Tapeworms are intestinal parasites species and a problem if you have pets that have fleas. But you’ve probably wondered, how long do tapeworm eggs live in carpets and other surfaces?
When it comes to tapeworms, their life cycle is indirect, which is why they can live outside the host body for quite some time.
While adult tapeworms live inside their host’s body, they excrete reproductive segments that thrive in the outside environment.
It gets into the system of hosts like cats and dogs because they live on the surface till the host ingests the eggs.
According to scientists, tapeworm eggs can survive outside the host body for at least 8 months or even more.
To control the problem of tapeworms in your pets, you have to start with the source, which is, cleaning the house, the carpets and any other area that might be a suitable environment for these eggs to live in.
Can Tapeworm Eggs Live in Carpet?
Yes. Tapeworm eggs can live in carpets.
However, since these eggs require a warm and moist environment to survive, they live for longer in the soil as opposed to carpets.
But you should note that these eggs can easily live on carpets for months.
Scientists who performed several tests on tapeworm eggs have concluded that some of the tapeworm eggs can live outside the host body for at least 8 months.
When it comes to adult tapeworms, they don’t leave the host body on their own, but if they do, they can still live on carpets for a few weeks.
These worms don’t essentially hatch and grow into adult worms outside their host body, but if your pet defecates on the carpet, they might make a home for themselves.
After a few weeks on the carpet, these eggs will become ineffective so that they won’t cause harm to humans or pets.
They can also survive for a similar time frame on similar surfaces like clothes and bedding.
What Kills Tapeworm Eggs in Carpet?
If you suspect that your carpet is contaminated with tapeworm eggs, you can start by taking some of the following measures:
- Steam cleaning the carpet – as tapeworm larvae and eggs are susceptible to high heats – and thoroughly washing it.
- Thoroughly vacuuming your carpet to suck up any eggs to prevent future tapeworm infection
- Use disinfectant shampoo in the carpet
- Besides your carpet, consider washing all clothes, bedding on a high heat.
- Consider using bleach or disinfectant on other solid surfaces and worktops too.
- Remove any cat or dog litter as they can live in animal and human feces
- Clean under your nails and cut them short (and your kids) to stop yourself becoming a human host.
You can also bring professional help to clean your carpet with all the right equipment.
When cleaning a carpet contaminated with tapeworm eggs, you must ensure that the chemicals you use to clean it should be veterinary recommended.
You can find sprays and liquid that effectively eliminate these worm eggs, like RESCUE or KennelSol
You can DIY your solution with bleach and water if you don’t want to use these pesticides.
Apart from fixing the external problem of tapeworms on surfaces, it would be best if you also considered deworming your pet at least once every season.
Since they are so susceptible to getting these infections, you should always watch out for any irregularities in their behaviour and appetite.
Tapeworm infections quickly spread and develop, so it is best to opt for regular cleaning of the house and your pet.
If you take these steps you’ll successfully kill tapeworm eggs.
Can Tapeworm Eggs Survive on Surfaces?
Yes. Tapeworm eggs can survive on surfaces outside of their host for weeks, even months.
The highest risk of tapeworms to humans is if they live with pets and mammals prone to these infections.
Tapeworm eggs can latch on surfaces like clothes, carpets, kitchen counters and bed sheets.
Once they enter a host body, they start growing and developing at incredible speed.
So it is best to perform hygiene cleansing regularly.
Tapeworm eggs are capable of living in various environments like soil, grass, carpets and even on land and dust.
Therefore, they pose a massive threat to the safety of pets and, ultimately, the pet owners.
The most common host is the flea, so you should place the primary control on fleas.
Once you get rid of the fleas, there is less chance of a tapeworm egg infestation.
Flea control is one of the biggest steps you can take to control tapeworm infection.
How Long Do Tapeworm Eggs Live on Surfaces?
Once tapeworms are released into the environment, they can lay dormant but active on different surfaces for months.
They lay there, waiting for a host to pick them up, which is most likely your cat or dog.
Apart from carpets, tapeworm eggs can survive for weeks on grass, bathroom floors, clothes and even bed sheets.
If an adult tapeworm leaves its host body, it can still stay for 3 weeks on the surface.
Are Dried Tapeworm Segments Harmful?
Dried tapeworm segments are not as harmful as live tapeworm eggs.
These dried segments are tiny and can be thought of as a sac known as “proglottid.”
The parts that get pushed out are the older ones which gets pushed to the end of the tail and finally out of the system.
When the sac is initially passed from the system, it is not dry, but after staying out in the open, it will dry up and start looking like tiny seeds.
When the sac eventually breaks, all the eggs get released.
However, these eggs are not dangerous for mammals.
They should be at a certain point in their growth for them to be able to infect mammals; however, the eggs can take fleas hostage, where they then develop further into their growth stages.
Fleas consume these tapeworm eggs, giving them a suitable environment for growth and eventually infecting the pets.
An infected flea is most responsible for tapeworm infection in dogs and humans.
Other Places Tapeworms Can Live
- Raw or undercooked pork
- Raw or undercooked meats (though pork tapeworm is the most common, it is possible in a lot of raw or undercooked meat like beef, which can infect humans)
Final Thoughts & Summary
Tapeworms are not as common as you would think they would be in pets or other mammals.
However, they can appear if you get a flea problem so if you are worried about a potential tapeworm infestation at home or in your pets, be sure to consult a professional and get advice on how to get best rid of them.
If you have an infected dog or your pet has tapeworm contamination, you should seek medical help.
Typically, you only need to treat your dogs once, but you could also get a second or third shot in the clear.
The main reason for the second shot is to ensure that your pet gets rid of all the fleas that are the primary carriers of these tapeworm eggs.
However, this treatment does not guarantee that your pet will never be infected again.
Hence, it would be best if you always were wary about where your pets go and give them a hygienic life so that these infections don’t happen as often.
You may also be interested in reading about whether tapeworm eggs can survive on bedding and become bed worms or the difference between a tapeworm vs pinworm.