Did you see small and wingless creatures on your pet’s skin or your carpets? Well, those are called FLEAS. They are easy to acquire but difficult to eradicate. These tiny pests can be very frustrating. You need to learn everything about them to tell them who’s the boss. That is what this post will help you do.
Fleas are very tiny in size and feed on the blood of animals. They can hop and infest your carpets and furniture. They are most active in summers, but you can prevent them with appropriate measures. Don’t lose hope even if you have a flea infestation. There are ways to get rid of these little critters like insecticide and pest control.
What are carpet fleas?
Let’s get one thing sorted. There isn’t an insect called ‘Carpet Flea’. However, fleas can infest carpets. Let me tell you more about them.
Flea a.k.a Siphonaptera is a small insect that has no wings. It is known for feeding on animal blood. That is why the main source of fleas in your house is your cute and adorable pet.
No, I am NOT saying we should blame the innocent animal for a flea infestation. But fleas are attached to the animal’s fur and suck on its blood before they find comfortable spots in your carpets to breed in.
Female fleas are said to consume blood about 15 times their body weight each day.
Your pet can have lots of fleas sucking on its blood. A clear sign is pale gums and constant itchiness.
Adult carpet fleas excrete semi-digested blood or flea dirt that serves as food for the larvae. However, larvae are known to nibble food particles, dry skin, and organic matter like feathers and fur as well.
Since these irritating little insects cannot take a flight, they hop. Fleas can jump as high as 150 times their length. That’s approximately 2 meters if we talk about average-sized fleas.
The highest jump by a flea was 8 ft. That’s a record. LOL.
Their appearance and life cycle
The life cycle of fleas has 4 stages.
First and foremost is when they come to this world in teeny tiny eggs. Female fleas can lay up to a few dozen eggs at once. This massive number just aids in a rapid flea spread in your house.
–Larvae appearance: Flea larvae are worm look-alikes. They have a sticky and hairy exterior and are often white. They are 4 to 5 mm long and 0.5 mm wide.
The larval stage can last for 5 to 11 days. Then comes the next stage.
–Pupae appearance: In the pupal stage, fleas weave a silken cocoon. It’s made out of dry skin and other organic matter. It can be 4 to 5 mm in length and 2 mm in width.
While in the cocoon, the flea takes 1 to 3 weeks to mature into an adult. However, it might not come out until a food source is sensed nearby, i.e. your cute furry pet.
–Adult appearance: Fleas can be 1.5 to 3.2 mm long when they are fully mature. They are reddish-brown.
Adult fleas live to mate and lay eggs. They have a short lifespan of a few weeks or a couple of months if they are in extremely hospitable conditions.
How do carpet fleas come in your house
Fleas are known to hitch a ride on your pet’s skin and enter in your house. When your dog goes out into the garden, you probably aw at it and capture a few pleasant pictures. While you are enjoying that, annoying little fleas make their way onto your pet. They then suck its blood and gain entry to your house as well.
2. Infested items
Fleas can also come in when a used carpet or furniture item is brought indoors. The eggs or larvae present in an infested product can cause havoc in your house then.
Did you know you can bring fleas indoors too? Surprising, right? Well, these little insects can be attached to your shoes or clothes when you come home after a picnic in the park or so.
4. Small openings
Fleas can come in your house without a host too. A crack or an open window is basically a tempting welcome sign for pests. Fleas can just hop in through these, and you won’t even notice.
What causes carpet fleas?
If you want to prevent or eliminate a problem, you need to understand its causes first. So, now we will take a look at the causes of fleas in your carpet.
Cause 1: Interaction of pet with carpet and funiture
Fleas are attached to your pet’s skin. They can even lay eggs there. Those probably roll down and end up on your carpet or furniture. That’s where the larvae will hatch and spread.
Also, when your pet lays on the carpet or sits on the couch, the fleas probably see the surface as a breeding ground. Hence, they can lay eggs in the carpet or upholstery.
Cause 3: Lack of cleanliness
Uncleanliness is one cause that is mutual for all pest infestations. DO NOT delay cleaning your house. It can be really hard to pick up the vacuum every day, but it’s almost necessary. I cannot stress this enough.
When a carpet isn’t hoovered for a while, it becomes heaven for insects. Undisturbed and cozy, don’t these two words sound comfortable to us? So do they to pests.
Lack of cleaning will provide the flea larvae to feed on dry skin, fur, feathers, and even food particles accumulating in your carpets. Only you can take care of it by making the vacuum cleaner your best friend.
Cause 3: Warm and moist places
Fleas love warm, moist, and cozy places. Such spots are their preferable breeding grounds. So be it your carpets, your furniture or your pet’s bedding, fleas can breed in it. The rest shall be history.
The larvae will hatch from the eggs, spread in your precious carpets, and even cause skin irritation for humans.
Cause 4: Are carpet fleas seasonal?
The answer to this question is an unfortunate NO. I know it is disappointing, but this is how it is. Fleas can bug you all year round.
They tend to be more active in warmer weather. Since the central heating systems have become so common, fleas love to reside in your home any time of the year.
Are you thinking, “Seriously?! Fleas take no seasonal break?”. Awh, yeah, unfortunately.
As long as the adult ones are getting blood to suck on and a carpet to lay eggs in, they are comfortable. The larvae also conveniently spend their larval and pupal stage in your carpets and furniture.
3 tips to prevent fleas in your carpet
Prevention is the best cure.
There are preventive measures for every pest problem, so fleas are no exception. Let’s take a look at what you can do to prevent them.
Tip 1: Treat your pets with flea treatment
Firstly, it’s of utter significance to treat your pet with flea treatment regularly. It can be monthly or as per your pet advice. It’s simple. If fleas can’t live in your pet’s fur, they won’t be able to infest your carpets. Ta-Da!
Tip 2: Wash your pet’s bedding
Does your pet use the bedding you bought for it, or it just snuggles with you in bed? Lol. They are mighty cute anyways. Anyways, if it’s the former case, fleas can make a habitat in the bedding.
Wash it often and even vacuum it while you hoover the carpet. It can help keep fleas away.
Tip 3: Use a flea spray
It is essential to use a household flea spray regularly. It will keep fleas away for a long time. Make sure it is safe for children and pets.
After careful research, I found one of the top-rated household fleas sprays you can use. It has a solid 4.7-star rating out of more than 5000 reviews (on the UK site) and 4.5 with over 850 reviews (on the US site). It is the ‘Virbac Flea Spray’. It can kill fleas on contact for up to two months after application. It also prevents the development of flea eggs and larvae for up to a year.
5 steps to get rid of fleas in your carpet
Did you find a flea infestation on your carpet? That must have been an “OMG, YUCK” moment. Let me tell you, there are tried and tested ways to eliminate fleas. So, you don’t need to panic.
Step 1: Vacuum regularly
You can be very restless if you don’t have a pest-less house. Vacuuming is a key ingredient to say no to pests. If you have a flea infestation, vacuum regularly. A cleaning routine will prevent any eggs from hatching. It will destroy the eggs and flea in any stage of development.
Steam cleaning is bound to kill fleas. Check the following post out. I am sure it will help you.
Do you wonder what can kill the fleas in your carpets? This blog post has all the information you need to know about this subject.
Step 2: Apply an insecticide
Insecticides are always helpful to say bye-bye to fleas. Use a product that is safe for you, your family, and your pet.
Even if an insecticide is declared safe for pets, keep them away from the treated area for a sufficient time.
‘PT Alpine Flea and Bug Pressurized Insecticide’ is one of the best sprays to use for this purpose. The people who have used this product are singing its praises. I was impressed to see a 4.5-star rating out of more than 400 reviews.
Step 3: Use a home-made spray
Sometimes you can make a DIY spray to tackle a flea infestation. That’s when it is not severe. There are two kinds of solutions we are going to talk about.
The first one is a vinegar solution. Take one part vinegar and one part water. Mix it up and pour this solution into a spray bottle. Spray it on your carpet. Your focus areas should be where your pet spends considerable time, cracks, and hideouts under your furniture.
The next solution is lemon-based. Take a few lemon slices and boil them with water. Once the pan is off the stove, leave the slices in the water overnight. Next day, pour the lemon water in a spray bottle after throwing the slices away. Spray in appropriate areas and wait for fleas to run away.
Step 4: Make a flea trap
You can make a flea trap if you are unsure about the exact spots in your carpets that have these disturbing pests.
Fill a bowl with water, add a few drops of dish soap, and stir the mixture up. Then place the bowl on the floor and put a lamp or a bright light source near it. Turn it on at night.
The fleas will hop towards the light and fall in the water. The dish soap is the key element as it will keep them from hopping back. Next morning, you will have these annoying insects in that bowl.
KEEP PETS AWAY
Make sure to block the room for your pets when this trap is set up. Don’t let them anywhere near the water and dish soap mixture.
Step 5: Call an exterminator
The above-mentioned elimination methods are for mild infestations. Don’t rely on them if you have a severe one that can charge you an arm or a leg due to carpet replacement. Take professional help in case of severe infestations.
We have a professionally combined list of pro carpet cleaners in hundreds of cities. I am sure you will find the best one in your area.
That surely was a long post about fleas that can be found in our carpets. I hope you got the answers to all your questions about these troublesome pests.
They come to your house mostly attached to your pet’s skin. The larvae love to live in your beautiful carpet and feed on dry skin or organic matter. Adult fleas suck animal blood.
While lack of cleanliness can be one of the reasons they stay in your house, regular cleaning and flea treatment of your pet can prevent fleas. You can use insecticide or home-made sprays to get rid of them.
Take a look at the best carpet powders that will help you kill fleas.
I pray that neither your pet nor your carpet gets fleas.