Does Steam Cleaning the Carpet Effectively Remove or Kill Fleas?

No one likes fleas- they’re itchy, gross, and can be hard to get rid of. So when it comes time to clean your carpets and get rid of any fleas that may be lurking, you may be wondering if steam cleaning is the way to go. Does steam kill fleas?

The short answer is yes, steam cleaning can kill fleas. The high temperature of the steam will kill fleas and their eggs in contact.

It’s a simple and effective way to get rid of fleas that are hiding deep within your home’s carpets and rugs. However, it’s important to note that steam cleaning alone may not be enough to eliminate all the fleas in your home.

Fleas find it challenging to survive in temperatures higher than 80-100 degrees Fahrenheit, so the steam from a carpet cleaner can kill fleas upon contact.

The hot water used in carpet cleaners also effectively removes flea dirt (flea excrement) and larvae from carpets, which are essential to the flea life cycle.

This is why when a home is infested with fleas, one of the most efficient and easiest ways to get rid of them is by steam cleaning all the carpets. However, it is important to take note that while steam cleaning your carpets will allow you to target hard-to-reach areas and kill fleas, it will not prevent them from coming back.

If you have a flea problem, you’ll need to take additional steps to get rid of the fleas and keep them away for good. Steam cleaning is a good treatment and prevention, but it’s usually paired along with other steps to make sure that the fleas are gone for good.

What to Do After Steam Cleaning Your Carpet?

After you’ve steam cleaned your carpets, you’ll want to take a few extra steps to make sure that the fleas are gone for good. Here are some things you can do:

Vacuum All Carpets

Steam cleaning plus vacuuming gives you double protection against fleas. The vacuum will pick up any remaining fleas, eggs, or larvae that the steam may have missed.

If you have a severe infestation, you may have to repeat the steps a few times to make sure that you’ve gotten rid of all the fleas.

Use Diatomaceous Earth (DE)

This is an optional step, but it’s been proven to be effective in killing these pesky pests.

You may apply diatomaceous earth on your carpets and leave it there for a day or two before vacuuming it up. Although DE has been proven in dehydrating these fleas when inhaled, it could cause irritation to your lungs, so use it with caution.

As much as possible, apply the powder with a mask on, and ensure that your pets and/or children are away from the area during the application.

Wash Your Rugs


Aside from your carpets, if your rugs are washable, make sure to toss them in your washer as well. Since fleas are sensitive to high temperatures, washing your rugs in hot water will help kill any remaining fleas and their eggs.

Use a tough laundry detergent and wash them on the hottest cycle to make sure that the fleas are eliminated.

Effective Ways to Get Rid of Fleas from Your Carpet

Steam cleaning has been a traditional way of killing fleas, but there are other ways to get rid of them as well. Here are some tips:

Boric Acid

This is a powder that you can sprinkle on your carpets and leave for a day or two before vacuuming it up.

Boric acid works by dehydrating the fleas when they come in contact with it, effectively killing them. They work similarly to diatomaceous earth, but they’re not as harmful to your lungs.

Use Salt

Salt is another powder that you can sprinkle on your carpets to kill fleas. The salt will dehydrate the fleas when they come in contact with it, killing them in the process.

Just like boric acid, you’ll want to leave the salt on your carpets for a day or two before vacuuming it up.

bowl of salt

Flea Bombs or Foggers

You can also opt for flea bombs or foggers, which are basically aerosumables that you leave in an enclosed space. Once you’ve let the smoke do its job, make sure to ventilate the area before coming back in. These products work by killing fleas in all life stages, including eggs and larvae.

Flea Traps

You can also make your own flea trap by using a bowl of warm water and adding a few drops of dish soap. Place the bowl near areas where you’ve seen fleas, and they will be attracted to the warm water.

Once they jump in, they’ll be trapped and drown. The dish soap will break the surface tension of the water, making it harder for them to escape.

Alternatively, you can purchase a commercial flea trap, which usually comes in the form of a lighted device that emits UV rays. These rays will attract the fleas and once they jump in, they won’t be able to get out.

Hire a Pest Control Service

If you have a severe flea infestation and none of the DIY methods seem to be working, then your best bet would be to hire a professional pest control service.

They will have the necessary tools and experience to get rid of the fleas in your home for good.

Preventing Fleas from Infesting Your Carpets and Home

By now, you know how difficult and time-consuming it can be to get rid of fleas in your home. The good news is that you don’t have to deal with all of these things, given that you practice some prevention tips.

Vacuum your carpets regularly, with a steam cleaning procedure done every once in a while. Additionally, ensure that your pets are treated, and you use preventative measures on them, such as flea collars or flea shampoos. Doing these things will help prevent the infestation from happening in the first place.

Final Thoughts

Steam cleaning your carpet is known to be an effective way of killing fleas and their eggs. Partnered with vacuuming and the use of diatomaceous earth or boric acid, your carpets will be free from fleas in no time.

If the infestation is already severe, consider hiring a professional pest control service to help you out. Nobody wants to deal with flea infestations often, and practicing some preventative measures will surely help.