The most common breeding grounds for fleas inside of homes is in carpeting. This provides them with a perfect haven to thrive in. If you want to end an infestation in your home, you must target your carpet and rugs.
In this article we will cover everything you need to know about fleas in carpets, and how to kill them. Plus, read product reviews for the best carpet treatments for fleas.
Why Fleas Like Carpets
95% of a flea infestation will be in your carpets. The breakdown goes like this: 50% eggs, 35% larvae, and 10% pupae. The other other 5% of fleas will be adults around the home or on pets. So, why do fleas like carpets so much?
After the female flea gets a blood meal, she will then seek out a place to lay her eggs. In homes, carpeting and rugs make a great flea breeding zone. Most areas of carpet is usually undisturbed, and it provides good shelter for flea eggs, larvae, and cocoons. Unless you look closely, you will probably not even see the flea offspring in your carpet.
After the eggs hatch, flea larvae will thrive in the carpet. The larvae will typically feed on the organic matter, debris, and food crumbs that gets trapped in carpet fibers. Plus, The female flea will have laid blood droppings with eggs as a food source for the larvae. Carpets essentially provide an unlimited food source for flea larvae.
The larvae will continue to live in the carpet until they pupate. The larvae will then spin sticky silk cocoons around themselves, and slowly transform into adult fleas. Since the cocoons are made of a sticky material, they will pick up debris and carpet fibers. This perfectly blends them into their surroundings as a natural camouflage.
The best way to remove and prevent fleas in your carpet is to vacuum regularly. The invention of the vacuum has really hurt the human flea, and made it hard for them to survive in homes. This may seem a like really simple flea control method, but it is very effective.
The vacuum cleaner will suck up any flea eggs, larvae, or pupae found in the carpet. This will completely disrupt the flea reproduction cycle. Eventually the adults will die off, and then there will be no new generation to lay eggs and continue the infestation.
Another benefit of vacuuming is it will also clean up any debris and food crumbs that may fall on the floor. This will remove a major source of food for the flea larvae. Furthermore, fleas do not like to lay eggs in areas which are disrupted regularly.
Another method to kill the fleas that are living in your carpet is to use a flea killing powder. Fleabusters Rx is a very popular carpet treatment for fleas. The powder is statically charged, so it will attach itself to fleas or anything else in carpet. The active ingredient is boric acid. Boric acid is used in a variety of insecticides, and is safe for home use. The powered boric acid works by poisoning the insect’s stomach and affecting metabolism. Also, on contact, it will quickly cut into insect exoskeletons and cause them to dehydrate.
Diatomaceous earth (DE) is an all natural flea treatment. It is comprised out of powdered sedimentary rock, making it completely non-toxic and safe. It works just like other flea powders that you can apply to your carpets. Just like boric acid, diatomaceous earth works when it contacts an insect’s exoskeleton. It then absorbs the waxy outer layer, lacerates their body, and absorbs liquids from their body. The result is that the insect rapidly loses moisture and dies from dehydration. Although it is non-toxic, do not breathe it in because DE is abrasive.
Insecticial sprays can also be used on carpets to kill fleas. These are often faster acting and a little more effective than powders, but they will contain more chemicals. The active ingredients in these sprays are thought of to be safe for humans and pets. Ultracide is a popular flea spray. It contains two types of active ingredients: one to kill the adult fleas, and one to kill the larvae. Pyrethrin will kill the adults by affecting their nervous systems, and Nylar is a juvenile hormone that prevents the larvae from ever maturing into adults.
Finally, salt is another natural substance you can dust your carpets with. Salt will dehydrate all flea larvae and eggs it contacts. Salt will remove moisture from the environment, and these pre-adult fleas cannot survive in dry locations. Obviously salt is completely safe and non-toxic for you and your pets.
Other Common Places For Flea Larvae and Eggs
While carpets are the most common place to find flea eggs, larave, and pupae, there are a few other places you will want to check:
- Stuffed animals
- Under furniture
- Pet bedding