About flea carpet powders
Anyway, there are many ways to send fleas packing from your home. Knowing that these fleas get into your house by attaching themselves to your pets (dogs and cats alike) when they go outside to play, it is important that you treat your pets with medication regularly as prescribed by a vet.
This medication, however, will not solve the infestation problem that’s already in your home and that’s why you’re going to need something else to join forces with the pills. You’re going to need the best flea carpet powders you can possibly find and our guide is here to help you make that decision.
How do flea carpet powders work?
Flea powders work following a very simple process. Now, when fleas are brought into your home by your pets, they go and make their homes inside your carpet and furniture. It is in these places that they live as well as breed.
If you remember elementary biology, you’d recall that when insects lay their eggs, these eggs mature into small, worm-like creatures called larvae before they metamorphose into full-fledged adult insects.
So, here’s what the flea powders do. By the time the egg has reached the larva stage, it feeds on the powder and dies. So, it never gets to the adult stage.
But how about the ones that are adults already? Flea powders kill them as well.
Different powders have different ranges of time within which they kill fleas and their larvae. Some are really rapid, while others might take between 4 and 6 days.
How reliable are flea carpet powders?
One thing that seems to be working in the favor of flea powders and makes them a more appealing option than other spot-on products is the fact that they are mostly affordable. Also, they are pretty multifunctional when compared to other similar products. For instance, aside from their uses on carpets, they can also be used on bedding, furniture, out in the yard and even on your pets themselves.
However, how reliable are they?
From research, it would appear that although flea powders are effective in flea treatment in the home, they are much more suited to that purpose than in direct application on pets. Flea powders should, therefore, not be considered an alternative to flea drops, tablets or collars, but rather, as a reinforcement.
For the most effective treatment
After spreading your flea carpet powder ensure that you do not vacuum until the powder has settled for at least an hour. But if the infestation is really bad then you might have to leave the powder on the carpet for up to 24 hours before vacuuming.
Bear in mind that in combating a flea infestation, you will have to vacuum the areas you’ve applied the powder for fleas (making more frequent vacuuming a necessity). Yeah, welcome to the struggle.
Pets pick fleas from the outdoor mostly and if your pet is one to spend most of his waking moments in the yard playing, then it might be a good idea to get a diatomaceous earth fleas powder.
Diatomaceous earth fleas powders are quite inexpensive and will work wonders in your yard by effectively eliminating fleas and making the yard flea-free for your precious pet. It is relatively safe and poses low risks of toxicity.
In essence, flea powders do work but maybe not when applied directly to your pets. If you want a total flea annihilation, then combine flea powders with regular flea treatment and preventatives for your pets and you’ll be flea-free in no time.
What do flea carpet powders contain?
These are naturally-occurring extracts found in the flowers of chrysanthemum plants which grow in Japan, Europe, the Middle East, and Kenya. Pyrethrins are of six different types which include: Pyrethrin I and II, cinevin I and II and Jasmin I and II.
Pyrethrins work by affecting the nervous system of the insects and consequently causing repeated firing of the nerves which leads to the outflow of sodium from the cells and, ultimately, death. They are effective against fleas as well as ticks, lice, Cheyletiella mites and mosquitoes.
Because pyrethrins are easily degraded by stomach acids, toxicity in pets following ingestion is very low. And in those rare cases, symptoms (which include salivating, tremors, nausea, and seizure) disappear after 24 hours.
These are synthetic pyrethrins, meaning they are made in the lab instead of naturally. Although slower in action, pyrethroids give a longer effect than their natural cousins.
They cater to the same range of insects as pyrethrins but present higher toxicity, even though their toxicity is still low. This is because it’s a bit more difficult for them to be broken down in the guts of pets than pyrethrins. Should your pet present symptoms (which is the same as for pyrethrin toxicity), please see your vet immediately.
Insect Growth Regulators and Development Inhibitors
These include methoprene, fenoxycarb, pyriproxyfen, and inhibitors such as lufenuron, and diflubenzuron.
Insect growth regulators basically work against the immature forms of the fleas and keep them from developing into adults. When the larvae fail to molt, they shrivel up and die.
Development inhibitors, on the other hand, hinder the process of synthesizing chitin. Chitin is what forms the cuticle of the flea and if this isn’t formed the adult flea cannot exist.
Because these ingredients do not kill, they are best used together with an adulticide. They may prevent a re-infestation but if you already have an infestation problem at hand, then they might not be your best bet. However, they are super safe to use.
Flea powders containing diatomaceous earth are very effective in their function, however, diatomaceous earth does not come without its risks. And the risk is that the risks are not well-known which means that many will use this without taking precautions and might run into problems not knowing that it has the potential to be hazardous.
When getting a diatomaceous earth flea powder, ensure that you read the label carefully. It should have an EPA registration number and should tell whether or not dust masks are needed for the application, including other relevant information about the dangers of toxicity with exposure.
Generally, diatomaceous earth is considered safe at a concentration of 2% but with the prolonged exposure that flea control will demand, you might need to take steps to protect you and yours by reading the label and following instructions; ensuring your pets and kids are away while you apply the product, using a dust mask while applying, and applying only in areas that aren’t easily accessible to people and pets.
If you are facing a heavy flea infestation, products containing insecticides are widely considered to be the most effective. Pesticides such as permethrins (which kill adult fleas stone-dead) and insect growth regulators (IGRs) like pyriproxyfen work in combination to eliminate all stages of the flea life cycle – even eggs!
Flea carpet powders that use insecticides are their active ingredient can effectively control even large infestations and are generally safe to use around the home. The major advantage of using a chemical product is that many powders are formulated to kill eggs and well as larvae and adult fleas, which means fewer applications and faster extermination.
If you’d rather avoid using chemicals at home, there are several natural alternatives to choose from. Flea carpet powders containing certain plant extracts and essential oils, such as thyme, have strong repellent effects that can help to get your flea invasion under control.
Diatomaceous earth is another non-toxic solution to your pest control woes. This naturally-occurring powder kills adult fleas (and other insects) by drying out the waxy cuticle covering their bodies, causing them to shrivel up and die. This can be scattered on carpets around your home to kill adult fleas and larvae, though it must be reapplied more regularly than chemical powders. This is necessary to take down any newly-hatched fleas, as diatomaceous earth will not kill the eggs.
Natural remedies are best used as a preventative measure, or to control minor infestations. If you have large numbers of fleas in your home, products containing insecticides may be necessary to quickly and effectively remove the larvae, adult fleas and eggs from your carpets.
How to use flea carpet powders
How to apply flea carpet powders?
To apply flea carpet powders, simply scatter an even layer of the product over the carpets in your home. Next, use a broom to lightly brush the area. Remember, the point of this in to work the product deeper into the carpet, so more fleas will come into contact with the powder, not to clear it away.
Leave the powder in place for at least an hour before (gently) vacuuming the area to remove any excess product. For maximum effectiveness, you can delay vacuuming for up to 24 hours to ensure as many fleas make contact with the powder as possible.
When to use flea carpet powders?
Fleas breed quickly, so you will need to apply flea carpet powders more than once to completely eliminate an infestation. Re-treat your carpets 2 weeks after the initial application to take down any new hatchlings and continue to apply the powder every two weeks until your flea problem is no more.
Things to consider
Flea carpet powders are specially formulated to be safe for home use and do not present any significant health risks. However, it is important to take care when using flea powders to avoid accidental inhalation, ingestion, or contact with eyes.
Top tips for effective use
- Apply a thicker layer of flea powder in areas that are regularly visited by your pets.
- Avoid vacuuming the area for up to 24 hours after application.