Is Fido itching around the house? Been getting itchy, red bites from no-see-ums? You may have a flea infestation at home! Don’t fret, we’ll discuss the different ways on getting rid of fleas from your carpets and furniture, as well as how these pesky insects get into your home in the first place.
What Causes Fleas to Live in the Carpet?
Fleas get into your home through latching onto your pets. However, fleas can also be introduced to your carpets from rodents that get into your home. Homeowners without pets may bring fleas into their home on the rare case that a flea mistakenly latches onto a human host instead.
Although fleas are associated with pets, they can contentedly thrive in human-exclusive homes by feeding off human hosts, and breeding in carpets and upholstery. These bloodsuckers are notoriously difficult to get rid of once they’ve established colonies within your carpet, so knowing the early warning signs is key to preventing a full-blown infestation.
What Are the Signs of Flea Infestation in Your Carpet
You will most likely feel fleas before you can even see them as the bloodsuckers are incredibly tiny. Adult fleas measure only around ⅛ of an inch - that’s smaller than a sesame seed! Eggs are even more microscopic, measuring less than a grain of sand.
Flea bites will probably get to you faster than you can spot the pests, so signs of a flea infestation are commonly confused with other pests like bed bugs and mites. However, our skin reacts differently to different insect bites. Fleas typically bite in groups of three on the lower areas of the body, like the feet, legs, and lower torso.
If you suspect you’ve got an infestation on your hands, check your pet for signs of fleas! Fleas are easier to spot on white pets, as they resemble black sesame seeds that jump around. For dark-coated pets, use a brush to comb through your pet’s fur and check for feces, which looks like tiny specks of dirt.
How to Get Rid of Fleas in the Carpet
Like any blood sucking pest, fleas carry diseases that can be passed on from pets to humans, humans to humans, or humans to pets. The deadliest plagues in history were spread through flea bites, but modern day fleas pose more of a nuisance than a health hazard.
The process to get rid of fleas from your carpets is lengthy and takes a lot of effort, but is a necessary step to keeping a clean and healthy home. There are numerous ways to get rid of fleas, mostly by killing adults before they lay eggs.
1. Bathe Your Pet
The first step to get rid of fleas in your carpet is to bathe your pet in a medicated bath meant to kill adults and flea eggs. Killing the pests off your pet gets rid of active adults that feed off Fido. Dry your pet thoroughly, and use a topical flea and tick prevention or a medicated collar to keep the parasites away from your beloved pet.
2. DIY Methods
Diatomaceous earth, or DE, is a known pest control powder made from fossilized algae that works by sucking out moisture from insects, eventually killing them. Found in most organic gardening shops, diatomaceous earth is inexpensive, readily available, and safe to use around children and pets.
To use, sprinkle dry food-grade diatomaceous earth around your carpet and upholstery, especially around where your pet likes to sleep. The powder must be dry to work, but a little spritz of water can help the powder stick onto horizontal surfaces. Leave the DE to work for around 3-5 days before vacuuming up, for best results.
Borax is another effective way to rid your carpet of fleas. Borax cuts open the exoskeleton of insects, killing them on contact. Eggs, however, are more resilient to borax, so you may need more than one application to get rid of the infestation.
Sprinkle some fine-grained borax powder onto your carpet, lightly rubbing it into the fibers. Focus on areas where your pet likes to stay, as well as dark, moist areas as these are where fleas love to hide. After a day or two, vacuum your carpets to get rid of any dead fleas, and throw away the entire dirtbag.
Vinegar or Lemon
Uncommon knowledge that pests hate acidity. For small infestations, a spray bottle filled with a solution made from vinegar or lemon may deter pests from taking residence in your carpets. A spray made from equal parts water and white vinegar or apple cider vinegar deters all kinds of pests, while lemon and water does the same with a more pleasant scent.
Take note that neither vinegar nor lemon will kill the fleas. Use these methods as preventive measures instead, especially if you suspect your pet has brought pests into the house.
Not into sprinkling or spraying your carpets with home remedies? You can use a pest control trap made from water and dish soap to capture fleas for easier disposal. Place a shallow dish of water with a drop of vinegar in the corners of your carpet. Place a lamp beside the dish, shining its light on the water. Turn off the lights and leave the area overnight.
The pests should be attracted to the light, and drop into the water as they jump towards it. The dish soap prevents them from jumping out of the dish, drowning them in the process. The next morning, dispose of the liquid and repeat the process nightly until the infestation is managed.
Give your carpet a thorough vacuuming to suck up any adult fleas and eggs that may be lurking around your carpet. Use the nozzle attachment to go over the entire carpet, focusing on corners, damp areas, and spaces where your cat or dog loves to sleep. Go over the entire carpet multiple times to ensure you cover the areas thoroughly.
After vacuuming, remove the dirtbag and throw the entire bag away, tying off the tops to prevent the fleas from re-entering your home.
4. Steam Cleaning
The heat from a steam cleaner can kill most insects as well as their eggs. Go over your carpet with a steam cleaner, making sure not to oversaturate the carpet. Let the carpet dry, then go over the entire area again for a thorough cleaning, and to kill off any remaining insects. You can also steam clean your upholstery and furniture.
5. Professional Services
Pest control is a headache to deal with. The process takes a long time, and is extremely daunting to keep up. You may not have the proper tools and equipment to effectively get rid of pests in your home. As such, seeking out professional pest control services would greatly benefit your home.
We at Luce Maintenance Group offer top notch pest control services that are sure to exterminate those pesky fleas from your home. Our trained professionals are equipped with the tools and knowledge to effectively get rid of fleas, ticks, mites, ants, bed bugs, and more! Give us a call and we can schedule you a free consultation as soon as possible.
How to Prevent Fleas From Living in Your Carpet
Preventing a flea infestation is easier than removing an infestation. Adult insects generally lay fifty to a hundred eggs a day, resulting in a catastrophic breeding cycle that can damage your home and spread diseases.
1. Apply Medicated Topicals on Your Pet
Apply the recommended amount of parasite prevention on your pet to keep fleas and ticks from entering your home through your pet. Most of these topicals are available online, or through your veterinarian. Consult your vet first before you apply any topical on your pet.
2. Avoid Walking through Moist, Grassy Areas
All sorts of parasites thrive in warm, moist environments. When on a nature walk, or simply walking around town, steer clear of moist grassy areas to avoid picking up a hitchhiking bug on the way. If you do go through wetlands, you may want to place your clothes and shoes in the laundry machine on a hot cycle to kill off any hitchhikers.
3. Keep Rodents Away from Your Home
Rodents carry fleas and ticks that are sources for blood borne diseases. Rodents may shed off parasites into your home when they get in, so best to keep rodents away using repellants. Fix all holes and crannies where rodents may get in from outside, and store all food properly so rodents won’t have an ample food source in your home.
4. Clean Your House
A clean house is a pest-free house. Daily or weekly cleaning of your home is a good way to get rid of all kinds of pests, from fleas to cockroaches. Insects can live in filthy conditions, and the more clutter around the house, the more areas they can hide in.