How to Get Rid of Fleas in Carpet: The Comprehensive Science-Backed Guide

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Fleas in carpets are a rather unpleasant situation, and you probably want to know how to get rid of them. I know a lot about killing fleas in the carpet, even if they’ve been living there for a long time. I tested all the methods from a scientific perspective and selected the most effective of them to help you save time and money.

In this detailed guide, I gathered everything I know about carpet flea treatment, flea control and prevention. It includes a description of reasons for parasite infestation, ways to detect them, and the most effective ways to get fleas out of the carpet. Below you will find instructions for chemical delousing and natural flea treatment for carpet. Don’t waste your time on traditional practices and learn how to solve the problem professionally.

Product
Best Carpet Flea Killer
Virbac Knockout E.S. Area...
Precor Plus Fogger (aka Flea...
HARRIS Diatomaceous Earth Food...
BASF 671858 PT Ultracide...
Prime
-
Pros
1 spray is enough for 2100 square feet.
Effect lasts up to 7 months.
100% pet-safe and ecological.
3 active components for knockdown and control.
Best Carpet Flea Killer
Product
Virbac Knockout E.S. Area...
Price
Prime
-
Pros
1 spray is enough for 2100 square feet.
My review
Product
Precor Plus Fogger (aka Flea...
Price
Prime
Pros
Effect lasts up to 7 months.
My review
Product
HARRIS Diatomaceous Earth Food...
Price
Prime
Pros
100% pet-safe and ecological.
My review
Product
BASF 671858 PT Ultracide...
Price
Prime
Pros
3 active components for knockdown and control.
My review

The Reasons for Carpet Fleas Infestation

Pests in houses are a very common problem when you have pets. Our little friends can bring these micro bugs home even after a 10-minute walk on the street. Bug legs are designed for precise jumping on long distances, which lets them attack your pets from several meters. When they reach the animal’s body, female specimen can lay eggs in the fur, which is warm enough for their growth.

As eggs grow, they become dry and fall down. Hatched larvae usually inhabit warm places, such as pet cushions, human bedrooms, and carpets, where they can hide amongst fibers until they become mature insects. Usually frequent, thorough vacuuming solves the problem in advance, but if larvae have enough time to spin a cocoon, it becomes very hard to vacuum them. That’s why proper flea treatment for carpets is essential in such cases.

fleas on the floor

These small insects can also get into your house through windows, even if you don’t have pets. They can jump inside instinctively or get thrown inside by the wind. Due to their small size (2mm max), they can easily get inside through mosquito nets and tiny cracks.

Signs Your Carpet is Infested

The first and the truest sign that your house is infested by carpet bugs is the presence of parasites in your pet’s hair. Your pet is likely to tell you about the problem as soon as adult parasites get on its body. The animal will start scratching more frequently than it used to, trying to remove the reason of itching. Other signs include dark specks that are bug feces and tiny grey and black pieces on the pet’s bedding and carpets.

If you don’t notice anything like that, but want to do some additional checking, I’ll tell you another simple method. Take a bowl of hot soapy water and put it in the middle of the carpet. Then switch off all the lights around and shine your smartphone flash above the bowl. If you really have an infestation, adult bugs will start jumping towards the light and falling into the bowl where soap will kill them fast. However, that’s not what kills fleas in carpet completely, so read further to learn how to kill fleas in carpet.

flea identification trap

How Long Do Fleas Live in Carpet?

You can kill adult parasites on the bodies of your pets, but can fleas live in a carpet without a host? Unfortunately, they can stay in your carpets for another 2-3 months. If you don’t start proper carpet flea treatment, they can keep breeding forever.

However, such a scenario is possible only if they have a source of blood. That’s why they usually die when you do scheduled treatment for your pets often enough. When the blood source is absent, these annoying vermins cannot live longer than a few days.

During this period, they’re still able to lay down many eggs. But how long do flea eggs live in carpet? Before hatching, they can live up to 3 days within larvae. The hatching period can last up to 12 days.

Removing Fleas From Carpet

dog on the grey carpet

Natural Remedies

First, let’s figure out how to get rid of fleas in your carpet without chemicals. The primary step that you should undertake is cleaning. The tougher your pest problem is, the more often you should clean the entire house. Don’t forget about corners, upholstery, and all other surfaces as pests can survive even in a thin layer of dust under your bed.

Make sure that every spot of the house is clean before starting to use any remedies. One of the best natural remedies to start with is diatomaceous earth. Sprinkle it on the carpet after vacuuming and spray some boiled lemon water with a small amount of rosemary oil. These 3 components are powerful vermin deterrents.

Instead, you can try to sprinkle fine-grained salt and borax. Leave them overnight to let them get deep into the carpet fiber and make vacuum the house in the morning. The minus of this method is that you must keep animals and kids away from treated carpets before you ensure that they’re clean.

How to kill flea eggs in a carpet along with adult specimen? My favorite natural method is the steaming of carpets and furniture. This method requires a simple domestic steam generator. However, I’d recommend you to pay a professional cleaner to do it fast using a more powerful streamer.

Other Remedies

Chemical methods of removing fleas from carpet include pet-friendly carpet sprays and pet-safe insecticides. They can work for up to 14 days after spraying, letting you vacuum out dead carpet fleas. Vacuum the carpet every day or two to complete the procedure. If the situation is too harsh, you’d better call a professional and follow my recommendations after full-cycle treatment. You will find them in the next paragraph.

How to Prevent Infestation

1. Care About The Yard

It’s always better to prevent the infestation in advance than fight bugs when they start replicating in your house. If you live in a house with a backyard, I’d recommend you to trim grass and trees regularly to make the area potentially dangerous for most insects. For a better result, you can use pet-friendly outdoor sprays. It will be excellent prophylaxis against all kinds of pests. To keep away bigger animals that may bring in jumpy insects from the street, don’t feed your pets outside and always close the rubbish container.

person using a flea killer on the lawn

2. Provide Animals With Regular Hygiene

As a pet owner, you must provide your small friends with regular thorough flea treatment. Talk to your vet to choose the right schedule and an effective control product. Besides, you can get special food supplements that will make your pet’s skin undesirable for all parasites.

Related Post: Best Cat Flea Treatments Reviewed (Safe & Effective)

3. Vacuum and Change Vacuum Bags Frequently

Vacuuming is one of the best preventive measures against vermins. However, it won’t be effective enough if you don’t clean the container right after vacuuming. Tiny bandits can live and breed within the vacuum bag and get out through the filters. Follow this rule, and you won’t need to care how to get fleas out of carpet. It’s a must-do even if you don’t have pets, because you can easily catch bugs on your shoes and pants even during a short walk.

4. Clean Dogs After Walking

Any vet will say that you have to clean your dog very often. This will not only make your pet healthier but also protect it from most types of parasites. Buy an anti-parasite dog shampoo and use natural repellents. For example, I spray my dog with lemon water before each walk, and it works perfectly well. Don’t forget to bath your pet on time, and you will reduce the probability of infestation. In addition to that, you should comb your pets outside the house to prevent them from falling on the floor.

Related Post: Best Dog Flea & Tick Treatments Reviewed

5. Wash Pet Bedding & Use Carpet Spray

Pet bedding is the most common place for bug breeding. That’s why you should wash it in hot water to avoid headache and schedule removing fleas from carpet for later. To finalize the results, use the pet-friendly carpet spray on the bedding too.

Top 5 Carpet Flea Treatment Products

carpet pile in macro

1. Virbac Knockout E.S. Area Treatment Carpet Spray – Best Flea Spray for Carpets

Virbac Knockout E.S. Area Treatment Carpet Spray is a convenient spray that’s designed to penetrate the carpet structure without damaging the fiber. You can use it not only for drapes, upholstery, and cracks in the floor and walls. Active ingredients of this product are pet-safe, so you can spray it on pet beddings as well. However, it’s always safer to clean it in hot water after treatment as some animals may be allergic to one of the components.

This spray can prevent the development of the infestation for up to 7 months, depending on the size of the problem. Don’t forget to apply it to cracks in floors as larvae hide there quite often. One 16 oz. spray is enough to cover up to 2100 square feet, so it’s enough for large houses with multiple carpets, many furniture items, and wooden floors with cracks. Vibrac spray doesn’t leave a sticky mess and annoying odors, but I’d recommend you not to spray it too close to furniture to avoid wet stains.

Pros:Cons:
  • Pet-safe components;
  • 1 spray is enough for 2100 square feet;
  • No mess and odor;
  • Prevents infestation for up to 7 months.
  • Quite costly.

2. Precor Plus Fogger – Best Fogger

Precor Plus Fogger offers nearly the same characteristics as the Knockout Spray by Vibrac. You can use it to kill adult carpet fleas, larvae, and their eggs successfully. One 3 oz can is enough for covering up to 3000 square feet of carpets, cracks, and furniture. However, it’s more effective to cover a smaller area with more fog as it tends to wear off if there are drafts in the house.

The effect will be notable for up to 7 months if you follow all the recommendations and fog all the possible hideouts. It’s safe to let your small children and pets inside after fogging, but I’d not recommend you to let them be around for around 2 hours after the procedure to ensure that anyone can breathe it in.

While the effectiveness of this product is similar to the previous one, the application method is different. If your house has many hard-to-reach corners, it’s easier to treat them with a fogger than trying to spray the insecticide under the right angle.

Pros:Cons:
  • Effect lasts up to 7 months;
  • Help to access hard-to-reach places;
  • Covers up to 3000 square feet.
  • Helps against adult fleas, eggs, and larvae.
  • Not very effective if there are drafts in the house.

3. Diatomaceous Earth Food Grade by Harris – Best Natural Treatment

Diatomaceous Earth Food Grade by Harris is an effective natural pest remedy that has additives and fillers in the composition. The package comes full of 100% ground freshwater diatomaceous earth mined in Nevada. Even the manufacturing method is 100% ecological as the factory doesn’t produce any waste. Moreover, Harris donates 10% of its income to the Etowah Valley Humane Society.

All Harris packages are supplied with convenient powder dusters that let you dust hard-to-reach areas. The extension nozzle is 6 inches long, which is enough for dusting carpets under furniture. The efficiency of this pest treatment method is a bit lower than sprays and foggers provide, but you can repeat the procedure as many times as you need without being afraid that someone in your house will have an allergy. It’s also usually cheaper than most sprays and flea foggers as you can cover larger areas using a single bag.

Pros:Cons:
  • Doesn’t have an expiration date;
  • 100% pet-safe and ecological;
  • OMRI Listed;
  • Comes with a powder duster.
  • Not as effective as sprays and foggers.

4. BASF 671858 PT – Powerful Insecticide

BASF 671858 PT is one of the most effective insecticide sprays on the market. However, it’s necessary to follow stricter precautionary measures while using it inside your house or apartment. There are no components that can harm pets or children, but it’s strictly prohibited to let them inside the room until the insecticide dries completely. Direct contact with the insecticide will be harmful. Fortunately, it dries quickly.

It also requires you to spray a bit more remedy on the surfaces as the max area of a 20 oz spray can is limited to 2600 square feet. There are 3 active components that provide fast knockdown, pest life cycle disruption, and control on the problem for up to 7 months.

Pros:Cons:
  • One of the most effective chemical remedies;
  • Dries fast;
  • 3 active components for knockdown and control.
  • Direct contact with the spray can be harmful to animals and children.

5. Adams Flea & Tick Carpet Powder – Persistent-effect Powder

Adams Flea & Tick Carpet Powder is a rather cheap chemical remedy with Linalool and Nylar. These components are effective for killing fleas in carpet along with eggs and hatched larvae. Due to an Insect Growth Regulator, it stops the survived fleas from breeding for up to 30 days. After that, the flea life cycle will be shortened during up to 1 year. The powder is designed for deep penetration and persistent effect. It remains deep in the carpet even if you vacuum it twice a week to vacuum dead pests out. Another benefit of using the powder is the deodorizing effect. It freshens the air in the house and adds a persistent citrus scent that hides animal smells.

The disadvantage of this powder is that 1 16 oz container cannot cover more than 400 square feet. It means that you have to buy 2 or more powder cans if there are more than 2 rooms in your house. The powder is totally safe for animals and children, but you should keep them away while dusting the powder.

Pros:Cons:
  • Continuous 365-day control;
  • Nice citrus scent;
  • Rather cheap.
  • One can isn’t enough for an average house.

FAQ

dog on the white carpet

1. Why and when fleas may infest your carpet?

Flea infestation in a carpet can occur when your pets bring pests into the house in hair. Fleas can also travel on your shoes and clothes. In most cases, nothing will happen, but if you don’t bath your pets and clean the house thoroughly enough, flukes will replicate rapidly.

2. What are common signs of fleas in carpet?

Check your pets’ skin and beddings for specks of tiny feces, larvae, and pepper-size eggs. If you find them, the chances that your carpet is infested are rather high. Start carpet flea treatment as soon as possible to avoid consequences.

3. How long can pests live inside the fiber?

Adult fleas can inhabit the carpet for an unlimited period if they have a host that supplies them with food. If there’s no blood source, they die within a few days. That’s why regular pet hygiene treatment and vacuuming is usually enough.

4. How long do flea eggs live in carpet?

Flea eggs can live up to 3 days within larvae before they hatch. The hatching period can last up to 12 days. Both natural and chemical remedies can stop it or slow it down.

Always Think in Advance

Now you know how to prevent a flea infestation in carpet and all about getting rid of fleas in carpet in a vast majority of cases. Using natural and chemical methods described in this article, you can solve the problem of nearly any difficulty. But don’t forget to take precautionary measures to avoid the poisoning of pets and small children.

Despite the accessibility of insect fighting methods, I strongly recommend you stick to preventive measures to avoid spending tons of time and money on carpet flea treatment when the situation gets too bad.

Do you have any experience in fighting jumping vermins that’s different from mine? Share it in the comments section so that we can discuss your methods. You can also ask any question if something isn’t clear enough.

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Nicholas Martin

About Nicholas Martin

I am Nicholas Martin, and I am an entomologist. I combine the insect survey work with the consultation for private pest control agencies. My narrow specializations are both urban pests and agricultural pests. I studied their control over the previous 25 years.

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