Nobody likes having worms in their house, but if you’re diligent about your cleaning routines, it’s not super hard to get rid of them. In this article, we’ll talk about how to sanitize your house once your cat’s worms are treated.
First thing’s first though, make sure you’ve treated all the animals in your house! That means dogs, cats, puppies and kittens for safety! Even if only one cat seems to have worms, I’d still recommend giving the other ones a treatment as well, just in case. Just because they aren’t showing symptoms it does not mean they don’t have worms.
You should also check all of your animals for fleas! While roundworms often come from contact with contaminated surfaces and feces, tapeworms are actually most often transmitted through fleas! That means step one for getting rid of tapeworms is actually treating your home and pets for fleas, so start there.
How To Clean Your House After A Worm Infestation
Okay, now that all the animals have been treated, and we’ve made sure that there aren’t any fleas in the house, it’s time to sanitize things! Here’s what to do to keep the worms from showing back up.
Clean out the litter boxes and keep them clean
Your biggest focus should be the litter boxes, especially if you’re fighting a roundworms infestation. These worms are often transmitted through feces, and that means keeping a “clean house” here is important.
After your cats are treated, you should begin by scrubbing out the litter box thoroughly with a solution of hot water and bleach to kill any leftover tapeworm or roundworm eggs. (Be sure you also clean the floor near the litter box and the scooper!)
Launder any toys and bedding
Eggs can easily fall off your cat and on to nearby surfaces! Launder any blankets, pillows, rugs, toys, or towels they’ve been in contact with if you can. Use the hot water cycle to insure the eggs are dead!
Clean flooring thoroughly and often
If you’ve got wood or tile floors, then you should be able to mop them using the same water/bleach solution to kill the eggs. You might want to clean more frequently for a while than you normally do to make sure you pick up any stragglers though.
For those with carpeted living areas, things are a bit more difficult, but not much. You’ll likely want to rent or buy a steam cleaner and do all of the carpets in the house. Buying allows you to do it more often, but if you’ve made sure to give the right worm treatments to your animals, renting should suffice.
Use hot water! Many chemicals actually don’t kill roundworm eggs, but hot water does.
Clean the furniture
Furniture can also harbor eggs and re-contaminate your pets. If you’ve opted to rent a steam cleaner, then the included attachment should allow you to easily clean fabric sofas and chairs. However, if your floors are mostly tile or wood, you can also get some pretty cheap handheld steam cleaners for your furniture to do the job!
For those who have leather furniture, wiping them down with hot water and making sure to clean all the eggs off the surfaces will work. Just be certain that you get the whole couch, including in the crevices!
Don’t forget tables and countertops!
Cats love to get on top of counters and tabletops. Make sure you’re hitting these with your hot water and bleach solution as well and making an effort to keep your cats off the tables for now might be a good idea too.
Preventing human infection of roundworms and tapeworms
Can humans get infected with cat worms? YES. However, the eggs must enter the body for this to happen. As long as you’re being cautious, there should not be any issues. Here’s what to do.
Wear disposable gloves
Wearing gloves helps to avoid you doing thing like touching your face and accidentally ingesting the eggs, which is how they spread. If you don’t choose to wear gloves, then wash your hands thoroughly and often with hot water and soap.
Wear a mask
If you’re working in a confined area, then a mask helps to avoid accidental ingestion. Worm eggs are actually lightweight, and stirring up dust can lead to accidental ingestion through the mouth or nose.
Dispose of cleaning products
Use sponges, old towels, or other things you don’t care about to clean. Dispose of those items when you are finished to make sure you’re not harboring worm eggs in them!
Keep kids away from the cats and litter box
If you have small children, you might want to monitor their time spent with your animals for now. They have a bad habit of putting anything and everything into their mouths, which could lead to transmission of worm eggs! So, be cautious.