How to Get Rid of Fleas in the Carpet (Fast!)

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get rid of fleas in the carpetPets bring love, joy, and companionship, all good things in life. Pets can also, unfortunately, bring fleas. These little annoyances can seem to infest even the most carefully cleaned house. They especially like your carpet. If you need to find out how to get rid of fleas in your carpet, here are a few strategies you can try. They work best in conjunction with one another.

Take Care of Loose Items

By loose items, we mean small fabric items that can fit into a washing machine. Blankets, cushions, throw pillows, pet bedding – if it fits in the washer, toss it in. Turn the machine to the hottest setting possible and give it an introduction to the wonders of modern technology.

Of course, you’ll want to be sure that you don’t damage the items by washing them. You may need to put it on delicate; it’s the temperature that does the trick, not the agitation.

Similarly, set the dryer to the hottest possible setting. The combination of water and heat will kill any fleas that happen to be clinging to the upholstery. We’re having you wash your loose items because even if you clean the carpet, if loose fleas are left on miscellaneous surfaces they can still breed and you’re right back where you started.

Vacuum Everything

vacuum everythingWe do mean everything. That includes the underside of your furniture, the pieces of furniture you can’t move, and of course, the carpet itself. Fleas won’t survive the trip through the vacuum filter.

Carpets also tend to contain flea eggs and larvae, which are the bulk of the fleas in your home. The problem is that flea eggs, larvae, and pupae latch onto carpet fibers. Vacuuming creates heat, friction, and vibration, all of which might cause the pupae to shed their cocoons and meet their death in the vacuum.

By using the vacuum cleaner, you’re also removing fleas’ primary food source: half-digested blood. Yes, it’s disgusting, but what did you expect? If the fleas don’t have anything to eat, they’ll die.

Check out our comprehensive guides to the best vacuum cleaners of 2018 to help you choose.

Salt the Earth

Or in this case, the carpet. Salt acts as a dehydrating agent, and fleas need moisture just like any other living thing. The salt attracts moisture from the surrounding areas, including the fleas’ bodies. They dry up and die. To apply salt on your carpet, get finely ground table salt or sea salt. It should be the consistency of powder. If you have a blender, a few minutes in a blender should give you what you need.

Sprinkle the carpet liberally with the salt and grind it in. Leave it for no more than 48 hours, and vacuum it up. Be mindful that this may not work for severe infestations. Also, we don’t recommend using salt to clean your carpet if you’re in a hot or humid environment. Sorry, summer Southerners; you’ll have to try other methods.

Steam Cleaning

steam cleaningWant to use heat to kill fleas? A good steam cleaning can work wonders for your carpet. Not only will it get rid of fleas, but it also will get rid of most other stains. You can hire a steam cleaning service or rent a unit for yourself from a local home improvement store. Follow the instructions on the cleaner and vacuum afterward to get all the eggs that were loosened by the steam.


flea killing chemicalsYou can use flea killing chemicals if all else fails insecticides are potentially dangerous to you, your pets, and your carpet, but they can get the job done if nothing else will. Insecticides come in spray, fog, and powder. We don’t recommend fog because it doesn’t get down in the carpet like sprays or powders can.

You need to combine products that kill adult fleas with ones that kill larvae. For cost-effectiveness, try to find a product that does both. Look on the container before purchasing to determine what it’s effective against.


If you’ve got fleas in your carpet, you have several options to get rid of them. Steam cleaning, vacuuming, and salt are all good methods, but you should also act to prevent fleas by checking your pets regularly and using flea treatments. For severe infestations, take your pet to the vet. He or she will prescribe a treatment that you may not be able to buy over the counter.

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Nora has more than 5 years experience in the floor covering industry, acquiring vast knowledge about installation and material selection. She now enjoys working as a writer and an interior decorator. Her work has been featured in The Spruce, Homes & Gardens, Southern Living and Real Homes. See full biography here.

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