You vacuum a few times a month, you clean stains from your carpet. It’s clean, right? Well, probably not. There are a lot of different creatures that find your carpet a warm and cozy home with free food for the eating. Some of them you know about, others are scary, all of them will make your skin creep.
One of the biggest offenders is the house mite. These tiny, microscopic creatures just love carpet.They live primarily on dead skin cell from their human housemates. Since the average human sheds about 10 grams of skin cells a week, they seldom go hungry. While they don’t carry diseases after death their carcasses dry out and float upwards. Breathing these in can cause not just breathing problems but also skin issues, eye, and nose irritation. Most people will have some level of an allergic reaction to them so chosen
Fleas are another insect that likes carpets. They enjoy blood found in adult feces. Also,hair and other organic debris are a treat for these tiny bugs. They can live one full year without eating and need only one blood meal to reproduce. Odds are if they’re in your carpet they have plenty to eat. Carpet beetles are more of a pest when still in the larval stage. Known as “wooly bears”, their food of choice are woolen fibers, carpets, and clothes. They will not eat purely synthetic fibers.
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There are many other types of pests that love your carpet even more than you do. A short list would include:
- Bed Bugs that enjoy living on the edges of carpets not just in mattresses and box springs
- Maggots from flies
- Mold can produce mycotoxins that cause a mild allergic reaction or even death
- Fungi spores have been found in dirty carpets that can cause athlete’s foot.
Between them, they can cause allergic reactions in persons with asthma, skin infections, eye, and nose irritation. Allergy symptoms in persons without asthma are known to occur and yes in some cases even causes death.
So what can you do to protect your family? The first and most important thing is to make sure your carpets are clean. Below are some suggestions from professionals and health care workers. You should try to do all of them if possible, if not do as many as you can.
Vacuum all carpets at least once a week
Move furniture including beds and sofas away from the wall to clean
Vacuum under all furniture including hutches and dressers
If you suspect any pests be sure to take the vacuum bag outside as soon as you’ve vacuumed
If you don’t, many of the pests you’ve gotten into the bag will simply get out.
Use soil retardants and baking soda
Perhaps most important have all carpets cleaned by a professional at least once a year
If you take a rental with questionable carpets be careful. Try to get them properly cleaned before allowing your family to live there. Your good health and that or your family may well depend upon it.