Most textile products we use are not as innocent as we see them, especially millions of harmful microorganisms live on carpets. One of these harmful microorganisms is mites which can also be deployed on carpets. Mites, which are easily visible when viewed with the help of a microscope and have over 100 varieties, are also very harmful to our health. At home, there may be over millions of mites on your carpet in a single room. The only way to get rid of the mites is to have your carpets washed regularly, if possible twice in 6 months.
These creatures acquire food from human’s dead skin tissue. Only one gram of human skin can feed up to a million mites. As the washing time of the carpets is prolonged, over time they settle over the carpet. The mites cannot be sheltered on the carpets that you have washed regularly and professionally. They can be removed by professional hands at proper temperatures and with proper cleaning methods.
The most important aspect of mites is that they pose a threat to our health. House dust mites in our house trigger allergic conditions. These creatures can cause damages such as nasal congestion and inflammation of the sinuses and may even trigger advanced asthma. For this reason, we should always provide hygiene in our house and clean our carpets regularly. We should send our carpets to Carpet Cleaning on average 4 times a year and thus we should not host these enemies that threaten our health in our house.
When we do not create the necessary hygiene conditions in our homes, we create a suitable environment for the carpet mites. House dust mites are highly resistant to environmental conditions and can easily multiply in hot and humid environments. One gram of house dust contains about 19 thousand mites, of which 100-500 live. Since they are one-third of a millimeter in size, it is not possible to see them with the naked eye, but they can be detected under a microscope. Adult mites live on average for six weeks. The female lays 40-80 eggs during this time. A mite egg turns into an adult mite within four weeks.
Body proteins and feces of mites are allergic. The inhalation of these allergens may even cause asthma. Since mites are fed with human skin debris, they are highly present in dust-holding household items such as pillows, beds, carpets and fabric-covered furniture. Since the bedroom is the room that hosts the most mites compared to the other rooms in the house, the fight against mites should be started from there first. Washable blankets and bedspreads should be preferred as bedding and bedding should be washed at high temperatures every week. Washing the laundry at temperatures above 60 ºC both removes allergens and kills mites. Carpets and stuffed toys are the most suitable shelter and growth environment for mites. Such toys should be kept away from children’s rooms.
Find out More About Carpet Mites
Biology of Carpet Mites
Mites live and reproduce in the dust. It is a species that feeds on the dust and particles of the skin debris of the human body. There are up to 140-160 species of mites. Billions of mites can survive in a single human body. The mite, also known as dust or carpet mite, can only be seen with the help of a microscope. Mites are generally found in dusty environments and humid places. They are dangerous pests for living people. They can cause bronchitis and asthma diseases. On some people, they can cause allergies. Mites can be found in wool, pillows, carpets, blankets, duvets, children’s toys, armchairs, and beds in the house.
Mites generally love warm environments. Our beds are the ideal living space for them. Mites cause asthma which is very difficult to treat. Asthma starts at the beginning of human birth, that is, in infancy and affects every aspect of human life. People with asthma have difficulty breathing. Asthma often causes shortness of breath and death. Therefore, we need to pay attention to some things to avoid asthma. Using silicone and fiber products instead of wool mattresses, quilt pillows prevent mite formation.
What Can Be Done to Avoid Carpet Mite Formation?
- You need to use an antibacterial mattress.
- The rooms especially the bedrooms should be ventilated every day.
- In bedrooms, you should not use as much carpet and rug as possible. If you need to choose between these you should prefer rugs instead of carpets.
- Put your children’s plush toys in a refrigerator bag, tie its opening and then place it in the freezer and wait at least 45 minutes. Because the mites don’t like the cold and die quickly in such an environment.
- Special vacuum cleaners with high suction power should be preferred to clean the house.
- These measures do not lead to the destruction of the mites, but can only reduce the number of them. For the complete destruction of these insects, a periodic insecticide application is required.
Frequently Asked Questions About Carpet Mites
1- Are the carpet mites and dust mites the same parasites?
The carpet mite and dust mite are the same parasite and are called by both names.
2- What is Mite?
Mites are small parasites (which may vary depending on the species) that are fed by pieces of skin that are shed from the body of humans and some other living things.
3- Where does the mite live in the house?
The mite living in the house prefers to live in dusty environments with humidity and heat. They can live especially on woolen pillows, quilts, blankets, carpets, and all woolen fabrics. Mites are found in many plush toys that our children love to play.
4- What does the mite feed on?
The mites living in the houses are found on the skin shed from people. Sometimes they enter the human skin and in the meantime, stinging is felt in the human body. The mite feeds on human and animal skins and absorbs blood by entering it into the skin.
5- Should we give up our pillows and carpets to get rid of Mites?
In order to get rid of the mites, help should be obtained from a professional spraying company. Of course, do not throw away your beds and carpets, just call a pest control service that is close to you to save you from this trouble.
6- What disease do Mites cause?
The feces and debris of the mites mix with the air and enter the body through respiration. In this way, the mite causes allergic diseases, asthma, and bronchitis that make human life hell.
7- How do we protect our children from mites?
In order to protect our children from mites, we should have our home and living spaces disinfected periodically. We should not choose plush toys for our children to play. If these toys are to be used, insecticides should be applied to them. We often need to ventilate our rooms. We should make sure that our pillows and duvets are not wool. Choose the bed you are sleeping on to be antibacterial as well.
8- Is it possible to get rid of mites with the help of a vacuum cleaner?
The vacuum cleaner manufacturers produced vacuum cleaners with high vacuum power to clean carpets from mites. It is healthier to use these devices than other vacuum cleaners. The best way to get rid of these creatures is to periodically spray them.
9- What causes asthma and bronchitis in humans?
There may be many factors that cause asthma and bronchitis. As a result of scientific and academic researches, the most effective cause of asthma formation in the world is mites.
10- Should we get help from a spraying company to get rid of mites?
In order to get rid of mites completely, you should ask for help from specialist spraying companies. The measures we take on our own are inadequate for these small and invisible creatures called mite.
House Dust & Carpet Mite Allergy
House dust mites, mold spores, and animal fur, and feathers are responsible for triggering the ’recurring’ symptoms of annual rhinitis that may be present all year. The symptoms are the same as those of seasonal allergic rhinitis, but nasal obstruction and inflammation of the sinuses (sinusitis) are common complications. Many complaints are caused by house dust mites, which cannot be found in all household dust in real life, but exclusively in carpets. Studies have shown that the powder contained in the carpet contains dust mites at concentrations 100% higher than mites living on the other furniture.
Mites only live and reproduce in areas where the following conditions exist:
- A large amount of food available (they eat rather rotten epithelial cells).
- The permanent temperature around 20 ° C, the humidity of 60-80%.
- Lack of sunlight (sunlight destroys mites).
- The bed contains high amounts of food (epithelial cells) and the heat and moisture supplied by the human body, making it an ideal living environment for mites. At the same time, the absence of sunlight is fully ensured.
- Dermatophagoides Pteronyssimus, which is equivalent to allergy-inducing allergens, is one of the most well-known and common allergy-producing factors among allergy-causing agents that cause chronic persistent allergic rhinitis. Allergy symptoms are well known: sneezing, rhinorrhea, nasal itching, nasal congestion, and itching of the eyes and the palate.
Allergy Caused By Carpet Mites, Symptoms, and Treatment
Mites are small creatures that are invisible to the naked eye but visible under a microscope and have a diameter of 0.1 – 0.5 mm. Ideal conditions for their survival are 20-30 ° C temperature and 60-70% humidity. They feed on human debris, hair, dandruff, and other organic substances. Mites that live in every house in the world no matter how clean the house mostly reproduce on carpets, beds, pillows, duvets, and fabric-covered furniture. There are approximately 19,000 mites in one gram of house dust.
Mites feed on the dead skin cells, ie debris. The feces that the mites leave here dry out and eventually become a fine powder and this fine powder enters the human body by respiration and causes complaints in allergic people. Feces are the most important allergen source of mites. The presence of more than 2 micrograms of mite allergens in 1 gram of house dust is considered as a risk factor for the development of allergies where the presence of more than 10 micrograms is considered as a risk factor for asthma attacks.
Body proteins and feces of mites are allergic. The chances of survival of mites are low in places where the humidity is below 50% and the temperature is more than 60 degrees. They cause allergic reactions all year round because they are the most common domestic allergens and are always present in the environment. Of course, there is an increase in the signs of allergic disease in winter, when the time spent in the house and indoor is increased.
What Are the Symptoms of House Dust Allergy?
Allergies to house dust mites are also known as dust allergy or mite allergy. 9% of the population was found to be susceptible to house dust mites. House dust mites mostly live in furry carpets, pillows and bed quilts. When mites are inhaled or in contact with the skin, they cause asthma, allergic rhinitis and eczema symptoms, or increase symptoms in people with mite allergy.
The body residues of house dust mites, especially their feces, are actually allergenic, ie substances that cause allergies are particularly feces. In case of contact or inhalation of these allergens by allergic persons or those with allergic fever, especially at night and in the morning, symptoms such as runny nose and sneeze are seen, and entering a dusty environment causes increased asthma symptoms. Besides, when allergic asthma patients enter these environments, cough, shortness of breath and asthma attacks may develop as well. Similarly, in these environments, skin symptoms called atopic dermatitis may increase.
Where Do Carpet Mites Live Most?
Carpet mites mostly live in warm, humid and dark environments. They feed on skin rashes from us and our pets. Mites are less common in dry climates and high altitudes but are more common in coastal and high-humidity areas. For example, in areas with high humidity, a high rate of mite allergy is detected in patients with allergic asthma, whereas in those with low humidity, this rate decreases.
Although house dust mites can be found in all textile goods, the places they live mostly in the home environment are bedding, quilts, bed linen, sheets and pillowcases, woolen materials such as blankets and carpets, curtain and fabric-covered furniture, furry animals and furry toys. The reason carpet mites are generally found in this kind of household items is due to the abundance of human skin debris that they can feed.
What Precautions Should Be Taken Against Carpet Mites?
People sleep on average 8 hours a day. Approximately one-third of human life is spent in sleep. Therefore, it is very important to remove the bedroom from the mites. House dust mites die at 55 ° C within 1 hour. Bed linen should, therefore, be changed at least once a week by washing at 60 ° C. The use of special protective sleeves that prevent permeation of mites will be beneficial. Carpet should never be kept in the bedroom. Curtains should be made of synthetic fabric which can be washed in 60 ° C hot water. Woolen blankets, plush-style dust-holding toys should not be used. There should be no excess furniture and as few items as possible in the bedroom.
In the other rooms of the house, other than the bedroom, velvet, fluffy fabric furniture should be avoided, seats should be selected from leather or synthetic fabric. Curtains should be of washable fabric, or fully synthetic wiping blinds should be used. The amount of carpet should be kept as low as possible. Machine washable rugs should be preferred instead of carpets. The surface of furniture covered by the fabric should be as small as possible. The house should be vacuumed frequently with a vacuum cleaner and wiped with a damp cloth. Some vacuum cleaners spread the mite allergens to the environment with the evacuation air. The preferred vacuum cleaner should be HEPA filtered or with water. Humidity should also be kept low at home.
How Can I Protect Myself Against Carpet Mites?
Mites do not like the clean environment at all because they cannot find anything to eat. Therefore, it is very important to keep the environment clean. We should regularly have our items such as carpets, rugs, duvets, and beds washed. In this way, we can prevent the mites from growing and spreading in the environment. Especially in carpets, it is possible to find all kinds of mites. Because the human skin debris directly contacts with the carpet, carpets are unique benevolences for mites. The carpets washed by a professional company regularly will not host the mites.
In order to get rid of the mite problem, it is essential to wash hands before starting food preparation or cooking activities in the kitchen, the garments used during food and beverage preparation and cooking, all kinds of utensils used in the kitchen, the surface of the countertop and the flooring used should be clean, garbage should be collected in littered bins, and there should be no environment where pests can breed. It is very important for the hygiene of the kitchen that there is enough fresh water for the preparation of food and cleaning of the tools. If the dishes are hand-washed, they should be washed with hot detergent and rinsed and left to dry in a clean environment. Not only dishes but also dishcloths should be washed and rinsed with hot soapy water after each use and stored dry until a second use. Cutting boards used in kitchens are also among the most important equipment that carries the risk of contamination. Since raw foods such as meat and chicken can be contaminated by microorganisms on the cutting board, it is best to make other cutting operations on separate boards.
Food processors and electrical appliances such as blenders, mixers, toasters, etc. must be removed from the wall socket while cleaning. The detachable parts should be cleaned with warm detergent water, rinsed and dried. Pay particular attention to metal parts. If it is not dried, it may rust or scratch when cleaned with scouring agents. Never place water on the fixed parts of small electrical appliances and wipe them clean. If these tools are stored in a stable place on the machine, the outer surface should be wiped and dried daily. If stored in a closed environment, it must be cleaned and removed after use. Electric vehicles that will not be used for a long time should also be stored in closed cupboards.
Although it is impossible to completely eliminate mites that can be found almost everywhere in our daily life, you can reduce your exposure to a great extent with some precautions.
- Eliminate the vital conditions of mites.
- Ventilate your home frequently (in dry weather, none of the house dust mites can survive, especially if the humidity is below 50%).
- Never use steam engines.
- Repair any fluid leaks anywhere in the house.
- Change and wash your bedding at least once a week.
- House dust mites can live in all types of fabrics. They are especially found in household items that can easily hold dust such as beds, pillows, duvets, carpets, thick curtains, and furniture. The mattress, pillow, and duvet used should not be wool, goose down or feather.
- Remove the carpet if possible. If you cannot remove it, use a small thin rug instead of a wool carpet.
- Prefer thin tulle or roller blinds instead of thick or heavy curtains.
- Keep as few items in the room as possible. Store items such as books, bauble, toys in closed cupboards. Remove plush and fluffy toys where mites can live intensely.
- Clean the entire room at least once a week with a vacuum cleaner or a HEPA filter vacuum cleaner. During cleaning, the allergic person should not be in the room, after cleaning, dust should be removed with a slightly damp cloth.
- House dust mite allergens can be removed with the vacuum cleaner. But living mites cannot be eliminated. With the HEPA filtration method, the feces of house dust mites can be taken into the bag of the vacuum cleaner.
- Care should be taken not to keep pets at home and especially in the bedroom.
Homemade Spray to Fight with Carpet Mites
Carpet mites, which are the cause of dust allergy and cause nasal congestion, sneezing, runny nose, coughing, itching in the eyes and nose, and asthma attacks in more advanced cases, are small organisms also known as dust mites. Mites form a different kind of arthropod as distant relatives of spiders and scorpions. They are found in almost every corner of an ordinary house, and you’re probably surrounded by them right now.
The fact is, however, that you are exposed to too many groups of microorganisms every second, and mites are only one of them. In fact, they are not completely harmful, some of them are not at all harmful and cannot be seen with the naked eye. The type that invades your home and causes allergies and breathing problems is known as dust mites or carpet mites. To be able to combat these organisms, you need to learn more information about them.
Mites are organisms that feed on dead cells from your skin and are too small (about 0.3 mm) to be seen. Dust allergies are caused by the small fecal particles produced by mites. Each mite can produce 20 of these particles per day and will produce 2000 fecal particles over a lifetime of about 10 weeks. And in an average bed, thousands or even millions of mites can be found.
Male mites live for about 10 days, but females can survive for up to 70 days and lay 60 to 100 eggs throughout their lives. According to this rate, the number of mites in your home may increase exponentially. Mites don’t like the light. Therefore, they usually hide in the pores of materials such as fabrics, upholstery, beds, carpets, and toys. In addition, mites are more common in humid and hot environments such as attics and basements.
Dust Allergy and Its Effects on Your Health
It is estimated that dust mites are responsible for 50% of allergy symptoms. Inhaling them can cause rhinitis-like respiratory diseases that affect your nasal mucosa and cause sneezing, itching, congestion, runny nose, and sometimes reduced the sense of smell. They are also known to trigger asthma attacks.
Mites can also cause allergic conditions such as itchiness, redness, inflammation of the eye, and inflammation that feels as if you have something in your eyes. Similarly, they may cause some kind of discomfort known as eczema, which causes itchy and inflamed spots to occur upon prolonged contact with the skin. All you need to do to avoid all the negative effects of dust allergy is to stay away from dust mites. And there are several simple methods you can prepare at home to achieve this most effectively. You don’t necessarily need to contact a professional to control the mites.
First of all, you can prepare an insecticide at home to help you get rid of mites on fabrics and carpets. You can also get readymade products from the stores if you wish. If you want to prepare it yourself at home, these are the ingredients you need:
- 1 spray bottle
- Half a glass of ethyl alcohol
- Half a glass of pure water
- 30 drops of oil essence (lemon, eucalyptus, lavender, cypress, cinnamon, etc.)
After mixing all the ingredients in the spray bottle, you are ready to get rid of the mites. Squeeze the mixture into your bed, pillow, quilt, curtains and whatever you think there is dust. It is not a good idea to use this mixture if you have a child under 3 in your home or a pregnant person. However, if you still want to use it, be sure to thoroughly ventilate your sprayed items. After the first application of the spray, you will considerably reduce the population of mites for the last two months. However, you should spray it regularly every two or three months to purify your home from these organisms.
Another solution is to spray your rooms with lavender, peppermint or pine oil-like products every day to freshen the air of your home. And your house will smell perfect. In addition, anise, cloves, fennel, thyme, and lavender mixture prepared in a spray bottle and sprayed on your bed and rug in your bedroom may help reduce the population of mites. It also gives your room a pleasant smell to make it look cleaner and more spacious. Use prudently to ensure that no one in your home is allergic to these essences.
Tips for Avoiding the Re-Emergence of Carpet Mites
You should keep your house clean and prevent the mites from reappearing. Therefore, you should make some small changes in your home and create an environment that does not allow them to reproduce and live again. Here are some tips:
- Try to keep the ambient humidity below 50%. Using a dehumidifier in your bedroom reduces the risk of dust allergy. In addition, you can monitor the humidity level in your room by taking a moisture meter.
- Ventilate your rooms. After opening your window, operate a fan to prevent dust and mites from accumulating. 15 minutes a day to ventilate your house is enough.
- Let the sunlight penetrate all of your rooms. Because a well-lit room is not suitable for the development of mites.
- Wash your sheets and curtains with hot water. Thus, you will get rid of the mites living in the pores of the fabric.
- The key to this is to keep your bed clean. Because you spend most of your time in contact with the mites in your bed, and there are probably too many mites there.
- Make sure you have enough time to clean your bed and spray plenty of it to get rid of all dust particles. Do this regularly to avoid reproduction in your bed.
- In the summer, you should take all your fabrics and furniture out and leave them under the sun for a while, because the mites cannot live at high temperatures. Likewise, they cannot withstand very low temperatures in winter.
- You can get rid of carpets and similar products that form a shelter for mites at any time. Carpet creates a very suitable environment for the development of mites. This is especially likely if your carpet is directly on the concrete floor.
- If possible, replace your carpet with tiles, wood or another hard floor. Another effective way to prevent the development of mites is to replace your furniture with removable models.
- Decontamination of your home is actually an easy task, but being able to do it effectively requires determination.
- Be sure to clean these most important areas regularly, especially your bed, sheets, and carpets.
- The most important thing is doing the cleaning in spring and autumn because mites develop and spread mostly during these seasons.
Best Products That You Can Buy Online to Avoid Carpet Mites
- Germ Guardian True HEPA Filter Air Purifier for Home, Office, Bedrooms, Filters Allergies, Pollen, Smoke, Dust, Pet Dander, UV-C Sanitizer Eliminates Germs, Mold, Odors, Quiet 22 inch 3-in-1 AC4825 (Price: $69.99)
- LEVOIT Air Purifier for Home Allergies and Pets Hair, Smokers, True HEPA Filter, Quiet Filtration System in Bedroom, 2-Yr Warranty, Removes Smoke Odor Dust Mold, Night Light & Timer, Vista 200 (Price: $68.88)
- Gideon Mini Plug-in Air Ionizer Air Purifier Portable UV Air Sanitizer Helps Eliminate Germs, Odors and Allergens Such as Dust Mites and Mold Spores (Price: $34.95)
- Dibea Bed Vacuum Cleaner with Roller Brush Corded Handheld, Cyclonic Filtration System with HEPA Filter 20cm UV Light, White (Price: $78.98)
- AllerSoft 100-Percent Cotton Bed Bug, Dust Mite & Allergy Control Duvet Protector, Full/Queen (Price: $56.99)