Summer is here! You can look forward to good weather, good times … and the occasional unwelcome house guest. That’s right—it’s flea and tick season. Whether you find these pests on yourself after a hike or if Fido brings them into your home, remember, the key is acting quickly. And as always, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Read on to learn about steps you can take to prevent fleas in your home and how to get rid of fleas in carpet.
Carpet Cleaning to Kill Fleas
Does steam cleaning kill fleas? Yes and no. Steam cleaning is primarily used to remove adult fleas, dead fleas, flea dust and dander. It’s important to bring in a professional to steam clean your carpets, as at-home steam cleaners are unlikely to reach the high temperatures needed to kill adult fleas.
While carpet cleaning to kill fleas is effective for adults, the juvenile fleas and flea eggs are less likely to be impacted by carpet cleaning. In most cases, fully eradicating fleas in your home will require help from an exterminator.
How to Get Rid of Fleas in Carpet
So, the worst has happened: you’ve got an infestation. First, remember not to panic. You need to build a routine to get rid of the fleas as quickly as possible. Just combing your pet won’t do it—you need to interrupt the flea life cycle by killing flea eggs, too.
Focus your efforts on the soft surfaces in your home. That includes upholstery, bedding, and carpet. Build a routine of washing bedding in hot water as often as you can. Be sure to use the hottest setting on your dryer. Vacuum your home every day. Don’t forget to vacuum any furniture your pets spend time on, taking special care to clean every part of the cushions, pillows, and throw blankets. Be sure to empty the canister outside the house. For extra precaution, consider storing your vacuum in your garage or shed.
But DIY Solutions Usually Aren’t Enough
There are many options for DIY flea eradication, but oftentimes homeowners prefer the security of working with a professional exterminator. Because fleas can be so pervasive, it’s likely that they are not just affecting one room of your house or one type of material in your home. If you find fleas in one part of your residence, it’s safe to assume they will be found throughout your home.
If you suspect a flea infestation in your home, we recommend:
- Positively identify fleas in your home.
Most varieties of fleas prefer animals to human targets. That means you need to watch your dog or cat for any signs of discomfort. If you notice your pet twitching, scratching themselves more than usual, or suddenly jumping around before scratching, there may be a problem. Of course, some animals are very good at hiding discomfort, so always invest in a good flea comb and check your animal regularly. Immediately remove and drown any live fleas you find. You are most likely to find lots of flea dirt under your pet’s fur. This looks like specks of dirt, but it’s a mix of blood and waste from the fleas. Gently comb or wash this away.
Other signs of flea infestations include finding flea eggs in areas your pet has slept. These look like tiny brown or white grains of rice. Check bedding and carpeting every day and immediately vacuum up any eggs you find.
- Contact a local exterminator.
Schedule a time to have your home assessed by a professional exterminator.
- Schedule an eradication.
Follow your local exterminator’s instructions for cleaning and rearranging your home prior to extermination. Make plans for pets and loved ones to stay away from the home for a period during and after treatment -usually between 5-8 hours total.
- After the fleas have been eradicated, choose Rainbow Restoration for professional steam carpet cleaning.
Our hot-water extraction techniques lift dead fleas, flea dander and other refuse from deep within the carpet – returning it to like-new condition.
Don’t forget! Flea infestations aren’t limited to carpeting. Fleas can be found living in and on all the soft surfaces in a home. While your local Rainbow International is onsite, be sure to schedule residential upholstery cleaning, too.
Preventing Fleas and Ticks
There are a few ways to lower your odds of encountering fleas and ticks. If you spend a lot of time in nature, invest in some lightweight ankle-length hiking pants, and always wear high socks or boots in tall grass. Certain varieties of bug spray can help to ward off fleas. Choose bug repellant containing Pyrethrin and spray your pant legs and socks. After you get home, check yourself thoroughly.
Pets are the primary targets of fleas. At minimum, treat your dog or cat with a veterinarian-recommended flea and tick prevention product on a regular basis. Try to keep your dog or cat away from tall grasses, piles of leaves, and any areas where wildlife might have passed through recently. And of course, check your pet for ticks and fleas at the end of every walk.
Choose Rainbow Restoration for Carpet Cleaning After an Infestation
Feeling overwhelmed by a flea infestation? Don’t wait. Contact your local Rainbow Restoration to learn how to get rid of fleas in carpet, fast. Call (855) 724-6269 or request an appointment online to get started.
Learn more about fleas from our friends at Mosquito Joe®. Like Rainbow Restoration, Mosquito Joe is a member of the Neighborly® family of home service businesses.