How to get rid of fleas in your house, on your pets, and how to stay rid of them once they're gone – a step-by-step guide to flea control.

How to Get Rid of Fleas in Carpets

Vacuuming, Steam Cleaning, and Effective Use of Sprays and Powders

One of the most important parts of effective flea control is getting rid of the fleas in your home at the same time you get rid of fleas on your pet. Doing one without the other is pointless, as you’ll just see your pet and home re-infested. One of the most common places to find fleas, eggs and larva is in carpets.

The most effective and cheap carpet flea treatments is vacuuming. Vacuuming daily will suck up adult fleas, and also destroy eggs and larva. Try putting some diatomaceous earth, borax, or a flea collar in the vacuum cleaner bag beforehand. This will help kill live fleas that wind up in the bag, and prevent them from escaping back into your home.

First, any throw rugs or carpets that can be washed should be. The same goes for any pet bedding, upholstery, or pillows. Anything that can be effectively washed in your washing machine should be washed in hot water and detergent. This is one of the best ways to kill fleas at all stages of the life cycle.

Flea Sprays

Using pesticides on your carpet can be effective, but may leave a toxic residue you don’t want. Other ways to treat your carpet is with a non-toxic substance that will scratch the fleas exoskeleton and cause dehydration. Diatomaceous earth, Borax and salt will all achieve this purpose.

If you have a particularly nasty infestation, and you want to try using insecticides, make sure you use one that also contains an insect growth regulator. Check out our page on flea sprays to use in your home for more information.

Flea Powders

Fleabusters Rx for Fleas PlusFlea powders can be very effective in killing fleas in your carpet. They can also have the added benefit of being non-toxic, as well as odorless, so they can be used more liberally without danger or annoyance. One of the most popular and effective flea powders is Fleabusters RX, which is a borate based powder. It’s both non-toxic and statically charged, so it will cling to carpet fibers and flea larva, making it more effective.

Steam Cleaning

Steam cleaning, either by a professional service, or with a home steam cleaner, is also very effective. Basically, you want to get the carpet as clean as possible. Once that’s done, try to vacuum at least every other day, if not every day. Pay particular attention to the areas your pet frequents, and under chairs and sofas.

Don’t forget to put something in the vacuum cleaner bag to kill the fleas and eggs that you vacuum up. Flea collars are effective, as are diatomaceous earth, borax and salt.

Be sure to dispose of the vacuum cleaner bag properly by sealing it in a plastic bag before putting it in the trash. Keep to your program of regular vacuuming, and treating your pet for fleas, and you should be well on your way to being rid of your infestation.

Here’s an interesting, kind of creepy look at how fleas live in your carpets.

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21 Responses to “How to Get Rid of Fleas in Carpets”

  1. Alicia says:

    Im not sure if i have fleas in my carpet or not but my dog has fleas on him and i have been puting his flea medican on him once a month. Thanks so much for all this informantion. I hope this works because my baby is starting to chew his skin so bad that he parts are red and loosing some hair. I have looked all over him and i have killed about 8 on him…this is making me so sad. I hate that he is in pain. Is there anything i can give my dog other along with frontline that will at least keep the fleas off of him and kill them if they do get on him. I need to get rid of this problem ASAP!!!!

    • Eileen says:

      Have you tried Capstar, it’s a pill I got from the Vet. and it will kill fleas on your dog within 30 minutes. It really works and gives the dog a rest and time to start healing. You might have to use again in a few days, but one pill is only around $5.00. Good luck, but by now maybe your problem is solved.

  2. John Britton says:

    Can fleas fly inside the home. Want to know if it is fleas on inside glass or nats.

  3. LYNN says:

    We recently moved into an apartment that was infested with fleas. I used a 50/50 mixture of baking soda and table salt sprinkled on the carpet, then walked on to work it in. Left it in the carpet for an hour or two, and then vacuumed it up. We did this every day for a week, and then cut back to every other day and the fleas are almost gone.

    • Sue says:

      Ok…so tell me how you get that stuff back out of your carpet?? I can’t believe that vacuuming it after you have walked it in will actually get it all and not leave a white dust look from the baking soda!

      • Melissa says:

        I did the same thing when I saw her post and I left it on the carpet over the weekend then vacuumed on Monday morning and it all came up. Walking all over it for a couple days made it really dig into the carpet so it didn’t have spots. A professional told me to just use salt b/c when it comes in contact with a flea it dries it out and dies easily. But really if you have a continuous problem buy Adams Flea and Tick Home and Carpet Spray. I just used it and just vacuumed up 2 dead fleas. And I have had a flea problem for at least a month or longer and this is the only thing that really worked.

  4. margaertte says:

    I don.t have any pet but the house that i moved to 2 years ago have rugs in all rooms. lately we have been seing a lot of mice running in the house and we all being itching with a feeling fo something crawling on us it’s not be bug because i check all mattress please help me i have a neww born in the house and the landlord not doing anything

  5. Melissa says:

    I have already said what I have been doing to help with my flea problem, and have had one since we moved to a very wooded area in NC. I recently bought Adams Flea and Tick Home and Carpet Spray and used it on Sunday morning while we were out of the house. I just vacuumed today(Tuesday) and only vacuumed up dead fleas(only 2 of them.) That has been the best thing I have used since I started this process. I would recommend to keep vacuuming since I have 2 pets and shed alot. But I will be purchasing that product again when I need to.

  6. Carlene says:

    I have had a flea problem for months and have tried numerous things. We have tried powder on the carpet, bombing the house, spraying the house and the cats are on frontline. Even with the cats on frontline, they are still loaded with fleas. My question is would you recommend the salt and baking soda or the Adam’s spray?

    • Melissa says:

      Hi, Carlene. I also have had a flea problem for a few months and I still have some in the house, but things that I have found that works is the Adams Flea and Tick Home and Carpet Spray b/c it does have IGR(Insect Growth Regulator) in it and might not take care of all the fleas at once, but it is a gradual process that does keep the fleas from growing into adults. My dog is the main one that had fleas, and I use garlic in her food. My cat I just use spot treatments. I was using Frontline and then they came out with PetArmor that has the same ingredients as Frontline, but now in stores like Walmart and around $25. A vet told me that if the fleas are really bad then I could put the flea stuff on the animals every 3 weeks instead of every month. So I have been and it does help a lot to keep the majority of the fleas away. If they are in the house now then just vacuum daily or every other day. I also put salt in my vacuum before hand so any fleas I catch will dehydrate and die. I did see a huge difference after using that Adams Spray though. You can repeat the Spray as necessary too, but that is what I would recommend.

  7. Melissa says:

    Beyond Fleas,
    What product do you recommend: Adams Flea and Tick Home and Carpet Spray or Enforcer? I have seen both in stores and used the Adams product once already. Does Enforcer have an IGR in it? Adams worked well but one bottle did not cover my entire carpet area and my dog got fleas bad again so they are back. I like the spray better then powder b/c it seems to work better. I just need something with an IGR in it and get enough to cover the whole carpet. Thanks.

  8. Melissa says:

    I just wanted to tell everybody that might still have a flea problem that it will end soon! I really haven’t done anything different, but I have kept up with everything this website says to do and since it is now cold in NC, mountains at night and in the mornings-we leave our windows open at night and any fleas that might still be in here are dead b/c the past 2x I have vacuumed there has not been any live ones!!I also got more of that Adams product from Walmart and will spray again when it starts getting really cold to keep them out completely. The cold weather is killing them off so please be patient and keep doing what you are doing and you will get some relief soon!!

    • Heather says:

      I am so frustrated, my dog and cats had fleas vet recommended thiss pill that killed the fleas on them immediately they are now on frontline, so their good. My house on the other hand seems to be more of a problem. I first fogged swet and washed everything that I could bagged andd washed every bit of bedding and whatever clothing wa on the floor, have 2 teenagers. Then the next day found a live flea so puchased Knockout and the another can to finish the whole house. I was still getting bit so went to pest control and got a gallon of I think Bromide and sprayed the kids rooms basement and furnature , one week later I checked using soapy pans of water and a light and…found 3 more, do I try the salt baking soda on carpets and furnature and just sweep everyday…i haven’t been sweeping because the Knockout dir said not to sweep for a week if you can help it….does anyone have a suggestion

    • Heather says:

      I’ve tried sprays and foggers and some Bromide, still have live fleas should I now try salt and diam… Earth I’ve spent so much money already

  9. Ana says:

    so if you have no more pets and you use the salt/baking soda method and vacuum either daily or every other day, do you think that should work to get rid of the fleas for good? I really hate fleas and have never had to deal with them until i moved to this apartment and i really hate getting kicked out of my apartment by some critters

  10. Lois Young says:

    How much salt or borax do i put on the carpet ? will it work for head lice Also?

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