Even if you vacuum frequently, living things can hide in your carpeting. Mites, beetles and spores are among the many things that make a home in wall-to-wall carpeting. Finding simple ways to maintain a clean, healthy living space allows you to have a healthy home and enjoy your carpeting.
Common Carpet Contaminants
Carpeting houses a wide range of dirt, dust and debris. Dust can contain tiny pieces of dirt, dead skin cells, ash and other small particles. It is almost impossible to keep dust from entering the home. Dust enters the home anytime the door or windows are opened, and particles are often introduced through the heating and cooling system.
Among the most common, and troublesome, things in your carpet are dust mites. The mites are invisible to the naked eye, but can cause problems like watery eyes, runny nose or eczema, and the mites can worsen asthma in those diagnosed with the condition.
Carpet beetles are less common than dust mites, but are still frequently found indoors in some regions of the country. Carpet beetles typically eat small food crumbs in carpeting, and can live in any area where lint or pet fur is present. Cleaning your carpet on a regular basis is the simplest and most effective method to preventing carpet beetles especially if you have indoor pets.
Spores, such as fungus spores, also live in carpets. Spores also worsen allergies among susceptible people. Spores can cause mold or mildew to develop in the home, which can lead to serious respiratory conditions in some people. Regular vacuuming can remove a large portion of spores when the vacuum is fitted with a HEPA filter.
All carpet should be shampooed at least once a year, or more often if someone in the home has asthma, allergies or a compromised immune system. Steam cleaning is often a good choice, as the heat from the steam kills spores and dust mites, but a thorough shampooing also effectively eliminates many allergens in carpet.
In homes where carpet beetles are present, clean the area where the carpet meets the wall, and thoroughly inspect the home to remove contaminated clothing, food and items. Steam clean or shampoo the carpeting to remove the insect’s eggs and larvae.
Because carpet beetles can live under carpets, make sure to lift area rugs and clean under them. A professional cleaning can help eliminate the larvae that may be present under wall-to-wall carpeting. With regular vacuuming and shampooing or steam cleaning, you can have a clean carpet and a healthy home.