We’ve written about how to get rid of carpet beetles before, but were recently asked to explain how to get fleas out of carpet.
Fleas – an army of irritating, blood-sucking soldiers that will make your life a misery if you allow them to. You may notice them on your sofa, a cushion, or even your bed before you discover their real hiding place: your carpet. If you don’t tackle the problem from the bottom up, the flea population will explode.
Carpets are where fleas love to live. It’s where they mate, lay eggs, and hatch their evil plan to take over your home. With the female capable of laying 50 eggs per day, and doing so within 48 hours of mating, it’s easy to imagine how a flea problem can very quickly become a crisis.
Here’s how to eliminate a flea problem from carpets forever.
Clear the floor of all your soft furnishings
Once you understand that flea infestations populate in the carpet, you’re halfway to knowing how to get rid of the fleas. The thing is, fleas jump from the carpet to the nearest soft furnishings, and will populate them, too.
Before you tackle the carpet, make sure that flea reinforcements won’t simply jump downfrom their temporary homes above. Remove all cushions, pet bedding, and other soft furnishings. Wash them thoroughly on a hot wash cycle. While they are in the dryer, you can maneuver to the battleground of your carpet.
Get the big guns out – let the fleas meet the vacuum cleaner!
The vacuum has the power to suck up adult fleas, larvae, eggs, and pupae. It picks up all the flea feces that fleas feed on (I know it sounds disgusting, and it is!). A deep, hard vacuuming will remove almost all of the fleas and soon-to-be fleas, as well as the main food supply of the young. But it also does more than this.
The flea cocoon is difficult to remove. It’s stuck to the base of the carpet fibers. The vibrations caused by the vacuum force the pupae to leave the cocoon, making it easier to remove those little critters with the sucking power of the vacuum.
Pay special attention to dark places (under cupboards, for example) and the corners of your room. Work from one end to the other in a methodical manner. Take the vacuum outside to dispose of the bag. Vacuum every day for two to three weeks.
Turn up the heat with a steam clean
While vacuuming will have got rid of most of the fleas from your carpet, steam clean to kill off the most resilient. Fleas die at a heat of more than 95 degrees Fahrenheit. A steam cleaner pumps heat of up to 200 degrees Fahrenheit into the deepest recesses of your carpet.
After steam cleaning, vacuum thoroughly to remove the dead bodies and new hatchlings. Try to steam clean for several days in a row.
Take the stealth approach
You might also decide on a slow-kill approach, using any one of a number of solutions and powders to eradicate a flea infestation.
- You could sprinkle baking soda and salt on your carpet, leave for 24 hours and then vacuum. This treatment could be left on your carpet for as long as a week.
- A natural flea spray works well for light infestations – simply spray your carpet, and wait until it’s dry before vacuuming.
- An insecticide may work on the worst infestations, though be sure to use one that works on all stages of the flea life cycle. Follow the instructions carefully – we’d be very wary of using insecticides where pets or children are present, though.
Use flea traps to make sure you’ve eliminated the infestation
Make up a small bowl of dish soap and water and leave on your carpet. You’ll notice that the number of fleas caught in the trap reduces as your tactics start biting. Replace every day, and when there are no fleas caught, you’ve won the war against the fleas in your carpet.
Prevent a flea uprising
Now you’ve got rid of the fleas in your carpet, you won’t want them to return. Prevention is better than cure any day of the week. Spray your carpet with a natural flea repellant (especially under cupboards and furniture) once a week, and vacuum every other day.
Congratulations! You’ve taken charge of the fleas in your carpet – and taken measures for them never to return.
We’re available 24/7: contact Porter’s today and we’ll be pleased to give advice and a free quote for any water damage suffered by your carpet.