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How To Get Rid Of Fleas In Carpet?

Treating your pets a hundred times for flea infestation will do little to help your flea problem if the flea infestation isn’t addressed where it really exists. The flea infestation is in your carpet not your dog. In ridding a home of these biting little invaders, the carpet is always the ultimate battlefield. It’s fibrous and moist which gives fleas the sensation that they are ensconced in their natural happy home of animal fur. It’s the all-around perfect place for breeding fleas, too.

The flea eggs and larvae, once embedded in carpeting, are very difficult to kill. Their pernicious life cycles necessitate great and vigorous care in getting rid of them. In this war, it is better to have an assault that is too large than one that is too small.

After your pets have been treated, a major indoor and outdoor house assault is necessary to fully address the infestation. Be prepared to throw out any fabric that fleas can cling to, including old clothing, sheets, pillowcases and throw rugs. If items can be washed safely for reuse, do so. Soap is another great enemy of fleas, but remember that carpet infestations can happen again quickly. Fleas love moist places so make certain any thing you do wash is thoroughly dried before using it again. Eggs that remain will hatch and leap back on to your pets. The fleas will then journey onto your carpets again. The hell will begin anew.

To start the war, furniture and other items must be vacuumed. It is usually best to move all items outside for this. That leaves the territory open for the real war to begin. You shouldn’t put the vacuum away yet. It’ll be the most important weapon in your arsenal.

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Twenty-four hours prior to the vacuuming, you should sprinkle a mixture of salt and Borax on the household carpets. This will destroy any flea eggs. You’ll want to take care with Borax around colored fabric since it does unspeakable things to them. Beyond that, Borax is amazingly safe for people and pets. It is, however, death to most insects including fleas. You may use a garden rake to make sure the mixture gets into the carpet crevices in order to dry out the flea habitat.

Then vacuum, vacuum, vacuum and vacuum your carpet some more. Did we mention vacuum? Nature abhors a vacuum and so does the humble house flea. Professionals often recommend a mega-suction vacuum for very bad infestations, but recent studies have shown that a standard vacuum cleaner works perfectly well in almost all cases. In fact, a standard vacuum cleaner alone is better than poison at getting rid of fleas. You should pay special attention to vacuuming higher traffic areas or places in the house and yard where your pets prefer to go. After vacuuming, you should always remember to discard your vacuum cleaner bag. The vast majority of the adult fleas will be dead, but the eggs and larvae will abide. When in doubt, throw it out.

If you have a particularly nasty infestation, you may want to opt for a carpet steam cleaner. You can steam clean with a mixture of Borax and water (remember the colored fabric warning). If you want to be extra careful, there are all manner of commercial grade flea killers available. You should always read the labels carefully and abide by every warning. Flea powder and flea spray can be very toxic to humans and pets.

Your best guard against the return of fleas is vacuuming. During peak flea season, vacuuming every other day is advised. Drying out the flea breeding grounds with a sprinkling of salt (working it in with a rake) may be a good idea. Vacuum about a day afterward to pick up the remnants.

With a mixture of thorough cleaning and careful upkeep, your battlefield will be returned to a flea-free zone of peace and tranquility for the whole family.


Kelly Sperber has been a professional writer for 5 years. She joined TheHousingForum Team in January, 2011. Kelly enjoys skydiving, attending fashion shows, and gardening in her spare time.

  • Christophernapper

    The very best way to OBLTERATE fleas is 1. Totaly NON toxic and 2. Will
    Steralize your carpets. First of all wash all bedding clothes and store on
    Washing line whilst you go about destroying all fleas at all stages of their
    Dirty stinking irritating parasytic and obnoxious life cycle ! All you need is a
    Cheap wallpaper stripper. The kind you fill up with water which has a hose
    Which connects to a rectangular steam pad which, normally you would
    Push onto the wall to strip the paper effortlessly. But instead of putting
    it on the wall put it on the carpet. Leave it in one place at a time for approx
    30 seconds then lift and move to the next area to be treated. This simple, ok
    A bit time consumingmethod will destroy all lavae and any adult or baby
    Fleas that exsist. After each section has been steam treated remove the
    Rectangular pad and use the pipe and give all cracks and edges a steam
    Clean by aiming the end of the pipe in all nooks and crannies. The carpets
    Treated will be quite damp so make sure there is plenty of ventilation to
    Dry them out should only take 1 day per room. As soon as the room is dry
    Seal all hose nooks cracks and crannies with silicant sealer. The only
    Danger is the temperature of the steam coming out but common
    Sence will ensure a clean and hygenic house. Do not treat your animals
    This way ! You will burn them! For animals use frontline etc.

  • PennyV

    Christophernapper, you have made an excellent suggestion.  There are several models of wallpaper steam removers that can be used the same way as any regular carpet steam cleaner.  However, everyone should be very careful when steam cleaning a carpet and should avoid getting the carpet too wet.  Getting the carpet too wet can damage the carpet’s structural make-up as well as create an environment for mold and mildew to grow in.  Plus the moisture will create a better environment for the fleas to breed in.

  • jazzy

    Dose salt realy work . I am have problems with fleas and i vacuum all the tim. Can u please help me .

  • PennyV

    Jazzy, salt really does work. It basically dehydrates the mature fleas and breaks down the cell tissues of an immature flea. However, it can take up to two days for the salt to work and you have to be careful to keep your pets away from the salt. It can also make your carpet a bit sticky if you live in a moist or humid climate. If you use salt, you also have to make sure it doesn’t clog up any parts of the vacuum cleaner, such as the filter.

  • Arnie

    I think my compost pile it’s the beading grounds for my war on fleas. When I do see a flea I always go at them with a lint roller. They are so elusive! I’m going to boric acid my yard along with diatomaceous. I’m buying a steamer as well.

  • PennyV

    Arnie, your compost pile probably is a breeding ground for fleas, as well as many other unwanted pests. But since you don’t want to harm the beneficial microbes, you should only use food grade diamtomaceous earth sprinkled on top of the compost pile. But you should also be aware that diamtomaceous earth mostly only kills the adult fleas, and not the larvae, which usually makes up the majority of a flea infestation.

  • Andrew

    Alright, I’m giving it a shot. Salt + Borax + Vacuuming… Let’s do this!

  • PennyV

    Good luck, Andrew! Here’s the link to another article on getting rid of fleas that you may enjoy reading or find beneficial:

  • Emily

    How long can you leave the mixture on the carpet for? We would like to do this before we head out of town, but will be gone for about 4 days…is that too long?

  • shresan552

    i was looking for something like this..really a nice and interesting post to read for..thanks