Fleas are common and problematic pests common throughout the United States. While the weather is cooling down and flea season is dwindling, fleas can actually be a problem all year-round in some regions.
Worse yet, fleas are not just an outdoor problem. Fleas can enter your home and infest bedding, furniture and even carpets. In today’s article, we are going to talk about how to get rid of fleas in carpets and talk about products, tips and tricks you can use to keep them from returning.
What Are Fleas?
Fleas are parasitic insects who cannot fly.
Fleas are parasitic insects that generally begin outdoors and feed on the blood of a living host. While fleas do prefer an animal host, they have been known to feed on human blood, and are responsible for carrying a number of serious illnesses and diseases including flea-borne typhus, and the plague.
While some fleas can live for up to a year and a half in the right conditions, most fleas only live around 3 months at a time. During their lifespan, fleas must feed on a blood host in order to survive. Without blood, fleas only live for around three days.
You can see fleas with the naked eye, and they resemble very small brown or black insects. They are around 2.5 millimeters long and have six legs. Their back legs are longer than the rest, and are designed to help the fleas jump.
They use these legs to jump from grass, trees, or another host to a new host. And, while small, fleas can jump a staggering 7 inches high and 13 inches horizontally.
Identifying Fleas In The Carpet
Fleas can hide in the fibers of carpets and rugs without being noticed.
Your dog or cat will often alert you to the first sign of fleas by excessive itching or chewing. Once you have confirmed your pet has fleas, it’s time to check your home. Fleas can travel quickly and reproduce rapidly.
They often hide in the fibers of carpets or rugs, and are small enough to live there without you realizing it until you look. Flea bites are often not a good indicator of fleas, because flea bites don’t hurt.
However, flea bites can leave behind small, red spots on the skin. These spots are often clustered around you or your pet’s flesh. On humans, flea bites are most often found on the ankles, lower legs and feet.
Of course, unless you suspect fleas in your home or on your carpet, you may not realize these clusters are flea bites. Here’s how to know for sure:
Examine Your Pet and Your Pet’s Bedding
Pets are typically the main reason you have fleas in your carpet, (more on that further down), which is why you should inspect them first. Spread their fur with your fingers where you notice they are itching most, and look for signs of these small blackish brown insects and signs of flea dirt, (AKA flea waste).
Flea dirt looks like small specs of pepper, and are left behind anywhere fleas have been.
Examine The Area Around Your Pet and It’s Bedding
If your pet is infested with fleas, you’ll notice flea activity near his bedding. Look for signs of flea dirt in blankets, toys, and areas around the bed or any other place she likes to lounge.
Examine the Carpet Carefully
If you find fleas and flea dirt in your pet’s bedding, move outward. You could spread bits of carpet fibers looking for fleas and flea dirt, but this can be time consuming. If you suspect it’s time to learn how to get rid of fleas in carpet areas, stand where you think fleas are hiding and wear white socks.
Remember, fleas cannot survive without a blood hoste, and if they are there they will likely jump up onto you. Their black bodies against your white clothing will make them stand out, and you’ll know for certain it’s time to come up with a plan for how to get rid of them.
How Did I Get Fleas In My Carpet?
Unprotected pets are often the leading cause of fleas infesting home and carpets.
Like most pest infestations, flea invasions begin outdoors. Though they prefer warm and humid environments, fleas can and do live almost anywhere in the world. Outdoors, fleas are most common in areas rich with wildlife activity and in tall, grassy fields or overgrown lawns.
There they wait, looking for an animal host to latch onto in order to feed. Unprotected pets like dogs and cats are the most vulnerable to flea infestations, and they are often the cause of flea infestations in the home.
Once fleas are inside the home, they can infest any area your pet is privy to. This includes your living area, bedrooms mand mud rooms, as well as furniture, carpeting, bedding and plush toys.
How To Get Rid of Fleas In Carpet – A Step By Step Guide
Vacuuming is an essential step to getting rid of fleas in the carpet.
Now that you’ve identified that you do indeed have fleas in your carpet, it’s time to devise a plan for how to get rid of them. First and foremost, it’s important to have your infested pet treated. There is no point in learning how to get rid of fleas in carpet areas if your pet is going to continue to bring fleas back into your home.
Furthermore, remember that fleas can be dangerous to you and your pet’s health.
Along with having your pet treated immediately for a flea infestation, you can also follow the below steps for how to get rid of fleas in carpet areas around your home.
Step 1 – Wash And Dry Everything You Can Near The Infested Area
Collect everything that is washable and put it in the wash. If possible, put the items on high heat and dry them. This should include bedding, curtains, pet bedding, pillow cases, plush toys, clothing, etc.
If you have too much to wash at once, we suggest storing excess items in sealed garbage bags outside while the cycle runs.
Step 2 – Sprinkle Diatomaceous Earth, Baking Soda, or Another Flea Repellent Powder On The Carpet And Then Vacuum Thoroughly
While the wash is going, put your vacuum to work. You can sprinkle Diatomaceous Earth in your carpets or even baking soda, and let it sit for a moment before doing so. Both products can dehydrate and kill fleas and help with the process.
Plus, Diatomaceous Earth and baking soda are safe for people and pets, so you won’t have to worry about using these items in homes where children and animals live.
Once you are done vacuuming, dump the contents of the vacuum bag in a sealed garbage bin outdoors.
Step 3 – Shampoo Your Carpets and Consider Having Them Steam Cleaned
After you have vacuumed, use a quality carpet shampoo and get your carpet nice and clean. Professional carpet shampooing products are available to buy or even to rent, or you can hire a professional.
Professional carpet shampooers and steam cleaners can help ensure you kill and remove all fleas and their eggs.
Step 4 – Use An In-Home Flea Repellent
Once the carpet has been cleaned and the laundry has been washed, we recommend using a flea repellent that is safe for indoor use. There are plenty of products available that are safe and natural, and there are even indoor flea bombs or insecticides available, depending on the severity of your flea infestation.
Step 5 – Call A Professional If The Problem Is Not Remedied With The Above Methods
If you have gone through the methods above for how to get rid of fleas in carpet areas and still find evidence of flea activity, it may be time to contact a professional. Remember, though they are small and their bites are painless, fleas can cause serious diseases and infections to both you and your pets.
The video below gives other tips and tricks on how to get rid of fleas in carpets.
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Now, let’s talk about the best products to use when getting rid of fleas indoors and when working on how to get rid of fleas in carpets specifically.
Five Top Products For How To Get Rid Of Fleas In Carpet
Because fleas can carry serious diseases, it’s important to use the right products to get rid of them.
There are plenty of flea removal products on the market for how to get rid of fleas in carpet, but not all of them are created equal. Depending on your needs and lifestyle, you may prefer to use products that are natural and chemical free.
Of course, you may also have a severe infestation that needs a more intensive treatment. Let’s take a moment here to look at some of the best products you can use for how to get rid of fleas in carpet areas and other indoor areas around your home.
Diatomaceous Earth Crawling Insect Killer
While food grade Diatomaceous Earth will work well too when it comes to how to get rid of fleas in carpets, we recommend using Diatomaceous Earth Crawling Insect Killer. It is specifically designed for insects like fleas, roaches, ants and even bed bugs, and includes a duster to help with distribution between carpet fibers and other nooks and crannies.
Best of all, Diatomaceous Earth is completely natural and safe, and often used as a form of organic pest control. It is made from fossilized algae and works to dehydrate fleas on contact.
To use this for how to get rid of fleas in carpet areas, simply sprinkle this powder around the affected area and let it sit for one to two days. Then vacuum it up and repeat as necessary.
Adams Flea And Tick Home Spray
When looking at how to get rid of fleas in your home in general, we recommend Adams Flea and Tick Home Spray. This is ideal if you are trying to conquer a specifically nasty flea infestation and works in conjunction with Adams flea powder, listed below.
However, we should note that it contains insecticide chemicals and an insect growth regulator to stop fleas larvae and eggs from maturing. Use it only as directed and keep this flea spray out of reach of children and pets.
Adams Flea and Tick Carpet Powder
Adams flea and tick carpet powder is designed to work alongside the above Adams flea spray to fight against fleas and ticks, as well as flea eggs and larvae.
One order can treat up to two rooms, and the powder works to prevent future fleas and ticks for up to one month.
It contains an insect growth regulator to stop the development of tick and flea larvae, as well as an insecticide known as pyrethrin. Pyrethrins are insecticides that can be toxic to people and pets.
So, while this is an effective product, it should be used only as directed and kept out of reach of children and pets.
Enforcer Flea Spray For Homes
The above flea repellent spray by Enforcer is another chemical-based insecticide designed to be used indoors to repel and prevent fleas. It works using an insect growth regulator (IGR) to stop the development of flea eggs and larvae, and contains the same insecticide chemical known as Permethrin.
Again, permethrin is a common insecticide used to kill and repel fleas, ticks, ants, spiders, and other home-invading pests. However, it is toxic to people and pets and the spray should only be used as directed.
Wondercide Natural Flea and Tick Treatment
Wondercide can be used as a spot treatment for fleas inside the home, and it will not stain carpeting when used correctly. This product is all natural and safe to use around people and pets, and can even be sprayed directly on houseplants.
The spray uses a number of plant-based ingredients and essential oils including peppermint oil, lemongrass oil, rosemary oil and cedar oil to repel pests like spiders, ants, fleas, roaches, and flies.
It can be sprayed on carpets if needed, though we suggest you only spray it lightly. This product will work best when used along with other flea repellent methods including powders and home remedies.
How To Get Rid Of Fleas In Carpet Using Home Remedies
Baking soda is one of the easiest and most effective home remedies you can use to treat fleas in carpets.
If you’re in the market for some do it yourself pest control tips when it comes to how to get rid of fleas in carpet, then you’re in luck. Not all pests can be controlled using home remedies, but fleas are highly sensitive and can be managed using several staple household ingredients.
Some of the most effective home remedies that work for how to get rid of fleas in carpet areas include:
- Baking Soda
- Dish Soap
- Lemon Juice
- Witch Hazel
- And Essential Oils (As Repellents)
How To Get Rid Of Fleas In Carpet Areas Using Baking Soda or Salt
Much like Diatomaceous Earth, salt and baking soda are natural dehydrating agents and can work safely and effectively for how to get rid of fleas in carpet areas. To use this method, simply sprinkle a generous amount of salt or baking soda over your infested carpets and leave the substance to sit for 24 to 48 hours.
Then vacuum the carpet thoroughly, as specified at the beginning of this article, and dispose of the contents in the vacuum bag outside in a sealed bin.
You may repeat this process as necessary.
How To Get Rid Of Fleas In Carpet By Making Your Own Herbal Flea Spray
This DIY herbal flea spray can be made quickly and used throughout your home. It uses all natural ingredients and is safe for people and pets, and will not stain furniture, bedding or carpets when used correctly. We also suggest you first vacuum using the above method before following up with this spray.
- 2 Liters of Water
- 4 Liters of Vinegar
- 500 ml of Witch Hazel
- 1 Large Spray Bottle
Combine the above ingredients into the spray bottle and mix it thoroughly. Then go through your home and generously spray all areas where the fleas have been active. You can spray furniture, bedding, carpeting, clothing, curtains, and anything else that is plush.
How To Get Rid Of Fleas In Carpet Using Soap and Water
Liquid dish soap and a bowl of warm water is a surprisingly effective tool you can use for how to get rid of fleas in carpet areas, and while it will not work entirely on it’s own, it can help you monitor your flea problem during treatment.
To use this method, simply fill a bowl with warm water and dish soap. Place this bowl on the floor in the rooms where you have noticed the most flea activity and simply leave it. The solution will trap and kill the fleas, and you’ll be able to monitor how much activity is going on in each room.
How To Get Repel Fleas Using Essential Oils
Essential oils work well against fleas as a preventative or repellent, and not necessarily as a way to get rid of the pests. That said, like with soap and water, you can use a homemade essential oil spray to repel fleas as you go about your treatment methods.
The best essential oil sprays for pest control include:
- Rosemary Oil
- Peppermint Oil
- Lavender Oil
- Citronella Oil
- 10 – 20 Drops of the essential oil of your choice
- 2 Cups of water
- 1 Spray bottle
Combine the above ingredients into a spray bottle and shake it to ensure it is mixed thoroughly. Then go through your home and spray generously to not only repel fleas but also pests like rodents, spiders, ants, and roaches.
Repeat this process every few days as needed, or every day in the midst of a severe flea infestation.
How To Get Rid Of Fleas In Carpet – When To Call A Professional
If you repeatedly find you’re dealing with fleas in your home, it’s probably time to contact a professional for help.
While fleas are problematic and even dangerous, the good news is that they are typically simple to get rid of using home remedies and self-bought products.
However, professional medical care will likely be needed if your pet is infested with fleas or if you feel you become ill from flea bites. You may also consider hiring a professional carpet cleaner or carpet steaming company to ensure you have gotten rid of the fleas in your home.
If you find you are continually dealing with how to get rid of fleas in carpets, it may be time to contact a professional pest control expert for help. Pest control experts should be able to assist you in pinpointing the root cause of your repeated infestations along with removing the current one.
On average, pest control professionals charge between $100 to $500, though this price is dependent on your region and the severity of your flea infestation.
How To Prevent Future Fleas From Getting Into Your Carpet
Preventing fleas is easy and can help keep you and your loved ones safe.
Knowing how to get rid of fleas in carpet areas is great and all, but the job is tedious and it can take several days and weeks to determine if you’ve fully gotten rid of the pests for good. Luckily, prevention is much easier when it comes to flea control.
Take a look.
Protect Your Pets From Fleas
Since most flea infestations start with pets, the best way you can prevent fleas in the future is to protect your dog or cat. You can speak with your veterinarian on the best flea control options, or simply purchase flea protection for your pet at your local pet shop.
Stop Fleas At The Source With Flea Repellent Plants
You can repel fleas outside your home using flea repellent plants like spearmint, pennyroyal, chrysanthemums and lavender. However, be careful where and how you plant these in your garden or yard, as some of these plants can be toxic to pets and people if ingested.
Keep Your Lawn Mowed Short
Fleas thrive in areas with longer grass, where they can jump from one host to another. To reduce a flea’s natural living habitat, you should keep your lawn mowed short.
Vacuuming inside on a routine basis can help collect any fleas or eggs that may be lingering without you knowing it. This is not only a great treatment to prevent fleas from becoming problematic, but it can also help prevent ants, roaches, and rodents.
Pick Up Fallen Fruits and Vegetables from Trees and Gardens
Fleas are attracted to wild animals and wild animals are attracted to food sources. Fallen fruits and veggies from your fruit trees or vegetable garden make a great meal for scavenging critters. Protect your gardens with fencing and pick up any fallen fruit as often as possible.
Keep Outdoor Garbage Bins Stored Properly
Invest in animal-proof garbage bins that seal shut, and store these bins properly until trash day. Doing this can help prevent wild animals from coming onto your property and transferring fleas into your yard.
Clean Up Pet Waste Often
Last but not least, pet waste can attract fleas, so keep your yard clean and tidy by picking up pet waste as often as possible.
And that’s it for how to get rid of fleas in carpet areas around your home. So, what do you think? Have you managed to get rid of fleas in your carpets by using home remedies alone, or did you need more intensive treatments to manage these nasty pests?
We would love to hear from you. Leave us your thoughts in the comment section below.
Jack founded our blog after two decades of working in the pest control industry. His vast experience dealing with a wide array of pests allows him to diagnose issues quickly and get to the heart of pest problems quickly and effectively. He has serviced more than 2,000 homes over his career and there is hardly any pest situation that he has not seen before.