If you are a pet parent and parent, then your worst nightmare can be tapeworms transferring from your pet to the carpet. But how long do tapeworm eggs live in a carpet?
In this article, we’ll learn about what tapeworms are and how you can get rid of these parasites.
What Are Tapeworms?
Tapeworms are intestinal parasite species. They live in the intestines of hosts like cats, dogs, and even humans. Their lifecycle is indirect, which makes them live outside the host body for some time.
These are flat and have the ability to grow up to 8 inches in length and consume the nutrients in the host’s intestine.
The tapeworm can live in the environment, like in grass, soil, dust, and carpets. They can cause a lot of different health problems for your pets and you.
The Lifecycle Of Tapeworms
The lifecycle of a tapeworm starts with adults laying eggs that are shed in the feces of the host, contaminating the environment.
There are two types of hosts for a tapeworm- an intermediate host, mostly rodents or fleas, and a definite host that includes cats or dogs.
When an intermediate host consumes the eggs, the eggs hatch and develop into larvae.
These larvae migrate into the host’s body and transform into cysts.
When a definite host like a cat or dog eats the infected intermediate hosts, they also consume the cysts, which then develop into adult tapeworms.
How Long Do Tapeworm Eggs Live In A Carpet?
Now let’s move onto understanding how long do tapeworm eggs live in a carpet.
As we discussed that tapeworms have an indirect lifecycle which allows them to live outside the host for a certain period of time.
According to scientists, tapeworm eggs can survive outside the host body for at least 4 to 8 months or even more.
These tapeworms are found worldwide. However, if you are a person living in tropical or subtropical regions, then you have to be more careful of these parasites.
Tapeworms don’t hatch and grow outside the host’s body, but if your pet has excreted on the carpet, then they might leave the host and continue living on the surface of your carpet.
Now let’s understand how to identify these parasites on your carpet.
How To Identify These Parasites On Your Carpet?
There are only means to identify the tapeworms in your carpet.
- Firstly by the physical appearance of tapeworm eggs.
- Secondly, by common symptoms of tapeworm infestation.
1. Physical Appearance
Tapeworm eggs are microbially small, so you cannot see them through the naked eye. However, the segments of tapeworm can be seen in the feces of your pet.
Even if your pet is not infected anymore, tapeworms can still be present in the carpet if your pet has ever defecated on the carpet.
These tapeworm segments look like grains of cooked white rice or cucumber seeds.
If you see any signs of tapeworm either on the carpet or in your pet, take immediate actions to prevent any health issues.
2. Common Symptoms Of Tapeworm Infestation
Tapeowms do not pose any severe harmful issues; however, they can cause irritation to your pets.
Look for a few clinical signs in your pets, like the presence of proglottids in the feces of your pet. Tapeworms can also cause weight loss in your pets if they are present in large numbers.
You can also see moving segments around your pet’s anus. This will make them scoot or drag their anus across the ground or carpet due to irritation.
Other signs can be diarrhea, weight loss, and vomiting.
What Are The Factors That Affect The Survival Of Tapeworm Eggs On The Carpet?
Tapeworms are parasites that can also survive for weeks in the environment. However, there are some environmental factors that affect the survival of tapeworm eggs in the carpet.
Temperature greatly affects the survival of tapeworms. The eggs can survive for a much longer time in a cool and damp environment.
According to scientists, tapeworm eggs cannot survive in hot and dry environmental conditions.
However, a cold temperature and higher humidity level can help it survive for several months.
2. Carpet Material And Hygiene
Another factor that affects the survival of tapeworm eggs is the type of your carpet.
Carpets that are wool or cotton provide a suitable environment for tapeworm eggs to survive for a longer period of time.
Also, if you don’t clean your carpet regularly, then the chances of more prolonged survival of tapeworm eggs become higher.
The last factor that affects the survival is exposure to sunlight.
Sunlight contains UV rays which result in damaging the eggs reducing their ability to survive longer.
Therefore, if you have infested pet, then expose the carpet to sunlight more often. However, you must maintain cleanliness by regularly vacuuming the carpet.
The Risk Of Tapeworms In The Carpet
Dangers To Humans
Tapeworms are not a serious threat to humans, but if ignored, they can definitely cause serious problems.
Ignoring tapeworm eggs can lead to an infestation in kids who have a weak immune system and can lead to a condition called cysticercosis.
In this condition, the tapeworm invades various human organs, like the brain, which can result in seizures, headaches, and other neurological threats.
Tapeworm eggs can pose a severe condition if they invade the human eye, which can lead to blindness.
You can avoid getting infested by tapeworms by maintaining hygiene. like washing your hands before eating or cooking and avoiding contact with contaminated soil or water.
Dangers To Pets
When it comes to pets, then, you have to be extra careful with hygiene because they are the primary source of tapeworm egg infestation, as they are the ones who consume fleas.
So, if you want to get rid of tapeworms, the first step is to get rid of fleas from your carpet.
Here are a few things you can do to maintain their hygiene:
- Regular bathing
- Giving them a nutritional diet
- Grooming the
- Cleaning their bed
- Regularly deworm them under the guidance of a veterinarian.
How To Remove Tapeworm Eggs From The Carpet?
These parasitic species are just like coccidia, which also live in the intestines of your pet, giving them diseases. However, you can use the same methods as tapeworms to remove coccidia from the carpet.
1. Regularly Vacuuming
The first and foremost method to use to get rid of tapeworm eggs from the carpet is by regularly vacuuming it.
You can use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter that will trap any airborne particles of tapeworm eggs.
Tapeworms can also be brought by pet hair and shoes, which makes it more significant to regularly vacuum your carpet.
2. Steam Cleaning
You can also use a steam cleaner to kill any remaining tapeworm eggs after vacuuming.
Steam cleaner emits high temperature that is not only effective in killing any tapeworm eggs and larvae but also the potential bacteria that lives in your carpet.
However, it is always recommended to follow the manufactures instructions to prevent your carpet from being damaged.
3. Chemical Treatments
Using chemical treatments is another easy and effective method to treat tapeworm eggs.
But before treating your carpet with chemicals, you must vacuum or use a steam cleaner as it will reduce the number of chemicals that are required to use.
For instance, you can use insecticides or acaricides to treat your tapeworm-infested carpet.
However, it is important to note that these chemicals can be harmful to humans. So, make sure to wear safety gear and follow all the instructions.
Also, while using these chemicals, keep pets and children out of the area.
4. Professional Carpet Cleaning
You can also get your carpet thoroughly cleaned by professional carpet cleaners.
They come with experience and equipment that will effectively and efficiently remove the tapeworm eggs.
They can also provide you with expert advice on how to get rid of tapeworm eggs in the future, deworm your pets, and other advice to prevent any contact with tapeworm infestation.
What Are The Other Places Tapeworms Can Survive?
Listed below are some places in which tapeworms can survive:
1. Raw or Undercooked pork
2. Raw or Undercooked meat like beef
How Long Tapeworm Eggs Survive On Other Surfaces?
Once the tapeworm egg enters the environment, it lays stagnant but active on other surfaces for several months.
Then they wait for their host to pick them up and contaminate them. Other than soil and carpet, they can also survive on bathroom floors, clothes, and bedsheets.
We hope you found your answer to “How Long Do Tapeworm Eggs Live In A Carpet?” because, well, they do survive for quite a long time.
To avoid them, you have to maintain cleanliness by regularly vacuuming your carpet and getting it cleaned professionally every once or twice a year.
You can also avoid infestation by washing your hands whenever you touch the pet or their feces.
What kills tapeworm eggs in bedding?
Wash any pet bedding in your washer, setting it on high heat. Also, add one cup of white vinegar to to further kill any eggs.
Are dried segments of tapeworm harmful?
Yes, if these dried tapeworms are consumed, then it is possible to pass the adult tapeworm parasites.
So, whether these segments are fresh or dried, they contain tapeworms that can be equally harmful.
Do tapeworms wiggle?
Yes, they do wiggle and move on their own. You may find them under your pet’s tail or on the surface of your pet’s bed.
Daleyza knows a lot about carpets! She has worked with carpets for over 7 years and can help with things like putting them in, keeping them clean, and replacing them. She really likes carpets and spends most of her time learning about new ways to work with them. When she’s not learning about carpets, she enjoys reading books. She’s really good at helping people choose the right carpet for their homes and making sure they’re happy with it. If you want to know more about carpets, Daleyza is the person to talk to!