Flea larvae tend to cling onto anything fibrous, like pet hair and carpet fibres, so these are the guys most likely to get left behind after vacuuming and carpet-cleaning. |
Most recommendations are to keep vacuuming twice a week for up to three months to make sure you are not re-infested, and treat the pet and it's bedding as well.
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.
So-called home "steam cleaners" actually just use hot water, not steam. At best it's tap-water hot, not necessarily hot enough to kill insect eggs. The carpet cleaners will suck up any adult fleas in the carpet, but your vaccum can do that too if you have a good one.
You can also sprinkle the carpet with dry borax (in the laundry aisle at the grocery store) as this is toxic to insects but not humans or pets. Or use a special flea powder which is basically borax with some other ingredients as well. Vacuum it up again after letting sit for an hour, or follow the label instructions.
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 steam carpet 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. Lastly, if this wont work at all, pros has this bigger hand on your carpet, They can make it for you
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