A flea is a tiny jumping insect that feeds on the blood of animals and humans. Adult fleas grow to about 3mm long and have elongated bodies that allow them to move through fur, feathers, and fabrics. They are wingless but are able to leap a distance of up to 50 times their size and adapt to feeding by piercing the host and sucking the blood.
Carpet fleas get into your property through the window, doors, and any other cracks. Do fleas live in carpets? About 85% of fleas can develop deep within the carpet pile – although only adult fleas feed on the host. The signs of a flea infestation include seeing the hopping fleas on your carpets and furniture – and finding flea dirt on your pets causing them to be extremely itchy.
Because fleas can be a serious health issue to animals, adults, and children, it’s essential to eliminate and control them as quickly as possible. Diseases include typhus, and flea bites can quickly become infected.
Is the flea treatment used for carpets harmful to household pets? Find out more here…
Getting Rid of Fleas
Non-toxic treatments are the best for how to get rid of fleas in carpets. Vacuuming carpets regularly will help to get rid of dust as well as reducing the flea population. Extension tools can be attached to reach under the furniture and down the sides of chairs and sofas. Remember to empty the cleaner afterwards to prevent flea eggs hatching inside the vacuum.
Natural products such as diatomaceous earth can be sprinkled onto carpets – it won’t harm people or pets but will damage the exoskeleton of the fleas – killing them probably within two days. You’ll need to wear a mask and gloves to apply the product and leave it on the carpet overnight in a sealed room. Vacuum off in the morning.
Powdered boric acid dries out fleas and larvae. Wear a mask and goggles to avoid irritation to lungs and eyes and cover the carpets with the powder. Then use a stiff brush to work it down into the carpet fibres, leaving for three days before vacuuming.
How to kill fleas in the carpet can also be achieved by setting flea traps. This process is suitable for a minor infestation but won’t eliminate eggs or larvae. Add neat washing up liquid to a shallow bowl of water and put down in the affected area. Shine a light directly into the bowl and leave overnight. Empty the bowl the next morning and reset the trap each night as necessary.
Another flea treatment for carpets is steam cleaning. Professional carpet cleaners will use powerful equipment and safe cleaning solutions to break up any infestation deep within the carpet fibres, agitating and removing them effectively.
Control and Prevention
Knowing that fleas can fleas live in carpets means that once you suspect an infestation you need to take action. Regular vacuuming at least once a week will be necessary – and making sure your pet bedding is also sanitised is a must. Awash on the highest temperature setting will kill eggs and larvae – leave the bedding in direct sunlight to dry. Remember to wash your pet’s soft toys too. Flea combs have fine teeth that will remove adult fleas from fur and dipping the comb in soapy water or an alcohol solution will kill any fleas.
Vacuuming can be such an effective carpet flea treatment as it removes up to 30% of larvae and 60% of flea eggs as well as the supply of dried blood. Use a veterinary-approved flea spray to ensure your pets are safe from any potentially harmful chemicals that you may use to treat your home. If you apply any pesticides you must wear protective clothing and check the label for additional safety requirements including how to keep your pets safe.
Treating pets should be considered as a long-term schedule to stop an infestation and reduce any future risks. A regular flea prevention solution can be purchased from your vet to treat on a monthly or three-monthly cycle – depending on the product. These insect growth regulators are available in sprays, spot-ons, pills, or even food additives.
If your flea infestation is extreme you may need to work with a pest control company who can provide you with professional help. Using the least toxic materials necessary to do the job you’ll get help treating both indoor and outdoor areas.