How to Get Rid of Fleas in Your Carpet Fast

Break up the party in your carpet for good

Carrie Circosta
Written by Carrie Circosta
Updated May 9, 2022
A ginger chihuahua lying on a white carpet
Photo: Nata_Snow / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images


Flex your DIY muscles.

Time to complete

1 hour

30–60 minutes per treatment. Depending on the severity, you may need to treat your carpet once a week for a few weeks.



Depending on the infestation, you may need to call in professionals.

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What you'll need:


  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Steam cleaner
  • Carpet cleaner
  • Broom


  • Replacement vacuum bag (for bag vacuums)
  • Hot water and soap
  • Bleach
  • Diatomaceous earth
  • Flea powder
  • Garbage bags or containers that seal tightly

Did you just see something tiny hop across your carpet? If your furry friend brought in some uninvited guests, you’ll want to get rid of them ASAP.

The good news is that there are several different ways to kill fleas in your carpet and ensure that they don't invite themselves back into your home to avoid future flea infestations.

Prepping to Kill Fleas in Your Carpet

Find the Source 

The first and most crucial step in killing fleas in your carpet is pinpointing their exact location. While fleas can spread in the carpeting throughout your home, the most popular hiding spots are usually places where pets love to relax because fleas need a host to survive. This includes couches, blankets, and bedding. 

So if fleas are bouncing around the carpet, they are most likely coming from one of these hot spots. Therefore, it's essential to wash all your pet's bedding in steaming hot water and detergent and toss it in the dryer on the highest heat setting. 

Additionally, it's important to treat your pet by taking them to the veterinarian.

7 Different Ways to Kill Fleas in Carpet

  1. Vacuum Your Carpet

    The good news is that you can remove fleas with a vacuum cleaner, which is something you probably already have in the cleaning closet. Vacuuming sucks away fleas, along with eggs, larvae, and pupae. It also removes flea blood and feces, which can serve as a food source. 

    Vacuum the carpet several times, and don't forget to use the attachments to get into corners and crevices along the baseboards. Also, move furniture around so you can vacuum the carpet that's usually under the furniture. 

    How to Empty the Vacuum Cleaner

    And just as important as vacuuming, you want to empty the vacuum after cleaning immediately. If your vacuum has a bag, step outside, remove the bag, and place it in something that can be sealed, like a container or another type of bag. Then put it in your outside garbage can. 

    If your vacuum is bagless, step outside and empty the container into a bag or container that you can seal and place it in the garbage can. Then immediately wash the container with hot water and soap or bleach.

    Most importantly, no matter how you empty your vacuum, be sure to wear a pair of gloves for protection.

  2. Steam Clean Your Carpet

    Close-up of steam cleaning a carpet
    Photo: snyferok / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images

    Steam cleaning your carpet is also another effective option for killing fleas. The steam will kill fleas no matter their development stage, as they can't survive anything hotter than 95 degrees Fahrenheit. 

    The combination of heat and soap works not only for killing fleas in carpets but also for other home areas, including hardwood floors, countertops, furniture, and upholstery.

  3. Shampoo Your Carpet

    If you have a carpet cleaner or know where to rent one, another option for killing fleas in carpet is good shampooing. This is another deadly combination of hot water and soap that fleas can’t survive. 

    So if your carpet is due for a cleaning and you have a flea issue, this can be a win-win method.

  4. Sprinkle Diatomaceous Earth

    Diatomaceous earth is an abrasive powder made up of tiny organisms called diatoms. These sharp diatoms are deadly to several pests, including fleas, bed bugs, and ants. Once the diatomaceous earth attaches to the flea’s body, it absorbs all moisture causing the flea to dry up and die. 

    Sprinkling diatomaceous earth on your carpet is a highly effective way of killing fleas, and it's safe to use around humans and pets. It can take as little as four hours to kill fleas, but it's best to let it sit for 48 hours to guarantee effectiveness. 

    How to Use Diatomaceous Earth 

    1. Put on a pair of gloves and a mask

    2. Sprinkle the powder over your carpet to create a thin, even coating. 

    3. Take a broom and work it into the carpet to get deep in the fibers. 

    4. Leave the powder for at least 1–2 days. 

    5. Vacuum the carpet thoroughly to remove the powder and dead fleas.

    While diatomaceous earth is generally safe to use around humans and pets, you should still wear gloves and a mask while handling this product to avoid any possible irritation to your skin or lungs. If a room is heavily treated with DE, you’ll want to keep humans and pets out, ideally, or talk to a pest control pro about safety concerns. 

    You'll want to pick up food-grade diatomaceous earth rather than filter grade. And while diatomaceous earth is exceptionally effective against adult fleas, it does not kill eggs. You can repeat this process once a week for a few weeks to ensure all viable eggs are hatched.

  5. Rub in Flea Powder

    A brush with flea powder on a carpet
    Photo: Far700 / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images

    Flea powder has the same effect on fleas as diatomaceous earth. As soon as the flea comes into contact, they start to dehydrate. 

    How to Use Flea Powder 

    1. Put on a pair of gloves. 

    2. Sprinkle an even layer over your carpet.

    3. Use a broom and brush the flea powder into the carpet. 

    4. Leave the flea powder in the carpet for at least one hour (up to 24 hours if possible).

    5. Gentle vacuum the carpet. 

    6. Repeat the process every two weeks until all the fleas are gone.

  6. Sprinkle Boric Acid

    Another way to dry out and kill fleas in your carpet is using boric acid. This chemical dries out fleas and larvae, and while it is safe to use around your family and pets, you should handle it while wearing a mask and goggles because it can cause some irritation to your lungs and eyes. 

    How to use Boric Acid 

    1. Vacuum the carpet. 

    2. Put on gloves, a mask, and goggles. 

    3. Sprinkle boric acid evenly across your carpet. 

    4. Use a broom to work in the boric acid. 

    5. Let the carpet sit for at least one hour. 

    6. Vacuum the carpet. 

    7. Repeat once a day if you have a major infestation, or every other day until the fleas are gone.

  7. Hire a Professional Pest Control Company

    If it seems like the flea infestation might be out of your control, or you’ve tried several DIY methods and can’t seem to kick these pests out of your home for good, the next step is to call in a professional pest control technician. 

    Pest control costs vary from $75 to $400 on average, but it all depends on the severity of the infestation. These techs have access to high-grade products to win the battle against fleas, so if you’ve tried everything, hiring a local pest control company can be the answer to finally kicking out your uninvited guests and restoring peace of mind.

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Get quotes from top-rated pros.