If fleas have set up residence in your home, what can you do? Let’s face it. Flea infestations aren’t fun. Fleas carry pathogens that can harm humans and pets, such as plague, cat scratch disease, tapeworms, and haemobartonellosis, a parasitic blood disease. Flea larvae in soil can easily be tracked inside your home by your own pets, visiting pets, people, or contaminated items. Once they find their way in, they can easily infest your carpets.
Here are some steps you can take to get rid of fleas.
- If you have a pet, use year-round flea treatments to prevent infestations.
- Sweep and mop regularly.
- Wash pet bedding.
- Have your carpets professionally cleaned. *Please note, regular professional carpet cleaning alone is unlikely to eradicate the infestation, because some fleas can survive this process, but it will definitely help.
- Vacuum often. Your vacuum is your best line of defense. Don't just vacuum your carpeting, vacuum upholstery and drapery, too. According to an experiment conducted by Ohio State University, vacuuming effectively kills fleas, eggs, and larvae residing in carpets. If you want to be extra cautious, empty vacuum cleaner canisters or bags into an outside trash receptacle in case any fleas survived the vacuuming process.
- Use Borax. More tenacious infestations may require sprinkling Borax into the carpet and along floorboards, working it in with a brush, and leaving it in overnight before vacuuming it up. Test an inconspicuous area first, to make sure this will not discolor your carpets. Borax penetrates the exoskeleton of fleas and dehydrates them. Take care to use goggles, gloves, and a dust mask if you go this route, because although Borax is considered non-toxic, it can still cause eye, skin, and respiratory irritation. After the infestation is resolved, professional carpet cleaning can remove any Borax residue remaining in your carpet.
This is one of a series of articles written and published on behalf of surpHaces Partners.