How to Clean Your Home After Your Pet Had Worms
How to Clean Your Home After Your Pet Had Worms
White, spaghetti-like strings moving around in your pet’s poo is not a pretty sight—for some, it may even be downright traumatizing. The good news is, your battle with parasitic worms is almost over! You and your veterinarian have successfully removed them from your furry best friend. Now, it’s time to move the deworming process into the household and prevent your pet, as well as your family, from contracting worms in the future.
What type of worm did your pet have? We’ve listed the four most common worms in pets below and how you can effectively eradicate them from your home.
Out of all parasitic worms, roundworms are known to be the most common. Normally, puppies and kittens born to an infected mother will have these worms since they can migrate from the intestines to the uterus and be transmitted through the milk. They’re also one of the two species that can easily be seen in pet feces with the naked eye.
If your pet just recently had roundworms, then you’ll need to clean and disinfect all the areas where they’ve done their business. Keep in mind that cleaning and disinfecting are two different things. Cleaning only reduces the number of pathogens on a contaminated surface or object, while disinfecting is the process done after cleaning to kill the remaining pathogens.
Here’s how to properly clean and disinfect your home after your pet had roundworms:
1. Wear disposable protective clothing
Before you start cleaning, make sure that you wear protective coveralls, a pair of rubber gloves, an N95 dust mask, and rubber boots. You can get everything you need for a safe disinfection here. You don’t want to risk accidentally inhaling roundworm eggs and contracting them in the process.
2. Prepare a diluted bleach mixture
Mix 1 parts bleach in 32 parts water and use the mixture to disinfect potentially contaminated non-porous surfaces and objects, like the kennel where your pet stayed when they had worms or the area around your home where they spent most of their time recovering. Pour the mixture directly on to the surface or object and let it sit for a good few minutes, then rinse with boiling water. As you’re doing this, don’t forget to keep your pet in a separate room to prevent them from accidentally ingesting the bleach.
For a safer, more convenient, and less messy cleanup, we highly recommend using non-liquid bleach. Our personal favorite is GuardH Bleach Tablets, since it’s easy to work with and can be used to disinfect contaminated clothing. If you’re interested in checking it out or viewing other top-rated non-liquid bleach and disinfectants, click here.
3. Moisten dried feces
If you see any dried feces in your home, lightly dampen them with water to prevent them from breaking apart and keep the roundworm eggs from spreading through the air. Once the fecal matter softens, carefully scrape them with a scraper of some sort, maybe a disposable plastic putty knife or a gardening shovel, and place them into a garbage bag. Do NOT throw the garbage bag in your outdoor garbage bin. You’ll need to either burn it or bury it to prevent the spread of infection.
After you’ve removed all the dried feces, use the same bleach mixture to disinfect the areas and rinse with boiling water.
4. Steam clean rugs and carpets
To effectively kill and remove roundworm eggs from fabric, like rugs, blankets, and carpets, you’ll need to use steam. Roundworm eggs are resistant to regular laundry detergent, and other species, like Raccoon roundworms, are even resistant to bleach. The only surefire way to kill roundworms is through heat.
5. Disinfect/dispose of the clothing and tools you used
Disinfect all the tools you used, as well as the rubber boots, with boiling water and put all the disposable protective clothing you wore in a garbage bag.
Unlike roundworms, tapeworms spread through the ingestion of fleas. So to remove them from your home, you’ll need to make sure that there are no leftover fleas after your pet’s treatment. Here’s how you can do it:
1. Invest in monthly flea preventatives and flea repellents
To prevent your pet from contracting tapeworms again, you’ll need to protect them from fleas. The best way to do that is to invest in a monthly flea preventative medication. You can talk to your veterinarian about it and let them help you figure out which one to get.
Flea repellents, whether in the form of collars or sprays, are pretty helpful as well. In combination with a flea preventative medication, they allow you to ensure that your pet stays flea and tick-free at all times. You can check out our favorite anti-flea collars and sprays here.
2. Launder all potentially contaminated fabric
Gather all your pet’s beddings, blankets, and towels—yours, too, if your pet has access to them—and place them in the washing machine with the water temperature set to hot. It’s best to use the dryer to dry your clothes, but you can also hang them outside and let them air-dry under the sun, since sunlight does help with disinfection.
3. Vacuum and steam clean rugs, furniture, and carpets
Vacuuming rugs, upholstered furniture, and carpets will help remove fleas and flea eggs, as well as tapeworm eggs and segments. You can use a steam cleaner afterward to make sure that everything is thoroughly disinfected.
Hookworms are parasites that live in the soil. Pets can contract them if come into contact with contaminated soil or feces. The best way to keep them from your home and backyard is through regular cleaning and disinfection. Here’s how:
1, Remove pet feces immediately
If your pet doesn’t do their business indoors, then it’s less likely that they’ve spread hookworms inside. However, if they do, then clean after them immediately.
2. Use a diluted bleach mixture
When cleaning after your pet indoors, disinfect the area with a diluted bleach mixture (1 parts bleach, 32 parts water). Let the bleach sit for a while, then rinse with warm or hot water. If you have a cat, scoop their litter box daily and disinfect it using diluted bleach every week or so.
Always keep your pet in a separate room when disinfecting your home with bleach.
1. Remove pet feces every day
If your pet poops in the yard, remove the feces immediately. If you see any dried feces around the area, lightly spray it with water, scrape it off, and place it in a garbage bag.
2. Use diluted bleach or borax to disinfect outdoor surfaces
If your pet has ever pooped on the porch, in the garage, along outdoor staircases, or any hard surface while they had worms, you can disinfect it with diluted bleach or borax.
3. Pour food-grade diatomaceous earth over potentially contaminated soil
Diatomaceous earth, which is made of dried phytoplankton, is effective against several types of parasitic worms, including hookworm. If your pet pooped in your backyard or garden while they were recovering from a hookworm infestation, pouring food-grade diatomaceous earth over the contaminated soil can help kill the worms and prevent reinfection. You can read more about it in this article.
If you’re interested in getting food-grade diatomaceous earth, we highly recommend this one from the brand DiatomaceousEarth.com. It works against fleas, ticks, mites, and bed bugs, too!
Now that your pet has recovered from a whipworm infestation, it’s time to do the work and remove them from your backyard to prevent reinfection. Here’s what you need to do:
1. Rake through the yard
Rake through potentially contaminated soil in your backyard or garden and stir up the soil as much as you can. If you have a garden tiller, then that works great too!
2. Use powdered agricultural lime
Powdered agricultural lime is incredibly effective in killing whipworms in the soil. As you rake or till through your backyard or garden, pour about 1 to 2 inches of powdered agricultural lime over potentially contaminated soil.
3. Bleach hard surfaces
To remove whipworms from hard, non-porous surfaces, as well as objects, you can use diluted bleach (1 part bleach, 32 parts water). Let it sit for a few minutes, then rinse.
4. Reinforce with diatomaceous earth
To prevent whipworms from making a comeback and re-infecting your pet, you can spread food-grade diatomaceous earth over the top of the soil once a month. Aside from whipworms, diatomaceous earth is also proven to kill fleas, bugs, mites, tapeworms, pinworms, roundworms, and hookworms.