How to Get Rid of Fleas in Sofas & Carpets

Updated November 21, 2016

Fleas are an irritation to your pets and to you when they take up residence in your home. They prefer to stay on your dog or cat, but will lay eggs that drop onto your sofa, carpets and bedding. If left unchecked, fleas will infest your living space at lightning speed. Take action at the first sign of a flea on your pet, carpets or upholstered furniture. Trust that if you see one flea, there is an excellent chance that many more are lurking about.

Relocate all pets, including birds, to another building or a safe area outside. Keep them away from the house until the treatment is done and the house has had time to air out.

Remove loose coverings from your sofa and other upholstered furniture, such as pillow covers, throws and toss pillows. Place these items in soapy water, as hot as the fabric will allow. Leave them to soak for at least one hour, then wash in the washing machine.

Throw away any papers, magazines or trash in the room. Pick up any toys and clothing. Either wash these items thoroughly or throw them away.

Remove and wash pet bedding and pet toys.

Vacuum the sofa thoroughly, getting into the crevices and seams. Be sure to vacuum any skirt or pleat folds. Dispose of the vacuum bag in an outside container immediately.

Sprinkle borax liberally on the sofa, being sure to get it into the seams and crevices. Allow the borax to remain on the sofa while you are treating other areas, then vacuum the sofa again.

Vacuum the carpeting, paying special attention to corners, baseboards, and any cracks along the wall. Make sure to vacuum under and between all pieces of furniture. In addition to sucking up adult fleas, vacuuming raises the nap of the carpet to allow flea sprays to penetrate where larvae and eggs are likely lurking. Discard the vacuum bag immediately in an outside container.

Spray all carpets with a flea treatment. Look for a flea spray that will kill adult fleas now as well as newly hatched and developing fleas for several weeks. Since any remaining eggs, larvae and pupae will continue to develop, a dual-purpose treatment is most effective.

Treat under and around the areas where pets sleep with flea spray. If your cat sleeps in the closet, for example, chances are good that he has some flea friends sleeping with him. Remove all items from the closet, spray it thoroughly, and wash all items in the closet with hot soapy water to remove any flea eggs.

Treat your pets. Wash them well and ask your veterinarian for a flea treatment that lasts for three months. Your pets are the favourite host and main source of food for pesky fleas, and unless they are treated at the same time as your house, the fleas will continue to return.


Keep children and pets off the carpeting until the flea spray has had time to dry.

Things You'll Need

  • Hot soapy water
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Borax
  • Flea treatment for the home
  • Flea treatment for pets
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