It’s funny how many people lose hope and start throwing away everything, carpets included, after a flea infestation. Yes, these buggers are annoying to humans and household pets. But, getting rid of fleas is not that difficult if you take your time and take the right approach.
Of course, it also pays off to know how to prevent an infestation in the first place.
Why Do Fleas Infest Carpets?
Fleas aren’t naturally attracted to your carpets. Let’s get one thing straight; fleas will go for your pets and maybe you. However, they don’t have a fondness for carpets, bedding, furniture, and other stuff, barring your furry friend’s coat.
So why do they end up infesting carpets? Well, adult fleas don’t jump on one and decide to stay there. It’s the flea eggs that end up on the rug as they fall from you, your clothes, or your pets.
Because these eggs aren’t sticky, most of them end up on the ground, and eventually, baby fleas hatch on your carpet.
The Fastest Way to Get Rid of Fleas
It may not be the most pleasant method, but setting off a flea bomb or a fogger is a surefire way of killing adult fleas. Before you start worrying about the unhatched ones, you have to deal with the ones causing all the problems.
The main advantage of a fogger is that the mist can penetrate every crack and crevice of a room. It can also settle on the carpet and bedding.
Regular flea sprays also work. Of course, in most cases, the smell might be unbearable. Luckily, you don’t have to stay in the room while you’re treating it. In the case of some formulas, it may even be unhealthy for you or your pets to do so.
Dealing with Flea Eggs
While Permethrin may still be the key ingredient in many flea killers, it also affects adult fleas only. To handle your flea infestation and prevent reinfestation, you need to kill the eggs, as well.
To do this, you need to make sure that the product you’re using contains something called an insect growth regulator, IGR, for short. Something like (S)-Methoprene is quite common in many flea killers. You can find it in sprays, foggers, and even in some powders.
What this compound does, as well as all other IGRs, is interrupt the life cycle of fleas.
Another alternative to traditional flea killers is diatomaceous earth. It’s a non-toxic compound that’s very aggressive to fleas. It causes them to dehydrate rapidly by destroying their exoskeleton.
Why do some homeowners prefer it? First of all, it’s not toxic to humans, domestic animals, and pets. Therefore, the application is safe, and so is the treatment.
Secondly, diatomaceous earth is not particularly expensive, and it won’t damage your carpeting. It also doesn’t stink or stain. Not to mention that it’s super easy to clean afterward.
Sprinkling a hefty dose of diatomaceous earth powder on rugs and carpets can be an effective way of dealing with a flea infestation. Furthermore, this flea killer also works on adult fleas, eggs, and larvae. Therefore, you won’t have to combine it with other products.
Is Using Flea Killers Enough?
In a way, using the right flea killers is enough to kill off everything. But you can never know. Maybe you’ve missed a few eggs. Unless you’re treating your carpet inch by inch, some topical products may not get the job done entirely.
So, what course of action should you take after using a flea killer? First and foremost, vacuum your carpet. Then, take it to a cleaning service or wash it thoroughly yourself.
If your carpets can’t be steam cleaned, at least make sure you wash them with hot water. Detergents should also help kill off any strays. The goal is for any remaining fleas, alive or unborn, to wash off out of the carpet with the water.
Don’t Forget About Your Pets
If you do have fleas in your home, you most likely got them from your pet. If you spend a lot of time with stray animals or other people’s pets, you might have gotten them that way. If you do have pets, cleaning your house will mean nothing if you don’t clean them first.
After all, any flea eggs found in your pet’s coat are likely to fall off back onto the carpeting. At which point, you may find yourself going through the whole ordeal again.
Thermal or Heat Treatments
But, for the average homeowner, this is not easy to do. There are many thermal tents and large bags that you can plug in and have them heat everything you throw inside. The extreme heat will kill the insects, adults, larvae, and eggs alike.
However, you need to be very sure about your budget, the amount of work, and whether or not your carpets can take the punishment. Softer ones may not handle exposure to high heat as well as you think.
In which case, you may end up killing the fleas and, at the same time, causing structural damage to the fabric.
Is Washing and Vacuuming Enough?
Just because it’s recommended to thoroughly clean your carpets after using a flea killer or treatment, it won’t be enough. Those flea eggs may not be sticky, but they’re also very light.
There’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to suck every single unhatched flea egg or adult flea with your vacuum. Also, don’t assume that drowning a carpet in water will also get rid of the pests.
Fleas are very resilient, and a simple wash or rinse won’t make them go away. That’s why you have to wash pets with a special shampoo and use a proper flea killer. If you have a severe infestation, you might have to use a combination of products.