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.

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.


Author: Kelly

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.

23 thoughts on “How To Get Rid Of Fleas In Carpet?”

  1. 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.

    1. 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.

    1. 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.

  2. 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.

    1. 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.

  3. 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?

  4. Modern Cat Flea Control

    Unfortunately, the promising agrochemical corporations most effective toxins for insect control, over the last seventy years, of production, has proven to be too toxic to be used indoor in dwellings, on pets and where humans or their food are. Currently, the most effective of these old-style insecticides are banned and outlawed for consumer use [most of which, came out of World War II nerve gas technology]. The few, of the currently and generally available, agrochemical insecticides for consumer use are variants of a few similar but, different formulations of synthetic pyrethrin, insecticides that have currently proven ineffective for rapid reproducing insect pests. Most synthetic pyrethrins are patentable replacements for the less effective tincture from the natural pyrethrin plant. When these insecticides are used, as a ineffective contact poison rather than the more effective use on crops, for killing chewing insects that eat the poison on plants. Basically, insects like fleas out-breed poisons by becoming immune to them through rapid reproduction by the low dosed survivors. It is to the point now that synthetic pyrethrins and other older insecticides are; having no effect or only weakening some of the insect populations for a few days, at most.

    Luckily, a new group of insecticides that do not approach insect control the way older poisons did from the agrochemical crop pesticide age of insecticides are becoming available. These new pesticides are products that offer metabolic insect control rather than act, as direct poisons.

    Like, “(IGR) Insect Growth Regulator” basically birth-control for insects or more precisely an insect hormone that prevents larva insect stages from transforming into adult insects. And, since only adult insects like fleas bite and feed off blood, larva [very small nearly impossible to see with the human eye, transparent micro slug-like animals] never cause any notable harm. IGR’s have no effect on non-insect animals and it is, to these, as if, it was not even there.

    Or, the new metabolic wounder kid insecticide, on the block “Spinosad” is a corn fungus derivatization insect control that kills any animal with an exoskeleton, such as, insects, spiders and scorpions along with others AKA: fleas. The fungus feeds off corn and to protect itself from the corn and fungus feeding insects, it evolved this chemical strategy that prevents animals with exoskeletons from replacing their exoskeleton, as they grow and consequently prevents breathing. It is so safe for non-exoskeleton animals that they can safely eat the substance and in rather absurdly high amounts, with no affects what-so-ever. Its one draw back is after exposure to light the chemical is destroyed so, if it is used as a surface applied contact insect control or as an ingested insect control it can lose its kill power. The good part is an unbelievably small amount, kills most insects within its photo-sensitive twenty-four hour effective window.

    “Spinosad” comes in two forms an oral drug and a contact spray or spray concentrate. The oral form for pets also, generally comes with a month-long oral repellent/insecticide and in one formulation comes combined with an added heart-worm medication , as well.

    The oral pet capsules are in a tuna or beef flavored powder base that you sprinkle into a cat or dog’s feed [it is recommended that it is a fatty wet pet food feed, this helps it get into the cat’s system quickly] which contains both “Spinoside” and the other active ingredient “Lufenuron” is also used in flea collars and other oral or squeeze-on flea drops. The oral version of “Spinosad” is called “Nitenpyram” and lasts a day but, kills all the active fleas that live off or on your cat during that twenty-four hours. The second ingredient lasts a month and helps to prevent re-infestation.

    The spray Spinosad comes, as a concentrate or pre-mix application spray. This is a great product for quick knock-downs of flea populations, as it takes a few life cycles for the “IGR” to completely keep all hatching flea eggs from becoming adult fleas. The spray like, the oral version is completely harmless to mammals and other animals without exoskeletons but, deadly to animals with exoskeletons. Extremely low doses of the nearly odorless spray kills all insects.

    Together this combination of modern insect control, is the most effective and least toxic to humans and pets system available. And, if the idea of flea larva living in your carpets, base-boards and furniture bothers you, a good kill for these is to spray your house with straight rubbing alcohol. A smelly and possibly flammable process. [If you cut 70% rubbing alcohol with an equal amount of water and apply with a pump garden sprayer indoors you can cut risks without cutting the kill power.] You will only need to do the alcohol twice, about a week apart to break the cycle. It helps to combine the IGR with the alcohol to save a step. Do not spray wood finishes though, as some wood furniture is sensitive to alcohol. It is best to lock the pets in a room not sprayed, if you go the alcohol route, and spray at night or when you are going to be out, as a rubbing alcohol mixture, will smell for twelve to twenty hours.

    The “Spinoside” and water sprays have little to no smell and will not harm your pets even if they walk on the wet spray. You can add perfume, fragrance oil or other sent to any spray, if you want. We add Lysol concentrate, flagrance oils and such with the IGR spray mix [the one once to two gallons of water IGR concentrate is in in a kerosene like oil base and even that little bit does have an insecticide odor, for a few days.

  5. I have tried the salt, I have tried bombing, I have tried the sprays and nothing works. I literally have to wear trash bags over my legs and arms because as soon as I walk into my bedroom, I have these awful bugs all over me. I vacuum and vacuum and it seems they cling to the carpet rather than getting sucked up. I have had to close my bedroom door and block off the bottom of the door because no one can go in there without being attacked. I just don’t know what else to do. I really can’t afford to replace the carpet but I may have to if I cannot get control of these things. I live in Oklahoma and this year we have had so much rain. It was during these heavy downpours that these fleas have erupted. I have pretty much gotten control in the rest of my house but not in my bedroom. I have thrown away everything that couldn’t be washed. Everything I have read says that in order to control the flea population I have to let these things attack my dogs. My dogs are allergic to them. So if anyone has any other recommendations I am all ears. I have even tried the diatomaceous earth and that did absolutely nothing. Please help I am at my wits end.

    1. Im in the same situation in arkansas. My sons house is under attack so bad he has been staying with me. I tried to help by spraying viper and igr and we got ate up so bad during that process that im dreading going at it again. but it seems like it did no good whatsoever. not only that but i sprayed so heavily and he had used salt so now there is mold everywhere. I feel so helpless

      1. You can always call a big place like terminex. They will come out and get rid of your fleas. I did this and it worked well. They only had to come out once. You will need to leave your house for 4 hours after they spray everything. But if you add up what you pay for sprays and bug bombs it’s cheaper to have the service. Plus they guarantee the work. Good luck.

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  7. I use enforcer for carpets and it really works I buy it in Wal-Mart leave it for 24 hrs vacuumed everyday for 2 wks also treat the outside with off spray outdoor and it work for the infestation also when I finish the treatment I steemed the carpet and for now I didn’t see any hope that it works

  8. My poor dog is allergic to fleas and I can’t figure out where they are coming from. It is 36 degrees here. Can fleas be in the yard in these temps? Can’t spray until spring, as it is too wet. Help!!

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