Does Carpet Cleaner Kill Bugs?

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Often, homeowners are unaware of the concept of bug infestation in carpets unless they experience one. We understand that it is a nightmare to deal with. Thus, let us find out whether common carpet cleaners can help eliminate such a pest invasion. 

Yes, carpet cleaners kill bugs ranging from eggs, larvae, to adults. For instance, steam cleaning manages to kill bugs due to its intense temperature range. Many carpet cleaners use chemicals like boric acid due to their antimicrobial properties. You may also use DIY carpet cleaners out of baking soda, vinegar, or other cleaning agents to kill bugs living in carpeting. 

In this post, we further explain each cleaning method and specific ways to tackle different bugs like ants and roaches. Our analysis also discusses whether you should DIY or hire professionals for the job. If you’d like to know this and more, keep reading.

A janitor vacuum cleaning the carpet inside a hotel building, Does Carpet Cleaner Kill Bugs?

Steam Cleaning Carpets 

In cases of severe infestation, steam cleaning your carpets is the only practical method. Since steaming has the upper hand with its use of heat in conjunction with cleaners, it can inhibit the growth of bugs at whatever stage of development.

  • It is highly effective for adult fleas, flea larvae, flea dust, and even most eggs. 
  • The heat intensity triggers unhatched eggs to produce fleas within 2-3 days. This way, you are sure to eliminate the flea infestation to its last. 
  • Since it uses heat and water only, it leaves behind no chemical residue. It is a safer and healthier option to use in home spaces.

Equipment for carpet steam cleaning

Should It Be Done By a Professional?

Whether done professionally or as a DIY task, steam cleaning upholds its set of advantages. The practicality of both methods is the actual big question.

To perform steam cleaning at home, you must first buy a steam cleaner or rent it. However, should you choose a professional, they would use truck-mounted portable cleaners. Essentially, both types have the same job to perform. But, the professional would have the upper hand in terms of efficiency and proficiency.

Yet, if you believe your knowledge of the craft can compete with the expertise of a professional, you can steam clean yourself.

Using Boric Acid 

Boric acid is traditionally associated with many antimicrobial uses. This association is where its bug-infecting properties root from and gain the following benefits: 

  • Interferes with the digestive system, acting as a stomach poison for the bugs. 
  • It is particularly effective against carpet beetles and bed bugs. 
  • Effective against allergens of all kinds like mold and mildew.

DIY Boric Acid Cleaning 

Boric acid is easy to use as a DIY method. Of course, that does not restrict you from calling in a pest control professional for the job. Nevertheless, here is how you may apply it at home:

  • Choose whether you’d like a boric acid solution or powder. Either works great but check what is best for your later cleaning strategy. 
  • Sprinkle a sufficient amount all over the infested area and let it sit for 3-4 hours.
  • Vacuum the surface and repeat each day until you have a bug-free carpet.

What Kills Ants in Carpet?

Ants on the baseboards and wall

Ants are vulnerable creatures, and most insecticides manage to use that sensitivity to their advantage. Thus, ant baits, chemicals, and even many pantry products can kill ants in a carpet.

Natural Ant Cleaners 

Borax acid, combined with natural ingredients, is ideal for homemade DIY insecticides. For instance, mix in one part borax, one part water, and one part honey or sugar. The sweet factor will work to attract the ant, the water will ease the ingestion, and the borax will attack and kill. The ants will all die gradually as ant colonies are communal systems that share food.

Diatomaceous Earth is a silicone-based rock crushed into a white powder for commercial use. Take this natural dirt and spread it all across the infested area. Now, the minute the ants crawl through it, its microscopic-sharp particles will slice through their exoskeletons. Additionally, it does not influence animal/human bodies, making them very safe to use.

Commercial Ant Cleaners 

Using an ant bait is the ultimate assassin move when killing bugs. When you locate your bait near the infested area, the worker ants presume it as food supply. They carry it off to their colony and present it to the queen. Since it is poison in disguise, the queen will die upon consumption. Ant colonies cease to exist without a queen. Thus, it takes a single wise attack to inhibit the survival of all.

Commonly, ant baits come in the form of liquids or gels infused with chemicals and borax. They have several bait stations that allow you to cover the entirety of the infested area.

Click here to see this ant bait on Amazon.

When all else fails, you must switch to a commercial insecticide regardless of its chemical toxicity. Yet, there are aerosol spray options here that may deliver the best results with minimum hazards.

Click here to see this spray on Amazon.

The Terro Termite and Carpenter Ant Killer is a good choice in this regard. It even comes with a two-way nozzle that allows you to reach deep within carpet pores and crevices.

Do Ants Die When Vacuumed Up?

Vacuuming may be the best approach to prevent ant infestation. However, after infestation takes place, some suggest the method lacks the power to kill them. 

Ants are too tiny and light to die when sucked into a vacuum. Some may suffer lethal injuries upon impact on rare occasions. However, for the most part, they will stay in your canister bag.

After removal, you must empty the canister carefully into a trash bag lest any of the ants find their way back. You may infiltrate the trash bag with an ant killer at this stage, tie it up, and then throw it away.

Do Dead Ants Attract More Ants? 

Yes, dead ants attract more ants. In fact, whole colonies of them. Ants function within communities with detailed communication patterns that involve leaving scent trails and even having their own danger signals.

When you kill an ant, its body secretes a fluid called pheromones. This pheromone works as a signal for other ants to locate it. Thus, if you wouldn’t like to be swarmed by an ants population, always throw out the dead ants or vacuum them up. 

How Do I Get Rid of Cockroaches in My Carpet?

Sugar and baking soda are two essential cooking agents. Interestingly, they may work together to inhibit cockroach growth in a carpet. 

Here, baking soda will perform the killing instincts while the sugar lures the roaches in. Take equal parts of both the substances and make an aqueous solution. Then, spread it across the infested area daily until each cockroach finds exposure to the bicarbonate. Upon consumption, the soda will react with their stomach acids and cause them to explode within a day or two.

You may repeat the same procedure for boric acid combined with flour. The key is to use an intense sweetener to get the roaches in control.

Commercial Cleaning Options

To heal the infected area of bugs, cover it with commercial roach baits. These baits are poisonous insecticides impersonating the food supply. Thus, you trick the roaches into consuming it as a diet.

Roach baits may trigger the cannibalistic nature of roaches. Once they figure out that the only available food supply is toxic, they near starvation. This situation may lead them to feed on one another for energy requirements.

Use an insecticide spray to clear any cockroaches unimpacted by the bait.

It is composed of geraniol extracted from pine trees and lemongrass extract. Thus, it makes for a somewhat organic commercial cleaner. Be cautious around people with respiratory problems!  

Click here to see this spray on Amazon.

Can a Carpet Cleaner Kill Bed Bugs?

The United States Environmental Protection Agency credits more than 300 products to resist bed bugs. Each of these belongs to different classes of chemicals commonly used in pesticides. Thus, yes, most carpet cleaners can kill bed bugs.

Cleaners for Bedbugs 

Pyrethrins and pyrethroids, two insecticide classes, were ranked the most common compound for bed bugs by US EPA. Thus, the use of natural pyrethrin concentrates and pyrethroids sprays is effective for removal. Bedbug-release foggers are also an efficient carpet cleaning method. It has been reported to kill existing bugs, inhibits their development, and eliminate sites for reinfestation.

The following methods may also help remove bedbugs: 

  • Steam Cleaning 
  • Using Borax 
  • Using Baking Soda
  • White Vinegar 
  • Silica Gel

Final Takeaway 

We hope you implement whatever method works best for your situation to eliminate the nasty pests. These methods will help you move a step further in creating a safer living space for you and your family. We hope you found the information above insightful and informative! 

Before you go, do you have other concerns about carpets? Do you need ways to clean pet urine off one? We have the answers! For more information, check out our post here

Additionally, are you wondering how often you should clean your carpet? If you would like to know this and more, check out our post here. Until next time!

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