Having fleas in your carpet can be a terrible nuisance. They jump up and bite your ankles, making you itch incessantly. If you think there may be fleas in your carpet, follow these three steps to get rid of them and restore some comfort to your home.
Treat your pets.
If you don't treat your pets first, you'll never get rid of the fleas in your carpet. There are many types of flea sprays and shampoos on the market, but the best products are typically the spot-on treatments. You apply the treatment to the back of your cat or dog's neck. It slowly spreads over your pet's skin, killing the fleas and their eggs. If your pet goes outside and has a chance of becoming re-infested, you'll want to keep using these flea treatments regularly as recommended on the package. (Most should be used every 30 days or so.)
Use diatomaceous earth.
While there are many flea-killing powders available, they're not always safe for kids or pets. A safer option is to sprinkle diatomaceous earth over your carpet. This fine powder is made from the exoskeletons of tiny, sea-dwelling creatures. It's not harmful to you or your pets, but it does dry out the exoskeletons of the fleas, causing them to die off. Purchase some food-grade diatomaceous earth at a local health food store, and use a shaker to apply it to your carpet. You only need a thin layer. Leave it in place for two or three days, and then vacuum it up.
Have the carpet steam cleaned.
Treating your pets and using diatomaceous earth should get rid of most of the fleas. However, you can get rid of any stragglers (and their eggs) by having your carpet professionally steam cleaned. The high temperature of the water will kill fleas. Plus, the detergents used to clean the carpet will loosen the fleas' "grip" on the carpet so they're more easily extracted. Be sure to tell the carpet cleaning company that you have pets. This way, they will use a pet-safe cleaner that's better at removing odors, pet hair, and fleas.
If you continue to notice fleas in your carpet after following these steps, there's a chance that your pet's flea treatment is not working effectively. Try a different brand, and repeat these steps. Sometimes, fleas can develop resistance to certain brands of products, so you may have to experiment with a few before you achieve success.