Fleas are small wingless insects, characterized by tube-like sucking mouth parts. These parasites exclusively feed on the blood of warm blooded animals, after piercing the host skin. Based on the organism which they infect, there are various species, such as cat fleas, dog fleas, oriental rat fleas and human fleas. One of the interesting facts about them is their ability to jump for a longer distance, both vertically (18 cm) and horizontally (33 cm). This is rather an adaptive feature for not having wings.
Fleas can be identified by their dark color, long hind legs, and a laterally compressed body. When viewed under a microscope,one can see tiny hair and bristles covering their hard body. Though these wingless insects can be found in pets throughout the year, the peak seasons for flea bites are spring and summer. During these months, it is very common to find infestations in carpet, rugs, and furniture.
How to Get Rid of Fleas in Carpet?
Many times, the adult female lay eggs in pets, carpets, rugs, home furniture, cat boxes, and kennels. These eggs, after passing several growth stages, mature into adults. In favorable climatic conditions, the growth period is as short as 3 weeks. However, in cold temperatures, the larval and pupal stages remain dormant for a year period, or until the onset of warm environmental conditions. Thus, they accumulate in carpets or pet bedding, resulting in a heavy infestation. Following are some of the home remedies:
» Quarantine Infested Pets
This is the first and foremost step in controlling fleas in house. Do not forget to quarantine pets that have flea infestations, and bathe them with appropriate soaps. This is because, even if you succeed in getting rid of fleas from other places, those infesting in the pet will spread again.
When present within the carpet fibers, they are hardly visible to naked eye. In case you notice any flea signs in pets, make sure to examine the bedding and carpets for infestation. Then, vacuum all the carpets, pet bedding, and upholstered furniture on a regular basis. Clean the vacuum bag properly before reusing it.
» Steam Cleaning
Another method is giving it to professional services for steam cleaning. This step is essential for mass flea infestation, because vacuuming is not sufficient to remove flea larvae that remain adhered in the carpet fibers. For best results, you can recommend using a mixture of diatomaceous earth and water.
» Using Salt and Borax Powder
Sprinkling salt will help kill the flea eggs, while borax is effective for killing larvae and adults. Using borax is probably the best method for getting rid of fleas naturally. Available as a white powder, you can sprinkle it over the carpet, and underneath it to kill stubborn fleas. While doing so, make sure you use protective glasses and dust mask, to avoid eye irritation and inhalation respectively.
With a tough and polished body, fleas are very difficult to deal with. Be it their infestation on carpets, humans, or pests (cats and dogs), they are a nuisance, which should be treated with special pest control methods. If the above methods are not showing positives results, try using chemical aerosols or insecticidal sprays that are specifically formulated for killing fleas in carpets.