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Can You Kill Fleas by Shampooing the Rugs?

Fleas are parasites that feed on warm-blooded animals including cats, dogs and people. Fleas also spread diseases from host to host, making them an especially serious threat for pets that come into contact with other animals on a daily basis. If left untreated, fleas can even spread parasites and diseases to humans. While shampooing your rugs is a great start to killing fleas, you should always take a two step approach to ensure the bugs will not return.

Professional Cleaners

Keep your rugs clean to protect your kids and pets from fleas.

With fleas being such a common problem, more and more carpet cleaning services also are offering flea treatments. When using a professional, the carpet cleaners will come into your home and shampoo down your rugs with an insecticide shampoo. They will then remove the soap from your carpet along with plenty of dead fleas and eggs. Professional treatments must typically be repeated within two weeks to kill the larval fleas from any remaining eggs.

Flea Shampoos

If you have an indoor flea outbreak, but cannot afford to hire professional cleaners, you can go down to your local pet store and purchase a flea rug shampoo. While instructions may vary slightly, generally you will need to vacuum the rug thoroughly before washing. Then you add the instructed amount of the shampoo to your household carpet cleaning machine and shampoo the rugs.

Flea Powder

While you are purchasing your flea shampoo, be sure and pick up some flea carpet powder as well. This substance will need to be applied directly to your carpets and then brushed into the fibers. The purpose of this powder is to kill of any residual fleas and kill off the larvae fleas as they hatch. This powder is typically left on the rug for two weeks and then vacuumed away.

Natural Solution

According to Linda Cobb's book, "Talking Dirty with the Queen of Clean," boric acid is an invaluable tool for killing fleas and their eggs. Unlike pesticide-based cleaners, which can't come into contact with children and pets, boric acid is a naturally occurring mineral. It also is deadly to all insects, as it dehydrates them.

About the Author

Steven White is a privately contracted software engineer and efficiency analyst. He has more than five years of experience providing technical support for AT&T broadband customers. Along with his technology background, White enjoys carpentry and plumbing.