How To Kill Fleas In A Carpet
How To Kill Fleas In Carpet Naturally
Fleas live three out of their four stage life-cycles virtually invisible to the naked eye, making them difficult to take out before they're a pest-control issue. Fleas may present a health hazard, not only because they can transmit anything from Flea bite dermatitis to tapeworms , but unfortunately also due to the fact that may commercial solutions are potentially unsafe for your pets (more on this later).
In this article I have tried to present the facts in a no-nonsense manner, so that killing fleas in your carpet becomes a straight-forward affair and not an ongoing what if! Learn how to patiently and thoroughly cleanse your carpet (which presents a perfect breeding ground for fleas) with both synthetic and natural methods.
Flea Symptoms In Pets
Some common Flea related pet symptoms.
- Rashes (particularly at the joints, you may notice that the rash slowly increases over time).
- Bumps that bleed when scratched.
- Hives, (also known as Urticaria) characterized by redness and itchy bumps on the skin.
In many cases the act of scratching (it can be quite severe) can lead to secondary skin infections.
Flea Health Hazards
Fleas carry a number of diseases that can affect both humans and pets (they feed on us both -- but prefer to live on cats and dogs). A single flea can bite up to 350 times a day, leading to an almost incessant itch (so keep a lookout for constant scratching). The major risks associated with flea infestations are:
- Flea bite dermatitis.
- Murine typhus.
- The bubonic plague.
In addition to this, because fleas feed on the blood of their victims, small pets may become prone to anemia. For more information regarding pet symptoms please consult the text capsule to the right.
Flea Carpet Killing Methods
The first thing you'll want to take of a priori, is to make sure your pet is protected from fleas as well. Now killing fleas is remarkably difficult and will require a healthy dose of persistence. Not only are the fleas themselves becoming immune to many commercial sprays and poisons, their complex life-cycle means that unless they are fully developed larvae or pupae, they can be relatively un-killable. Repetition is key. Here are a number of ways you could effectively approach the problem:
- Vacuum cleaning your carpet is a good first step. But probably not for the reason you think! Believe it or not, you won't simply be sucking them up, what happens is that the vibrations caused by the vacuum cleaning will cause the fleas to be tricked into believing there is a readily available food source. They will either be sucked up, killed by your successive actions or bite into your now-protected pet.
- Add a little flea powder or salt to the carpet. Other common options include flea sprays and foggers (flea bombs). Apply your agent of choice onto the carpet and wait at least 24 hours (or refer to the instruction manual, though in almost all cases a day should be plenty).
- Repeat the vacuum cleaning process to pick up as much of the residue as possible. Although your best option will involve steam cleaning because the water may well drown the remaining fleas. Adding a growth inhibitor to the concoction will ensure developing fleas won't mature.
Natural, Homemade Flea Killing Methods
Not everyone will be comfortable spraying their homes with pesticide, thankfully know that there are some effective (though not always as potentially effective) treatments that involve natural agents.
- Food grade Diatomaceous earth - Dusting your carpet with this will kill fleas, but remain harmless to humans. It is a natural and very cheap solution (I must resist the inevitable dirt cheap quip here).
- Salt - Another harmless and efficient agent to sprinkle on the carpet.
- Lavender Oil - I have not tried this myself.
Remember that heat may serve as bait to draw the fleas out from their comfortable nesting places. Don some white socks and strut around the carpet manically and check if any try to jump on your ankles and bite you.
Are Flea Collars Safe?
Many people advocate the use of flea collars to treat and kill fleas, but bear in mind that many vets are recommending not using them because they can make your pet very sick!
The toxic chemicals they house can lead from anything to burns and skin irritations to nervous system problems and even death. My advice would be to go with an all natural solution and triple-check the manual for any chemicals and research them thoroughly.
Just a warning!
And on this happy note, the article is concluded. I hope you found it of use in your quest to kill fleas in the carpet. Please remember that a single pass of the aforementioned methods will probably not solve the problem. You will need to constantly vacuum the carpet for some time to live flea-free!
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