Getting rid of fleas in your carpet can be a tough task with of questions...
Should you steam clean? Vacuum?
...or maybe throw out your entire carpet to protect you from those nasty fleas?
This Pest Strategies guide will break down the following:
- How fleas end up in your carpet
- What you should do with the furniture
- Different approaches to flea removal in your carpet
- And much more!
Ready to jump into the guide?
How Do Fleas Get In on Your Carpet?
Although not 100% of the cases, if you have a pet cat or dog you'll eventually get a case of the fleas.
When your pet brings them into your house (usually by interaction with other animals) your pet becomes a cargo vessel for the insect's eggs.
Adult female fleas lay around 20 to 50 eggs a day. These eggs aren't very sticky and usually roll off to the ground and in this case, on your carpet where your pet usually lies around comfortably.
Within one to two weeks, the eggs hatch.
As an insulator, carpets secure a warm environment for the eggs which will significantly shorten the amount of days for them to hatch and give way for nature to take its course.
Over time, you'll have a full blown flea infestation with a mix of adults, nymphs, and eggs scattered around your floor or carpet.
What Should You Do With Flea Infested Carpet and Furniture?
First... please do not immediately throw out all of your belongings or furniture and tear up your carpet.
Unless its clearly infested and you can easily part ways with it (like a dog bed), then we'd advise keeping everything where it is for the time being.
A better approach would be to treat your dog or cat, put a flea collar on them, and then treat affected areas and rooms with flea removal products. Finally, a simple steam and vacuum solution would be perfect to clean up everything after they're dead.
And thankfully unlike bed bugs, fleas are much easier to beat without the help of a professional, although we still recommend at least consulting one about your specific situation.
Getting into the specifics...
Most flea infestation can be beaten with the use of some over the counter foggers or flea sprays. The adult fleas are susceptible to these products...
...but your real problem is going to be flea eggs when trying to clean up infested carpets and furniture.
Flea eggs are not sticky which make them easily fall off to the ground. This could be your carpet, your couch, or any furniture that comes in frequent contact with your pet (think dog beds).
Depending on the condition of the environment, particularly the temperature and humidity, the eggs can give rise to a new generation of fleas within a few weeks or days.
Flea eggs are actually resistant to the chemicals that kill the adults, which is why using a generic flea fogger or flea bomb is not recommended. Instead, treating your carpet and furniture with a product that contains an insect growth regulator (IGR) is our recommended approach.
A product like Precor is a "flea bomb" that contains all the ingredients needed to kill adults (namely Permethrin) but then also an IGR ingredient "(S)-Methoprene" to interrupt the flea life cycle.
This is IMPORTANT!
You should take some time to understand why your carpet became a flea breeding ground in the first place to reduce the chance of getting fleas all over again.
What are the Ways of Getting Rid of Fleas in the Carpet?
When flea infestation spreads inside your home, your carpet is important to consider when start your war against such pesky parasites.
Below we cover some common questions people have when trying to de-flea their carpet or floor.
Getting rid of fleas with a vacuum cleaner?
Initially we would advise against simply vacuuming up your carpet.
It seems logical and sure you CAN do it for temporary fix, but it won't last for long and chances are pretty good that you'll still miss a bunch of hidden fleas and their eggs.
Instead, our recommendation is to treat your pets first, wait a week , then deploy a flea fogger as mentioned earlier (like the Precor model).
Vacuums might be a good start to knockdown the population to start but then following up with a chemical knockdown and pet treatment should put you in a better position.
Also... given how small flea eggs are, they may actually end up infesting your vacuum cleaner as well!
Getting rid of fleas with a steam cleaner?
Similar to what we mentioned in the vacuum section, think of a steam cleaner as the final step in a flea removal action plan.
After the chemicals are released and pets are treated, you should wait at least a week for a few flea life cycles to conclude.
By cleaning the carpets to soon, you risk undoing the IGR and stopping new fleas from breeding.
It may smell terrible for a while, but it'll be worth it when you flea free!
Getting rid of fleas with Baking soda with salt?
Baking soda is another home remedy in treating flea infestation on your carpet. However, baking soda is not effective enough on its own. You should mix baking soda with finely ground salt in equal parts.
You should also make sure that the baking soda you are planning to use is fresh and still active. To test its validity, mix a small amount of baking soda with vinegar. If the solution bubbles, this means that your baking soda is still active.
How Can You Get Rid of Fleas in Your Furniture?
In some cases, fleas wander off in your furniture for temporary shelter.
Flea eggs and larvae also end up on your couch, table, and dressers thanks to your pet that loves moving around through different corners of your home.
Your first step towards thwarting fleas in your furniture is by using an insecticide that is also equipped with an IGR (Insect Growth Regulator). Such insecticide is potent enough in killing adult fleas upon contact while making sure that the eggs, larvae, and pupae don't mature.
Your second and final blow would be using a vacuum cleaner. And the key is employing the right attachments for different types of furniture. Use the upholstery tool for your sofa, chairs, cushions. In tighter spots, it is best to use the crevice tool.
If you are having serious infestation problems with fleas, use our Trusted Exterminator Search Tool for expert help.
Final Thoughts On Fleas In Your Carpet
Getting rid of fleas in the carpet is a battle against time and numbers.
Provided that your home offers the right temperature and humidity, a single flea can turn into a thousand ectoparasites in a span of one month.
When getting rid of fleas on the carpet, it is important to initiate the same task on your furniture simultaneously. This helps in preventing the fleas from repopulating the treated areas in the future.
Other Flea Guides
Curious about other flea related articles? Check out our other detailed guides to help you deal with your pest problems.