a flea comb to remove them after the bath. You need to pay special attention to areas of the neck where fleas tend to reside more. Use a pet dusting powder that is not harmful to pets but kills fleas.
Home treatment– The life cycle of a flea can be disrupted if you begin the pet treatment and the home treatment at the same time. A pest extermination company will help with in-home treatment and applying chemical insecticides in your yard and outdoor areas where there seems to be dampness that attracts fleas.
Follow-up- The flea lifecycle is such that at some stages they become resistant to insecticides. They are so hard to kill. The only way to combat this problem is with follow-up treatments every 5 to 10 days along with vacuuming and a sanitization process which is ongoing until they are completely exterminated.
How to get Fleas out of the Carpet
Once fleas infest your carpet after spreading from the pets they can multiply in large numbers. You better take control of the infestation or you won’t be able to use your carpets without being bitten several times over by fleas. They bite nasty and they spread diseases. Solving the crux of the problem requires you to do a simultaneous cleaning of not just your carpets but other upholstery at home and the bedding. It’s not a problem that can be solved easily and needs repeated clean-ups.
Identify the flea-infested Area, the areas where the fleas are hiding first. This can be the entire carpeted area or specific places depending on the number of pets you have. More pets mean more fleas. Fleas like warm and humid places. That way they find the best home in the fur of animals. Carpets may seem the same to them. If there is a particular area that the pets and humans are frequenting, then that’s where you should clean rigorously.
In most cases, fleas can live an average of three months on your carpet. However, if no measures are taken to get rid of them and they have you or your pet on which they can continually feed, they can live indefinitely within this environment.
Step 1- Vacuuming the Carpet
Removing fleas is easy with a good vacuum cleaner. Make it a habit to regularly vacuum the rugs and carpets along with the house. Make sure to cover all the spots where pets snuggle. They usually do so in specific favourite spots. Use a flat attachment to vacuum under the furniture around where pets laze around.
Step 2- Steam clean Upholstery
Fleas that have been carried down to the upholstery from the pets need to steam clean well before you clean the carpets. The vacuuming may drive out fleas to reveal themselves but it needs to be deep cleaned into the cushions and throws need to be disinfected. Make sure there is no transfer of fleas from upholstery onto the carpets.
Step 3-Remove the vacuum cleaner bag
Post the vacuuming, take the vacuum out of the house, remove the bag carefully and dispose of it off into a garbage can that is tightly covered. Leaving the bag on the vacuum or disposing of it incorrectly may bring those fleas right back into your house where you picked them off, onto the pets, on the carpets, and back to the sofa. The bag should be changed after using it on flea infestation before using it on other stuff in the house.
STEP 4- Spray Treatment
Using spray treatment on carpets greatly helps with the infestation. Let the treatment sink into the carpet for a few days. Since pets roll and play on the carpets and love sniffing them, make sure the spray treatment has pet-friendly ingredients to avoid causing harm to them and their babies. Use the spray treatment regularly to keep the infestation at bay.
STEP 5: Diatomaceous Earth Treatment
The life cycle of a flea is quite resistant to treatments and insecticides. During the egg and larvae stages, nothing can harm these pesky pests. You have to wait until the eggs hatch and attack the adults. The best way to control this problem is to prevent it before it becomes chronic. Keep the pets clean by bathing them regularly.
Non-Toxic Ways to Get Rid of Fleas from the Carpet
Mix 4 parts of vinegar with 2 parts of water, and add a few drops of essential oil to it to cut the smell of vinegar. It has a sour smell. Put this solution in a spray bottle and spray it all over the carpet. It clears the carpet of fleas along with bad odour and disinfects it as well.
Set up Flea traps
Set a shallow wide bowl with dishwash mixed with water that will be a soapy solution. Keep a bright light near this solution and leave it on your carpet overnight with the light turned on. The fleas are attracted to the light and try to hop toward it ending up drowning in the water.
Salt is a dehydrating agent. It absorbs moisture. Spread the finely ground salt into the carpet and leave it for a day or two. Then vacuum thoroughly along with the dead fleas.
Fleas hate the smell of lemon. Use lemon carpet fresheners or make your freshener spray by making a solution by boiling lemon slices in water to make a concentrate and spray it onto the carpet. You can also use lemongrass oil to make the natural fleas repellent spray
Vacuuming using baking soda
Spread a generous amount of baking soda onto the carpet, brush it to reach deep inside, and let it sit for a while, preferably overnight. The next morning you may use a vacuum cleaner to clear the baking soda and the dead fleas. Remember to dispose of the vacuum bag carefully.
Keep Flea repelling plants
Fleas abhor smells of certain plants like rosemary, mint, lavender, penny royale, and chrysanthemums. Keep these potted plants spread across areas where pets tend to lounge around and it may repel fleas for good.
How to Prevent Fleas from Getting in a Carpet
Fleas get into the carpets via your pets. Pets like carpets. They spend a lot of time snuggling around your feet on the carpet or rolling over on it. They also sleep and play on your upholstery. Both these are ideal places for fleas to hide and nest, they are warm and fleas get to hide deep into the fibres. The best way to keep fleas off the carpet is to keep them off your pets.
Take care of your dogs and cats by:
- Limiting the amount of time, they spend outdoors.
- Do not allow them to come in contact with stray animals
- Bathe them well with a flea shampoo and brush them thereafter with a flea comb.
- Ask your vet to give you a dusting powder for your pet that prevents fleas to get onto them and multiply. This is one of the best ways to prevent fleas.
If you find fleas in abundance on your pet and in your home, learn how to get rid of fleas right away to avoid further infestation. If you cannot manage that, call pest control services and they will help you exterminate them.