Have you started to notice fleas on your armchair or sofa? Fleas can make their way into your furniture from pets and quickly multiply, making it important to act right away if your furniture becomes infested.
Unlike other pests such as bed bugs, which are almost impossible to get rid of save for expensive heat treatments, getting rid of fleas in furniture is a surprisingly easy process if you take action quickly.
In this guide, we’ll explain exactly how you can get rid of fleas that have made your furniture their home, as well as how you can prevent fleas from coming back once you’ve defeated the first infestation.
ACT QUICKLY, AS FLEAS TAKE VERY LITTLE TIME TO MULTIPLY
If you’ve ever noticed fleas on a pet, you’ll know that they waste no time multiplying from a flea or two into an entire colony. Over the course of three to four weeks, what seems like a small flea problem can quickly become a very serious one.
This is because female fleas can lay up to 50 eggs every day. These eggs take around 36 hours to hatch and quickly begin reproducing on their own. In just six weeks, one or two fleas can grow into an infestation of more than one million fleas.
Since fleas spread so quickly, it’s vital that you work out the source of the infestation and take rapid action as soon as you discover the first one. Don’t delay – even if you only wait a week or two, your home could develop a serious flea problem.
IF YOU HAVE A PET, GET THEM TREATED FOR FLEAS
There are two main sources of home flea infestations: used furniture that’s already infested with fleas when it was bought and pets that bring fleas into your home and spread them to the furniture.
If you have a pet, chances are it’s the source of your flea problem. Take your pet to a veterinarian to have it checked over for fleas. If it’s got fleas, the vet will give you an oral or topical treatment to help rid your pet of its flea problem.
It’s essential that you get your pet treated before trying to remove fleas from a sofa or armchair. There’s no point in cleaning your sofa only to have it reinfested a week later by a dog or cat with a flea problem.
CHECK ALL OF YOUR FURNITURE, NOT JUST ONE ITEM
Did you spot a flea on your sofa? Even if you only saw fleas on one item of furniture, it’s important that you check everything in your home. Go through your living room and check sofas, armchairs, recliners, and even non-fabric furniture for fleas.
Go through all of your home, including your bedrooms. If the source of your home’s flea infestation was your pet, it’s possible that they’ve spread to all of the furniture your pet’s had contact with since catching fleas.
If you find fleas in several rooms, it’s safe to assume that your entire house has a flea problem. Make a list of rooms to treat and check them off one-by-one using the steps in the following section.
START BY CLEANING YOUR CARPETS
There’s no use removing fleas from your sofa while their eggs are still ready to hatch in your home’s carpets. Before you get to work cleaning your sofa, spread powdered sodium borate – commonly known as borax – into your home’s carpets.
It’s important that your pet doesn’t come into contact with sodium borate, as it isn’t particularly healthy to inhale. Keep your pet outside while you’re cleaning your sofa and carpets to prevent them from coming into contact with the borax.
Using a brush or soft broom, rub the sodium borate into the carpet so that it can get deep into the carpet’s fibres. Leave it for at least two hours while you complete the next step so that it can dehydrate and kill the flea eggs buried inside your carpet.
REMOVE AND CLEAN YOUR SOFA’S CUSHIONS
It’s now time to clean your furniture. If multiple items have been infested – a sofa and an armchair, for example – you’ll need to repeat these steps for each piece of furniture until everything in your living room has been cleaned.
Start by removing the cushions from your sofa. Remove their covers and put them into your washing machine. Wash the cushions using hot water, being careful that you don’t damage the fabric by using an overly harsh laundry soap.
While their covers are being washed, use your vacuum cleaner to clean the sofa or armchair cushions. Vacuum your entire sofa or armchair with an upholstery brush to make sure all fleas and their eggs are removed.
At this point, you’ll need to vacuum your carpet. Vacuum it until all of the sodium borate you spread earlier is removed, then dispose of your vacuum bag in a sealed plastic bag so that the fleas can’t spread from your rubbish bin.
STEAM CLEANING YOUR HOME’S CARPET
For severe flea infestations, you might also need to clean your carpets using a steam cleaner. If you still notice fleas after following the above two steps, clean your carpet using the sodium borate again and let it sit for several hours before vacuuming.
After you’ve vacuumed the carpet using an upholstery brush to remove as many of the fleas and flea eggs as possible, have your carpet cleaned using a steam cleaner, ridding it of any excess flea larvae and ensuring the infestation won’t reappear.
DEALING WITH FLEAS ISN’T TOO DIFFICULT
Dealing with a flea-infested sofa might seem like every homeowner’s nightmare, but it’s surprisingly easy if you respond quickly. Since fleas multiply so rapidly, it’s vital that you take action fast to kill off fleas before they spread throughout your home.
Once you’re finished dealing with a flea infestation, make sure your pet doesn’t get the chance to bring fleas into your home again. Check their coat frequently using a flea comb so that you’re always aware if these frustrating pests are around.