How to Kill Fleas in Carpet
If you want to eradicate fleas from your home, it’s important to focus on your carpets. Here are a few tips to learn how to kill fleas in carpet.
When your pets go outside, fleas may hitchhike on your pets. A single flea can lay up to 50 eggs every day, and many of these eggs will fall off onto your carpets.
After the eggs hatch, the tiny, worm-like larvae embed themselves deep inside the fibers where it is extremely difficult to even realize that they’re there. They will eat feces from the adults.
Soon, they will form a cocoon and stay inside it for 2-4 weeks. The cocoon is resistant to many chemicals and insecticides, so you need to treat your carpets more than once over a period of several weeks.
The Most Effective Way to Kill Fleas in Your Carpet
The first step in eliminating fleas in the carpet is to vacuum regularly. It seems simple enough, but it really does help remove a lot of the adult, eggs, and immature fleas.
An Ohio State study found that vacuuming kills the fleas in all stages of their life cycle, regardless of what kind of vacuum is used. The study showed that 96% of the adult fleas and 100% of the immature fleas that were sucked up into the vacuum were killed by the vacuum.
Another important preparation step is to remove food or chew toys from the carpets. You don’t want insecticides on something that is going to go into your pet’s mouth later on.
However, where do you think those fleas and eggs go? Right into your vacuum cleaner… and that won’t get rid of them completely. It just displaces them.
Insecticides are the quickest and most effective way to kill fleas buried in your carpet. Of course, a professional pest control company knows which insecticide will be the most beneficial for your circumstances. However, if you opt to do it yourself, make sure the insecticide you choose is effective against adult fleas, flea larvae, and flea eggs.
Insecticides that work on both adult fleas and larvae will need to have at least two different ingredients listed on the container. For example, permethrin is a common ingredient used to kill the adult fleas, but you’ll also need a growth-regulating ingredient to kill the eggs, larvae, and pupae. Methoprene is a common growth-regulator. Check and make sure the one you choose can kill both adult and immature fleas.
Always read the manufacturer’s instructions before you use any insecticide. Keep your kids and pets away from the area when you’re treating it and stay off the carpets until the insecticide has dried.
It’s important to cover the entire carpet, as well. Just because you don’t see under the couch doesn’t mean the fleas haven’t taken up residence there. Move your furniture and treat the entire area.
BUT… do you really know enough about these insecticides to know what’s safe for you, your family, and your pests. And do you know how those insecticides will counter-act with your carpet? Call a professional fleas exterminator and let them figure it out!
What About Those Home Remedies You Read About Online?
If you spend time online or on social media and look up how to kill fleas in carpet, you’ll see a lot of “holistic”, “natural”, or “homemade flea treatment” recipes and advice. But are they effective?
Let’s look at a couple of popular ones you might find online:
Cover your Carpets with Salt
A popular story online says that, if you sprinkle salt on your carpets, you will naturally kill all the fleas because they will become dehydrated and die.
The story probably originated from a couple articles that were published in the early 1900s (before we had insecticides) that recommended pouring salt outside in your yard and then dousing it with water. However, sprinkling salt on your carpets (and not dousing it with water) is NOT effective for killing fleas in your carpets. It makes a mess, and it does not work.
Sprinkle Baking Soda on Your Carpets
Another holistic flea control method that is popular online involves sprinkling baking soda (or a mixture of baking soda and salt) on your carpets. The story also says that this kills fleas by “dehydrating” them.
This method is not effective, however. A 1997 study tested baking soda on flea larvae and found that “larval rearing media treated with 2%-5% sodium bicarbonate was not toxic to flea larvae“.
The fact is, carpets make great hiding spaces for fleas. Once the fleas are in your carpet, they’re difficult, if not impossible, to spot. To treat them effectively, you need a quality insecticide.
A professional pest control company with expert fleas exterminators can apply effective insecticides while making sure your pets and family stay safe. Do-it-yourself insecticide options are also effective if you know what to look for and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.