- How to Keep Mulch in Place
- How to Maintain Mulch
- How to Maintain Rubber Mulch
- What Mulch to Choose
- A Few More Mulch Tips
- Speak With Mulch Experts in Bowie, Maryland
- Q&A: Mulch Basics
- Mulching In Windy Spots – How To Choose A Wind Proof Mulch
- Choosing Mulch for Windy Areas
- Mulch Buying Guide
- Draining solution to prevent washing away of mulch?
How to Keep Mulch in Place
Mulch is rarely permanent. A good, properly prepared organic mulch will break down over time. According to the Texas A&M University Extension, the best mulches are organic, and they improve the structure of your soil year by year. Inorganic mulches don’t break down as readily, but they may still require annual refreshing. However, if your mulch is often scattered or in poor shape, consider changing your approach to mulching.
Try a living mulch. Since living mulches are growing plants, they are naturally anchored in the soil. This type of mulch can be used to supply nutrients to the soil and to prevent weed growth during an ordinarily fallow time. This type of mulch is better suited to gardens and fields than to flower beds.
Apply your mulch to a proper depth, usually 2 to 4 inches. The Clemson Cooperative Extension suggests you should err toward the minimum depth if you are using a mulch that tends to mat together, and install a deeper layer if you are using a coarse mulch. A sparse amount of mulch will not prevent weed growth, which will further displace your mulch and prevent it from doing its job effectively. Thin applications of mulch may lead to bare spots around plants even when the mulch is minimally disturbed. The weight of the mulch will help keep deeper levels in place, and the greater volume will give the mulch uniform coverage and appearance.
Use a heavier material — or one with more surface area — if strong winds or small animals tend to scatter your mulch. Inorganic mulches such as gravel or stone are considered a permanent form of mulch. These are best suited to locations where you have established plantings that are unlikely to change from year to year. The Clemson Cooperative Extension warns that stone mulches can reflect heat and add alkalinity to the soil, which may cause problems with some plants.
Anchor landscape cloth and plastic mulches. These large sheets of material tend to be lightweight and easily dislodged by animals, wind or maintenance around your plants without an added weight to hold them to the ground. Cover the corners, the edges or the full sheet of material with rocks, soil or a secondary mulch to prevent the sheets from becoming dislodged. Such a cover will also disguise the appearance of a plastic mulch, if you find it objectionable.
Adjust the depth of your mulch application to fit the season. If you add a full blanket of mulch in early spring, some seeds may not germinate and some plants may not be able to penetrate the layers. The 1-800-Mulch-Pro website suggests you follow these guidelines: Wait until late spring or early summer to mulch your landscaping, and pull back the mulch from areas where plants are emerging. Mulch your garden mid-summer. Mulch in the fall, to a depth of 5 inches, to provide winter protection to particular plants or to extend the time needed for plants to establish their root systems in a new location. Add a very thin layer — 1 inch deep — in winter to provide insulation to a plant bed.
Mulch can make a landscape pop with color and create an appealing, polished look. Mulch also helps plants stay healthy and keep them growing strong. There are plenty of reasons to love your mulch, since mulch:
- Provides insulation, keeping roots warm in the winter and cool in the summer
- Helps the soil retain moisture
- Improves soil nutrition
- Protects soil from erosion and compaction
- Discourages weed growth
- Helps protect plants from lawnmower damage
Best of all, mulch takes care of your plants without asking for much in return. With that said, there are a few tips and tricks to keep mulch looking fresh and vibrant, regardless of weather conditions. In this post, we’ll show you how to care for mulch year-round, so your garden will withstand cold winter days and be ready to bloom in the spring.
How to Maintain Mulch
Generally, mulch needs very little attention to function as it should, and some mulches can last 10 years or longer before needing to be replaced. It’s most important to occasionally check the depth of your mulch and make sure it falls between 2 to 4 inches deep. Nevertheless, mulch color naturally fades over time from sun exposure, and sometimes weeds rear their tiny heads no matter what you do. Here are top tips to care for your mulch year-round — you’ll have lots of time leftover to relax and enjoy your garden!
1. Refresh Mulch Color
Over time, mulch colors fade due to frequent exposure to sunlight. Regular non-dyed mulch may become a grayish color in one to two months, while dyed brown or black mulches may keep their color for a year or longer. Eventually, all mulches will fade without maintenance. So, what’s the trick to brightening pale mulch?
The easiest way to take care of faded mulch is to add a thin layer, or an inch or less, of fresh mulch to cover up the gray mulch. However, before adding new mulch to old layers, examine the existing mulch. How deep are the old layers? How long has it been since you’ve replaced mulch? Is the mulch soggy or decomposing?
If the old mulch is rotting, it’s time to replace it altogether. Otherwise, try to remove as much mulch as you can before adding a new layer, because you do not want too many layers as this could kill your plants. When mulch layers build up beyond 4 inches, they become water-repellent, or hydrophobic. Too much mulch can also suffocate plant roots. When you have the old mulch layers down to an inch or two, it’s safe to add an inch or two of fresh, colorful mulch.
2. Remove Weeds
Despite mulch’s amazing ability to ward off weeds, they still manage to emerge now and then. Fortunately, there are ways to keep even the peskiest weeds under control.
First, if you notice weeds growing from your mulch, you may need to add more mulch. Try to keep mulch layers at least 2 inches deep to block sunlight and keep weeds from growing. Mulch must block sunlight to prevent weed growth. Choose coarse chipped or shredded bark mulches because they decompose slowly and are less likely to blow away.
Second, make sure to pull weeds by hand as soon as you see them before they take over. A single weed can produce thousands of seeds in a season. Weeds compete with neighboring plants for water, sunlight and nutrients, so try to remove weeds when they are small before seeds form.
You could apply a pre-emergence herbicide to prevent germinating weed seeds. However, pre-emergence herbicides do not control weeds that have already sprouted. To apply a pre-emergence herbicide, rake the mulch away, pull any existing weeds and apply the product following the instructions on the package. You can also try corn gluten meal as an organic alternative. Replace the mulch after applying the pre-emergence herbicide.
For existing weeds, you can use a post-emergence herbicide spray. Organic options include vinegar or clove oil sprays. Be careful not to harm nearby plants, and speak with a nursery to choose the right herbicides for your needs.
If you have not yet added mulch or are in the process of replacing mulch, you can skip herbicide altogether and instead install landscape fabric to keep weeds from growing.
3. Mix and Turn Mulch
Every season, you’ll want to mix and turn your mulch a couple of times to break up clustered pieces and make sure it hasn’t formed a compacted layer on top of the soil. To turn the mulch, grab your rake and gloves and take the following easy steps:
- Rake the beds, breaking up clumps
- If needed, spread new mulch over the bed, so it’s no more than 2 to 4 inches thick
- Make sure mulch is a few inches away from plant stems and tree trunks to prevent plant damage
- Rake or turn over with your hands a few times a season
- As mulch decomposes, add fresh mulch to keep the layer at 2 to 4 inches
4. Mulch Twice a Year
You should add mulch whenever layers thin out for any reason. You’ll also want to replace mulch if it breaks apart in your hands like dirt because it’s no longer effective at that point. Otherwise, you’ll want to add mulch twice a year — once in the spring and once in the fall.
In the spring, add more mulch to either replace old decomposed mulch or to replenish mulch that has washed or blown away, making sure to maintain a thickness of at least 2 inches. Wait until mid to late spring when the soil is warm and moist to apply new mulch to keep moisture in and help prepare plants for summer heat. If you add mulch too early or when the soil is cool and wet, it could slow seed germination.
In the fall, apply fresh mulch to insulate plants and protect roots from harsh winter temperatures. Wait until after the first freeze to apply mulch, but add mulch before temperatures get too cold. If you add mulch before the ground freezes, you might attract critters looking for a winter home. Choose loose material like straw, hay or pine boughs to insulate plants without compacting under snow. By adding mulch in the fall, you help reduce the freezing and thawing process which, in turn, reduces the risk of plant injury.
Also, regardless of the season, always mulch around new plants right after you plant them for the best results.
5. Keep Mulch From Washing Away
If you’ve stepped outside to find mulch tossed all over the yard, you’re not alone. Sometimes, even the toughest mulch can’t stand up to strong gusts of wind or torrential downpours. There are all kinds or reasons mulch layers thin out over time, and they need to be replaced to protect nearby plants and trees effectively, deter weed growth and keep your garden looking great. Here are tips to help make your mulch stay put:
- Choose the right mulch: Heavier mulches, like hardwood mulches, are less likely to wash away than pine mulch. However, pine straw works well on slopes because the needles twist around each other, helping them stay in place.
- Avoid landscape fabric on slopes: Landscape fabric or plastic sheeting creates a slippery surface for mulch to easily slide down and wash away. Remove plastic fabric from slopes and consider using newspaper to control weed growth instead.
- Create a border: Protect mulch from storms by building an edge around flower or garden beds. There are many ways to create an edge around your gardens. Some examples include edging the bed with pine straw, stones, wood, metal or plastic. Make sure the edging is a few inches high to keep mulch in. You can also dig a small trench around flower beds to catch mulch before it washes away into the grass.
How to Maintain Rubber Mulch
Some homeowners are going with rubber mulch because it’s heavier than natural mulch and won’t blow or wash away. It’s also resistant to decomposition and disease, and it’s easy to maintain. Here’s all you need to do to maintain rubber mulch year-round:
- Regularly remove any weeds, leaves or sticks to keep mulch looking clean
- Rake rubber mulch to loosen layers that may have become compacted over time
- Spray mulch with water to remove any dust or dirt that may have collected on the mulch
- Replace any mulch that has been displaced
To keep maintenance to a minimum, you might consider laying down a weed barrier before applying the rubber mulch. Other than that, you can expect rubber mulch to last 10 years or more. Nevertheless, some homeowners prefer to stick with natural mulch because rubber mulch costs more and has a distinct odor.
What Mulch to Choose
If you’ve decided to replace old mulch or are planning to mulch a new area, consider the following factors before you head to the nursery:
- Texture: Choose medium-textured mulch material for the best results. Fine mulch might become compacted and hold too much moisture, which then evaporates and never makes it to the plants. On the hand, coarse mulch is porous and doesn’t hold enough water.
- Nutrients: Organic mulch provides nutrients as it decomposes, so consider how this will affect your soil when mulch-shopping.
- Availability: Some materials may be free in your community. Consider how you will get the mulch to your home, how you plan to apply it and if you’ll need help.
- Aesthetics: What look do you want to achieve? Choose a mulch that protects your plants and provides aesthetic pleasure.
Ready to buy new mulch? Here are the best types of mulches for a landscape or garden:
- Shredded bark: Shredded bark is a popular mulch choice because it’s slow to decompose and inexpensive compared to other mulch types. Apply 2 to 4 inches of shredded bark mulch around shrubs, trees and perennial gardens.
- Straw: Straw mulch breaks down slower than leaves or grass clippings, and adds a lovely shade of gold to a garden. Straw also does an excellent job of keeping mud away from plants. Just make sure to check for weed seeds before applying straw mulch.
- Compost: Compost is an inexpensive mulch option, and you can even create your own. Because compost is a dark, rich color, it looks beautiful against bright flowers. Compost breaks down quickly but enriches the soil. Add 3 to 4 inches of compost.
- Wood chips: Wood chips, like pine or cedar bark chips, do not decompose as quickly as shredded bark, but they tend to wash away easier. Because they float in water, it’s best not to place wood chips on a slope. Keep in mind that larger nuggets will last longer. Like shredded bark, apply 2 to 4 inches.
- Stones or pebbles: Stones won’t break down but they can get hot, and they won’t nourish the soil. You’ll often see stones used in cactus gardens. If you wish to mulch with stones, cover the soil with landscape fabric first to control weed growth.
Not sure how much mulch you’ll need? Use our mulch calculator to determine the right amount of mulch for the size of your beds.
A Few More Mulch Tips
As you can see, mulch maintenance is usually simple, and it shouldn’t take too much time away from other gardening tasks. Here are a few extra tips to make the most of your mulch:
- Avoid piling mulch around trees: Make sure to spread mulch away from plants and tree trunks a couple of inches creating what looks like a donut hole. Taper mulch out about 4 to 5 feet from the base of the tree. If you pile mulch around the base of a tree, it’ll trap in too much moisture and cause bark to rot. The larger the mulched area, the better.
- Use lightweight mulch in vegetable gardens: Consider using lighter mulch like straw anywhere you plan to do a lot of digging or replanting.
- Do not add too much mulch: Stick to the standard 3-inch layer of mulch, as too much mulch can suffocate plants.
- Keep mulch and soil apart: Over time, it can be easy to mix soil with mulch when adding new plants. However, you want to avoid mixing the two, especially if you use hardwood mulch because the mixture can cause plants to dry out. Also, too much decaying mulch mixed with soil can pull nitrogen from the soil. Instead, rake mulch out of the way before planting.
Speak With Mulch Experts in Bowie, Maryland
If you have more mulch questions or want to learn more about the best mulch for your projects, stop by Patuxent Nursery in Bowie and we’ll be happy to assist you. Since 1996, we’ve been proud to serve local homeowners and businesses, providing the largest selection in the area of trees, shrubs, flowers, quality mulch, outdoor accessories and much more. Visit us today to enjoy a unique shopping experience or to just stop by and take in the sweet sights and scents of fresh, healthy plants — we hope to see you soon!
Q&A: Mulch Basics
No matter what condition your garden is in, adding a layer of mulch will give it a clean, freshly planted look. But the benefits of mulch are not just cosmetic. Mulching is one of the best ways to maintain soil moisture (and to save on your water bill), insulate roots from both heat and cold, and minimize the need to weed.
Here’s what you need to know to get started.
Q: What exactly is mulch?
A: Generally speaking, mulch is any material that protects soil surface and allows air and water through. Mulch is useful over an area of bare soil and around planted areas. Organic mulches (derived from plant material) add nutrients over time and enrich overall soil composition, so they’re hard to beat. Compost, aged manure, raked leaves, pine needles, and thin layers of lawn clippings (as long as they’re herbicide and pesticide free) all work for various situations. You can also opt for an inorganic mulch such as gravel, granite, or stone.
Q: Will manure burn my plants?
A: It can burn the roots of your plants if it’s not well composted, so look for bag labels that specifically say “well-composted manure.” Be sure to ask your supplier if you are purchasing in bulk.
Q: How much should I buy?
A: Determine the square footage you want to cover and use the following as a guide: A 2-cubic-foot bag covers an area of 8 square feet that’s 3 inches deep; 1 cubic yard of mulch covers an area of 108 square feet, 3 inches deep.
Q: How thickly should I apply the mulch?
A: In general, the denser the mulch particles, the less you need.
Q: Any application tips?
A: Spread mulch to the appropriate thickness, taking care to keep it a few inches away from tree trunks and the crowns and stems of plants. If placed too closely, mulch can retain moisture and cause plants and trees to rot.
Q: How can I keep my mulch clean?
A: Inevitably, leaves and other debris will fall on your mulch. You can remove litter with a small hand rake. Some people use blowers, but lighter mulches may blow away along with unwanted material.
Q: When should I mulch?
A: At least once a year in early spring before weeds sprout. You can also add a second layer as a top dressing in late fall.
Q: When do I remove it?
A: You can leave mulch in place indefinitely. Just scrape it aside if you want to plant in a mulched area.
Q: What’s the best way to mulch container plants?
A: Use the same depth and application technique as for mulching on the ground.
Six of our favorite mulches
Depending on your garden situation, many materials can make great mulches. The following are widely available in bags or in bulk from nurseries and landscape supply centers:
Straw. Light, loose option lets water pass through easily; good around vegetable and strawberry beds. Buy at livestock-feed stores. Don’t use hay, which has seed heads that may germinate into weeds. Apply 4-5 inches.
Hazelnut hulls. Good for general use and ideal for paths because hulls let water through easily and don’t stick to shoes. Most readily available in and around Oregon’s Willam-ette Valley. Apply 2-3 inches.
Cut bark. Made from different types of wood based on where you live; a good all-purpose choice. The mini size shown here gives landscapes a polished look. Apply smallsize 2-3 inches; larger, 4-5 inches.
Decomposed granite (DG). Compacts quickly and doesn’t tend to blow away. Especially attractive in Southwestern and desert landscapes, but can be prone to weeds. Apply 1-2 inches.
Shredded bark. Slow to decompose, with a more woodsy, natural look than cut bark. Irregular bits and shredded pieces knit together so it stays in place. Useful on slopes and in windy areas. Apply 2 inches.
Mulching In Windy Spots – How To Choose A Wind Proof Mulch
Like love, mulch is a many-splendored thing. When layered over soil, mulch can do amazing things like hold in moisture, regulate soil temperature and provide protection from wind. In windy areas, you need a mulch that won’t blow away. Read on for information about mulching in windy spots, with tips for how to pick a mulch for wind prone gardens.
Choosing Mulch for Windy Areas
Mulch comes in many different varieties. The basic division is between organic and inorganic mulches. Organic mulch, like compost, decomposes into and improves the soil. Inorganic mulch, like pebbles or rock, doesn’t ever decompose.
Ideally, a mulch has many good qualities. It’s great to use a mulch that won’t compact easily, allows water and air to enter the soil, won’t catch on fire and decomposes slowly. The dream mulch is attractive, prevents weeds from growing and does not blow away.
But you must prioritize since no mulches can do it all. When you are selecting a mulch for windy areas, wind protection tops the list of the qualities you seek in a mulch. But what type of mulch won’t blow away?
Inorganic Mulching in Windy Spots
When you live in a windy area, it is likely you need a wind proof mulch, a mulch that doesn’t blow away. Mulching in windy spots can help protect the soil from being blown away, while providing some of the other benefits of mulch.
Heavier mulches are preferred when mulching in windy spots. Mulch like straw or sawdust may disappear in minutes during a strong blow, leaving the ground beneath it unprotected. Pebbles or rock make good mulch for wind prone gardens since they are heavy. They also allow water and air to pass into and out of the soil. On the downside, they are inorganic and will not decompose into the soil.
Organic Wind Proof Mulch
Are there any types of organic wind proof mulch? Large wood chip mulch is a possibility, since chips are heavier than many types of mulch. Ground pine bark makes a good heavy mulch that is even harder for the wind to dislodge.
You can support the wind proof mulch by planting wind barriers on the side of your garden where the prevailing wind blows. Fast growing conifers can really make a dent in the impact of the gusts.
Alternatively, erect a wall or a fence as a wind block. Another option is to water down whatever mulch you use when windy weather is expected.
Mulch Buying Guide
Organic mulch comes from natural sources. In addition to the benefits listed above, organic mulch enriches the soil as they break down. However, as they decompose and settle, they need replenishment. Some organic mulch are regional, available only in certain geographic locations.
Wood mulch are visually pleasing in texture and color. They decompose relatively slowly, so they’re long-lasting, but the slow decomposition means they won’t add nutrients to the soil as readily as some other types. You can find wood mulch in a variety of colors, allowing you to coordinate it with your home and landscape. Use decomposed, seasoned material to reduce your plants’ exposure to toxins, acids and fungal contamination. Apply wood mulch yearly to ensure consistent coverage. Some wood mulch are made up of large pieces, which look better around trees and shrubs than in beds with small plants.
Pine offers a long-lasting, dark color. Pine bark doesn’t compact as much as other mulch, allowing water to more easily reach the soil. Its sponge-like consistency helps retain the moisture, and it can benefit acid-loving plants. Pine bark nuggets are light and can wash away during heavy rain, particularly if you use them on slopes.
Cedar blends have a pleasant fragrance. Cedar lasts longer than other organic mulch and acts as a deterrent to insects, especially when fresh.
Cypress blends also offer a nice fragrance. Cypress can deter insects and fungus and effectively retains water. Because of its light weight, cypress mulch can wash away, so it doesn’t work well on sloped areas.
Redwood has an attractive color and a woodsy aroma. It resists rot and can deter insects. Redwood mulch is generally available as shredded material or in chunks.
Eucalyptus has a scent that’s appealing to humans but not to many insects and pests. It comes from plantation-grown trees, and some varieties can be harvested three or four times in a 25-year period.
Hemlock is a product of the nonpoisonous hemlock tree — an evergreen native to North America and eastern Asia — rather than the hemlock plant. Hemlock is acidic so it’s best for use around acid-loving plants.
Hardwood mulch is a byproduct of the lumber industry or recycled, biodegradable materials. Some are available tinted with natural colors.
Pine needles — also called pine straw — come in bales, which makes them relatively easy to transport and spread. The needles tend to interweave, helping keep the material in place. They’re long-lasting and work well in large, naturally landscaped areas. Pine needles are also a good choice for use on acid-loving plants.
Straw — the stem portion of harvested grain — also comes in bales. Its light weight makes it easy to transport but a challenge to spread evenly, since the wind can blow it away. Straw decomposes quickly so you need to replace it more often than other mulch. It lacks the pleasing appearance of other mulch and isn’t a top choice for landscaping, but weed-free straw makes a good cover for newly seeded lawn areas. It’s also good for winter protection of perennials, strawberries and small plants.
Compost is one of the best mulch for providing organic matter to the soil and is highly suitable for use around flowers and vegetables. However, this rich medium provides good growing conditions for weeds. If appearance is important, use it as a soil amendment, and find a more visually pleasing material as a cover.
Raking scattered pine bark mulch back into flower beds.
During heavy storms and strong winds, some types of mulch have a hard time staying put. When we bought our house, it came with fresh pine bark mulch, and after the first storm I found mulch scattered 25 feet out into the yard!
When that happens, mowing becomes difficult and dangerous, your sidewalks and driveways look messy, and your planting beds soon sprout weeds.
After putting all that work into spreading mulch in your garden, the last thing you want to do is spend time raking it back in after every rainstorm! Here are some tips for keeping mulch in your planting beds where it belongs.
Bark nuggets are notorious for floating across sidewalks.
Choose the Right Mulch
All mulches will float and wash away in a flood, but some are more likely to stray than others. Here are the common types of mulch and their floatability factor:
Pine straw mulch.
- Chips and Nuggets: Wood chips and bark nuggets are infamous for floating away in heavy rain. If you go this route, get larger nuggets that will be heavier.
- Shredded Bark or Wood: Shredded mulch is a good choice because the pieces tangle and hold each other down. Look for medium or coarse ground mulch with a mixture of large and soft pieces. Hardwood mulches are heavier – and stay in place – better than softwood (pine) mulch.
- Pine Straw: Pine straw is my favorite choice because the needles entwine and help it stay put. For this reason pine straw is often used on slopes.
Shredded hardwood mulch tends to cling together.
Remove Landscape Fabric and Plastic Sheeting
If your garden is on a slope or has a tendency to wash out, avoid putting landscape fabric or plastic sheeting underneath your mulch. These create a nice slick surface for the mulch to slide right out of the bed. Instead, to keep weeds at bay, apply multiple thin layers of mulch, watering each layer to help pack it down.
Block retaining walls can help hold mulch in place.
Edging the Beds
The only way to keep mulch completely in the flower bed or garden is to edge it with something high enough to hold in the mulch in place during a storm. Some ideas include:
- Landscape Edging: Wood, metal, plastic, or stone edging can help keep mulch in its place. Make sure the edging is several inches high.
- Plants: Edging plants make a great border to hold in mulch. Monkey Grass (Liriope sp.), Hostas, and ground covers are great choices if planted closely together along the edge of the bed.
- Pine Straw Edging: Gardeners who love their bark or chip mulch may have success by edging the beds with a foot-wide row of pine straw to catch floating nuggets.
- Trenching: A small trench (3-4” deep) around the edge of the flower bed can catch washed-out mulch before it gets into your grass. It’s easy to then rake it from the trench back into the bed.
- Edging with Mulch: You can also try piling your mulch deeper around the edges of the bed to form a low barrier that may keep it from washing as much.
Stones bordering planting bed.
Wood border around flower bed.
Help for Slopes
On steep slopes, you’re going to need to take additional measures if you want mulch to stay where you put it.
Ideally, steep slopes should be terraced to create smaller, flatter areas that will hold soil and mulch in place. Terraces help create more garden space, too.
Another option is to cover the mulch with bird netting, then use landscape fabric staples to hold the netting in place and keep the mulch from sliding downhill.
- Using Mulch in Your Garden (article)
- Types of Mulch for Your Yard (video)
- How to Choose Mulch for Your Yard (video)
- Tips for Using Mulch in Your Garden (video)
- How to Apply Mulch in Your Yard (video)
Draining solution to prevent washing away of mulch?
If you own a pet, or there is a pet around your house then chances are you have been at risk of having fleas in your house. This is because they are adept at prowling for household pets like cats and dogs. If not get rid of they have the habit of burrowing underneath the skin of humans too. While getting rid of the fleas in your carpet, bear in mind that the processes you undertake should ensure that the infestation has been ended for good. They should also not ruin your carpet in any way Effective ways to Get Rid of Fleas in Your Carpet Vacuum your carpet thoroughly. Use the nozzle attachment instead of just pushing the vacuum cleaner. Start at one end of the room, and vacuum in strips until you have covered the entire carpet. Pay special attention to the corners of the room and baseboards. Fleas like to hide in dark and humid areas, so vacuum underneath furniture well. Be sure to focus on areas that your pet likes to spend time in, as well as around baseboards, near entryways, and under furniture. For very heavy infestations, continue vacuuming every day for 10 to 14 days Vacuum any upholstered furniture in the room. Make sure to get the base and the underside. Fleas often jump onto the furniture, and they could re-infest your carpet if not removed. Throw away the vacuum cleaner bag. Don’t throw it away inside your house. Instead, take the bag out of the vacuum cleaner, put it in a plastic bag, tie the bag up, and throw it away outside your house. This will prevent any remaining fleas from getting back inside your home and back onto your carpet. If your vacuum cleaner uses a canister instead of a bag, take out the canister and empty the debris into a plastic bag. Tie the plastic bag up tightly and throw it away outside. Consider steam cleaning your carpets and furniture. If you do not own a steam cleaner, rent one from a home improvement or grocery store. Follow the instructions that come with the equipment carefully. You may also consider hiring a steam cleaning company to clean for you. The high temperature exerted from the steam cleaner will kill both adults and eggs. Clean your pet’s bedding. Wash them in a sanitary cycle in your washing machine. Also, use the hottest dryer setting available. Wash these daily until the flea infestation is gone. Apply a pet-safe, indoor insecticide to your carpet. Spray an indoor insecticide on your carpet. Wait until it dries before vacuuming. Vacuum every few days for up to two weeks. The insecticides kill adult fleas, but not the eggs—vacuuming will help manage the infestation. Wait a few weeks before applying another treatment. If you are using an insecticide, do not allow your pet into the treated area before it is safe to do so. Insecticides are poisonous, and you could end up with some very tragic results. Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions on the label. Some insecticides require you to wait several hours before entering the treated area. Sprinkle some salt or borax all over the carpet. Focus on areas that your pet likes to spend time in, as well as near doorways, around baseboards, and under furniture. Spread the borax or salt over the carpet, making sure that it settles into the fibers. If you are using borax, let the powder sit in the carpet overnight before vacuuming it up the next day. If you are using salt, wait for 24 to 48 hours before vacuuming. Do not let your pet enter the treated area until you have vacuumed the salt or borax up. If you are using borax, make sure that your pets and children do not wander into the treated areas. If you are using salt, make sure that it is very fine-grained. Try using a vinegar-based spray. Pour one part vinegar and one part water into a spray bottle. Close the spray bottle and shake it to mix everything up. You can use white vinegar or apple cider vinegar. Spray your carpet with the vinegar-water. Be sure to focus on areas that your pet likes to spend time in, as well as around baseboards, near entryways, and under furniture. Fleas dislike the smell of vinegar. The vinegar may also aid in killing the adult fleas. consider using a lemon spray. Cut one to three lemons into thin slices. Pour 2 cups (473.176 milliliters) of water into a pot. Place the lemon slices into the pot and boil them. Once the water begins to boil, take the pot off the burner and turn the stove off. Let the lemons sit in the water overnight. The next day, take the lemon slices out and pour the lemon water into a spray bottle. Spray your carpet with this solution, focusing on areas that your pet likes to spend time in, as well as around baseboards, near entryways, and under furniture. Make a flea trap. If you do not know where the fleas are in your carpet, you can corral them into a single area by using a flea trap. Fill a small bowl with water. Add a few drops of dish soap and stir to combine everything. Place the bowl on the floor, close to a wall, and put a lamp next to it. At night, turn the lamp on. The fleas will hop towards the light and land in the water. The soap in the water will prevent them from hopping back out. The next morning, turn the lamp off and pour the water out. If you have pets, be sure to block the room off. If this is not possible, try to put something over the bowl so that the pet cannot get to it—but leave enough space for the fleas. You can also try using a bright nightlight instead. 8 Best Effective Flea Shampoos for Small Dogs Most Effective Ways to Control Fleas In your Home! Using Diatomaceous Earth to Get Rid of Fleas Purchase some food grade diatomaceous earth. Make sure that you use food grade diatomaceous earth and not the sort you would use in your swimming pool. Food grade diatomaceous earth is not harmful if accidentally ingested. Vacuum your carpet. Using a nozzle attachment, vacuum your entire carpet, especially the areas that your pet likes to spend time in, as well as near doorways and along the baseboards. Sprinkle the diatomaceous earth over your carpet. Focus on areas that your pet likes to spend time in, as well as around baseboards, near entry ways, and under furniture. Diatomaceous earth is made from tiny, fossilized algae and will actually cut the fleas up. Consider sprinkling diatomaceous earth on your pet’s bedding. If you want to get rid of fleas from your carpet, you will also have to get rid of fleas from other areas as well. This includes your pet’s bedding. Simply sprinkle the diatomaceous earth on your pet’s bedding and set it aside for two to three days. Do not let your pet sleep on the bedding. After two to three days have passed, vacuum the bedding and, if possible, wash it in the washing machine using a hot cycle. Consider giving your pet a bath. If you sprinkled diatomaceous earth over areas that your pet likes to spend time in, some of that dust may have gotten on his or her fur. In this case, you will need to give your pet a bath. Keep in mind that dogs are usually much easier to bathe than cats. Consider using a soap-free or a moisturizing pet shampoo during the bath. Diatomaceous earth can make the skin very dry; you can solve this by using a soap-free or moisturizing pet shampoo when bathing your pet. Be sure to use a flea comb in order to catch any fleas, larva, or eggs Vacuum your carpet. After four to five days, vacuum your carpet. Be sure to get the areas that your pet likes to spend time in, as well as around the baseboards and doorways, and under furniture. Throw away the vacuum cleaner bag. Do not throw the bag away inside your house. Take it out of the vacuum cleaner, put it in a plastic bag, tie the bag up, and throw the bag away outside your house. This will prevent any remaining fleas from getting back into your carpet. If your vacuum cleaner uses a canister instead of a bag, take out the canister and empty the debris into a plastic bag. Tie the plastic bag up tightly and throw it away outside.