The microscopic parasite Giardia causes diarrhea and other symptoms in both humans and pets if they come into contact with contaminated water, food or even soil and other surfaces. Because of their protective outer shell, Giardia can live outside a host body for up to a month. This makes the parasite easily spread and hard to eliminate in one's home, especially in the carpet, where the parasite can hide and easily reinfect household members. Killing the Giardia parasites in your carpet is essential for the health of you and your pets.
Isolate pets from carpeted areas in your home. After your pets have been treated by your vet for Giardia, keep them in an area of your home that you have pre-cleaned. You can use a 1-to-10 solution of bleach and water to pre-clean a room by simply mopping the floor with the solution. The garage or a basement may be a good choice, but any uncarpeted area of the home where you can easily contain your pets will work.
Steam-clean all carpeted areas of your home. Work from one room to another and never go backward, because you can contaminate the room by tracking in the spores on the bottom of your shoes.
Disinfect the carpet. Use a quaternary ammonium disinfectant according to manufacturer's directions, making sure to wear gloves and ventilate the room well. Allow the area to dry for several days before reintroducing the animals. This strong disinfectant effectively kills the parasite and is commonly used by shelters and kennels to prevent reinfection.
Dispose of pet feces right away. Cleaning up after your pet is essential to prevent your animals from being infected by tracking the microscopic parasite into your house and carpet on their fur and paws.
Bathe and groom your pets frequently. Bathing your pet and diligently cleaning his paws and toys can help prevent Giardia from being reintroduced to your carpet.
Keep shoes clean. Use shoe covers or wipe shoes with a bleach or quaternary ammonium disinfectant to prevent reinfection of your carpet as Giardia cysts from your yard or other sources are tracked in on shoes.