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How to Get Rid of Fleas in House

How do fleas get inside?

These tiny pests often latch onto feral cats, rodents, or other wildlife, which bring them into yards. Pets playing outside may then pick up fleas and bring them indoors.

The parasites prefer to live on animal hosts, but will also feed on humans or infest bedding, upholstery, and carpeting. Hidden fleas in the carpet are particularly hard to detect.

How long can fleas live without a host?

A flea larvae can survive without a host for up to 45 days as they are not dependent on a blood meal. Once a flea larvae enters the cocooned pupae stage of its life cycle, it can live for over 100 days at it is in hibernation. Adult fleas usually die from starvation within 4 days after being removed from a host. Fleas usually need to feed at least every 12 hours in order to stay well-nourished.

Flea Infestation in Carpet

Fleas lay up to 50 eggs per day within the fur of their animal hosts. As pets move around indoors, the eggs fall into floor cracks and carpeting.

After hatching, larvae embed deep within carpet fibers and pet bedding and become difficult to remove. Flea larvae can lurk in the carpet for months feeding off the dried blood and feces of the adults on the host.

High pile carpets are the perfect hiding place for fleas. While looking for hosts, the pests can leap up to seven inches from the ground. Their exoskeletons make them crush-resistant when stepped on, which allows fleas in the carpet to thrive.


The biggest problem with having fleas in the carpet is the potential for bites and irritation. Flea bites can be irritating in both people and pets.

Are flea bites dangerous?

The biggest problem with having fleas in your home is the potential for bites. Flea bites are not only irritating for both people and pets, but they can also transmit disease and create serious allergic reactions. This happens when an infected flea uses its proboscis (a tiny needle-like mouthpart) to pierce human skin. It then sucks the blood and releases its diseased saliva back into your bloodstream.

  • Common symptoms of flea bites:

    • Itchy skin

    • Irritation

    • A discolored ring or halo around the bite

  • More severe symptoms:

    • Allergic reactions such as hives, shortness of breath and swelling

    • Signs of a flea-carried disease such as nausea, fever, headache, rashes, dizziness and weakness

Flea Bites & Pets

Flea bites on pets and animals can cause dermatitis, as well as potentially transfer tapeworms and induce anemia. Fleas prefer animals with fur as they’re able to hide easily and hold on better.

Flea Bites on Humans

Although fleas don’t commonly bite humans, it’s dangerous when they do. Flea bites rarely cause lasting harm — they typically cause mild irritation and pain from itching and scratching. In some cases, flea bites may spread serious diseases that can be fatal, such as bubonic plague and murine typhus.

Can flea bites make you sick?

Overall, flea bites don’t typically require treatment, but over-the-counter antihistamines or ointments can help relieve any discomfort and itch. If you’re worried about a possible flea-related illness or disease, make sure to contact your doctor for further evaluation.

How to ID fleas in carpet

If you’re wondering how to see fleas in carpet or rugs, take a closer look. Get down on eye level and search for fleas, eggs or any flea remnants by running your fingers through the fibers. You may want to use a flashlight and hold a magnifying glass to get the best view possible.

Another great way to search for fleas is by trying the White Sock Method, especially if your rug or carpet is dark in color or has a busy design. The process is easy: just put on a pair of white, knee-high socks and wear them around the house for an afternoon. Make sure to put your feet up on furniture and keep close to the carpet. If you do have a flea problem, a few will most likely come out of hiding and make their way to your socks.

While there are a variety of flea treatments and home remedies, the best way to ensure proper flea control is to contact an Orkin Pro. With the proper tools and knowledge, Orkin can help make sure fleas are effectively treated and fight off future infestations.

Getting Rid of Fleas in the Carpet

To avoid bringing fleas indoors, keep pets away from outdoor areas with thick brush or dense foliage. Talk to you veterinarian about preventative options for your pets.

Vacuuming can help remove some of the insects, which is a good first step toward reducing fleas in the carpet. For expert help with infestations, call Orkin to schedule an inspection.

More Flea Information

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  • How can I make sure fleas stay behind when I move?

  • Does table salt kill fleas?


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