If you are a pet owner, chances are you’ll have to have a serious bout with fleas at some point in time. When the fleas attack, they attack hard.
Every single article of clothing you own goes into the wash. All the sheets and bedding goes in too. Even then, you still find those pesky bloodsuckers bouncing around.
How do they stay alive through all the cleaning and pet treatments?! You’ll be surprised when you find out!
Flea Life Cycle
When fleas show up in our homes, it seems like they just keep coming and coming in these endless waves. Once there’s a couple, there are hundreds. Before you know it, they’re everywhere.
Adult fleas only make up 5% of the total flea population. The rest? Larvae, cocoons, and eggs. Nasty little eggs. The ratio for eggs to fleas is 10-1. This means for every single flea, there are 10 eggs somewhere nearby!
Female fleas can lay anywhere from 200-400 eggs in just a matter of days! A pet will carry the eggs everywhere it goes, sprinkling them like seeds all over your home. Even when they go outside, they will spread flea eggs in the space around your home, allowing the life cycle to continue.
Once these eggs are dropped, they stick around in every crack and crevice of the home, but they stay especially stuck in carpets. The eggs and the hatched larvae can stay nice and warm and safe in the comforts of our carpet fibers.
Just when you think you’ve done every cleaning remedy possible, they keep coming back. That’s because when the fleas latch on to the carpets, it’s really hard to get down deep and get those things out of there.
Regular vacuuming and home remedies don’t necessarily work for getting flea eggs out of carpets. That’s why carpet cleaning is an effective method to help rid your home of the parasites.
Can Carpet Cleaning Help Kill Fleas?
Carpet cleaning, or steam cleaning in particular, won’t entirely kill a flea infestation in one single shot. It will help the process of killing them, but it cannot eliminate them all.
Previously, we talked about how eggs and larvae latch deep into the carpet fibers and are difficult to remove with just basic dry vacuuming. Steam cleaning will make the flea larvae easier to eliminate, as they will not coil up in the moisture and heat.
Additionally, the high temperature of the steam can be effective for all stages of the flea life cycle.
All stages of flea life will die off in temperatures that exceed 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit. Steam carpet cleaning greatly exceeds that temperature, therefore killing off the flea population in the area.
Vacuuming post-cleaning is still important to maintain the cleanliness of the area and to pick up any stragglers that may have gotten away in the process. If there is still a need to use insect repellant specifically made for killing fleas, it will be necessary to reapply the repellant. Steam carpet cleaning can remove any insect repellant that had been previously applied to a given area.
What Can I Do If They Come Back Somehow?
If the carpets were cleaned and you feel like the fleas were successfully eliminated, but end up finding more, it might be time to call an exterminator.
Carpet cleaning, while not 100% successful in wiping them out completely, can be a very effective way of killing off a flea population.
It’s always important to treat your animals safely and make sure you treat your home with safe to use treatments as well.