Fleas in carpetIf you’re unfortunate enough to suffer from a flea invasion you will find its a hassle to get rid of these pesky pests and in some occasions the invasion keeps coming and you think its never going to end.

In this article we are going to look at how to get rid of the fleas in your carpets and some tips on how to prevent the fleas from returning.

Female adult fleas lay the majority of there eggs in carpets or rugs around your home and they can lay up to 50 eggs per day so you can see how quickly you home could become infested. We cant emphasise enough why you should remove them as they not only cause irritations but can transmit some nasty diseases.

Vacuum your carpets

The first thing you should be doing is vacuuming your carpets and rugs thoroughly on a daily basis for 10-14 days using a powerful vacuum. Be sure to clean every inch of the carpet including all the corners and the bottom of the skirting boards. You will find fleas lurking in dark and humid areas so you need to make sure you clean under furniture.  Also concentrate your efforts in the places your pets like to spend their time in.

The ideal vacuum cleaner to use would be one that uses disposable dust bags that can be sealed and disposed of outside in the dust bin after every vacuum. If you use a bagless vacuum you should still dispose of the dirt after every clean placing it in a plastic bag and tying it to seal the fleas inside. Do not dispose of the dust inside the home in case the fleas escape and get back into your carpets.

The vacuum picks up the adult fleas and eggs without a problem but has trouble removing the larvae because it has a tendency to cling to the carpet. Shampooing or steam cleaning the carpet should remove the larvae but if its still evident that it hasn’t a chemical is the next step.

Using chemicals

Spray an indoor pet safe insecticide on your carpet to kill the adult fleas and wait until it dries before you vacuum. You should vacuum your carpets every few days after using the insecticide for a couple of weeks to remove the eggs. After a few weeks you can reapply the treatment to keep the infestation in check. When using any chemicals you should read the manufactures instruction label and keep your pet away from the treated area until its safe to do so which could be several hours.

Another option is to use borax also known as sodium borate or fine grained salt, apply either one it to the areas that your pet likes to spend most of its time in. Other areas to be treated are under furniture, along the bottom of the skirting boards and near doorways. Make sure that the salt or borax is spread evenly over the carpet settling into the fibres of the carpet. When using borax do not let pets or your children walk on the treated area until you have vacuumed it up after leaving it to sit overnight. If you use salt you will have to leave it 24-48 hours before you vacuum it up, again keep your children and pets from the treated area

Next up is our good old friend vinegar because fleas dont like the smell of vinegar and it can aid the killing of adult fleas, Mix one part water to one part vinegar in a spray bottle and shake to mix it all together. You can use apple vinegar or white vinegar for your spray. Spray your solution on your carpet again focusing on all the areas you pet likes to spend their time, don’t forget to do under the furniture long the bottom of the skirting boards and around the entrance.

Make a fly trap

Make your own flea trap using a bowl some water and washing up liquid. If your not sure where the fleas hang out in your carpets you can entice them into a certain area with your home made flea trap. Get yourself a small bowl and add some water with a few drops of washing up liquid in it. Next the sneaky part, put the bowl on the floor against a wall and place a bright light next to it, it could be a lamp, a night light or even a torch. At night with the light on the fleas curiosity gets the better of them and the are attracted by the light. They jump towards the light and splash into the water where the washing up liquid in the water prevents them jumping back out and they drown. In the morning you can turn the light of and pour out the water complete with all the dead fleas ready for the following night. Obviously you need to keep your pets away from the bowl, preferably in another room but if that’s not possible try to cover the bowl with something that will keep your pet out but let the fleas in.

If after trying all the above treatments without results you could try diatomaceous earth (DE) on your carpet and rugs. Diatomaceous earth is made from tiny, fossilized algae and will actually cut the fleas up. As with other treatments the DE is sprinkled onto the areas that the fleas are likely to be, and can be blown into cracks and crevices for complete coverage. When used properly DE should kill all  the fleas but at the same time isn’t very harmful to humans although you should wear protective clothing when using it.

If all else fails it may be the time to get in the professional pest controllers.

Future prevention

As with all treatments if you don’t get to the bottom of the infestation you will never get rid of the fleas for good. Most fleas are brought into the home through your pets so this is the first place to start. Check for fleas and treat as necessary, you also need to treat furniture and pets bedding if you want to eradicate fleas completely and you need to vigilant in the future, catching them early will help in the control of fleas.