The Secret Ecosystem Hiding in Your Rug: What’s Hiding in Your Rug?

Underneath a seemingly clean carpet lies an ecosystem filled with pests
germs, and particles you definitely don’t want lying around in your home. But thanks to most rugs’ composition, you probably can’t see these
infesting your home.

Photo credits from: Lida Sahafzadeh (https://unsplash.com/photos/UMo3_QxeIRI)

No matter how much you clean your rug, you may just be scratching the surface. Underneath your carpet lies a secret ecosystem of pests, germs, dust, and food particles that make it a thriving and sustainable ecosystem for unwanted things lurking on your floor. And, given the porous composition of your carpet, it’s possible that any basic cleaning is not enough to clean out a lot of the things lurking in your rug.

Dirt, Soil, and Anything under Your Shoes

Rugs and carpets are made with absorbable materials. So, if you’re not the type to leave shoes at the door, whenever you or your guests step on your rug, you are rubbing off dirt, soil, and any other debris under your shoes onto your rug. Carpet cleaners recommend getting your rugs and carpets cleaned by a special service because if you try to do it yourself with a simple vacuum and pat-down, it’s unlikely that you’ll get all the dirt out.

Photo credits from: Alfred Kenneally (https://unsplash.com/photos/VLXBEKbJBrQ)

Regular vacuuming only gets 85 percent of dirt out of your carpet. That may seem good enough since it takes almost everything out, but think about that 15 percent lurking. Did you step on dog feces, fertilized soil, or any questionable lump on the ground recently? Think about all that dirt building up in your home and the germs that are in it. 

Bed Bugs and Other Pests

Small pests like bed bugs, small roaches, and even ticks can turn your rug into their own breeding ground if left uncleaned for long periods of time. Contrary to its name, bed bugs are just as likely to grow in your carpet as they are to inhabit your bed. And since their eggs are extremely small, it’s hard to notice these eggs until you begin to see the physical signs in your body that your home is infested with pests.

Photo credits from: MabelAmber (https://pixabay.com/photos/bug-beetle-insect-shield-head-4270240/)

Bugs like mites are hard to detect and can cause skin allergies to people in your household. The pests, their waste, and their eggs may not only cause physical effects to your body, but it can also spread to the rest of your home, causing an infestation. Since it’s much cheaper to have a rug cleaned than to have your house exterminated of pests, it’s best to regularly clean your carpet to avoid infestations.

Dust and Food Particles

Pests can thrive in your carpet because of food and dust particles you’ve failed to clean. When you drop food or drinks on a carpet, you might think it can be easily remedied by sweeping away the food, vacuuming the smaller visible crumbs, or just waiting for the drink to dry and letting the stain be. But you may not notice the salt from your chips or sugar particles from your soda making its way deeper into your carpet, becoming a food source for both pests and bacteria as well as creating an odor once the food particles start to go bad.

As for dust, some dust particles carry edible pieces for bacteria and dust mites to feed on. When enough bacteria grows and thrives, you may start to see the effects on your carpet and the rest of the room.

Human and Animal Hair and Dandruff

You and your pet’s hair, dead skin, and dandruff also serves as food to the pests and bacteria lurking in your carpet. In one day, you shed around 125 hair strands and 1.5 million dead skin cells. So, imagine staying in your carpeted living room for the entire afternoon and imagine just how much of your dead cells have become food for unwanted organisms thriving at your feet.

Photo credits from: Luka Davitadze (https://unsplash.com/photos/SQt2eb5OJew)

Regular vacuuming reduces the number of skin cells and hair on your carpet, but you have to remember that some of these are cell-sized particles that won’t truly be taken out through superficial cleaning methods.

Photo credits from: Patrick Hendry (https://unsplash.com/photos/3bVPbQ-9w3E)

Mold and Other Bacteria

With all the pests abound your carpets and rugs able to survive thanks to food particles, dead skin cells, and dust, as bacteria begins to thrive, it opens up the risk for harmful diseases. Bacteria such as salmonella and E. coli can hide in your carpet. If you follow the five-second rule and eat something off the floor, if your children play on the floor, or if you happen to come into contact with the floor for any reason, you risk developing diseases that will require serious medical attention.

Mold, in particular, can cause respiratory and skin irritation. In worst cases, people with mold allergies risk respiratory infection, asthma, and other serious conditions that could affect their overall health.

These are some of the things that are probably thriving in your carpets as we speak, and no amount of sweeping and vacuuming is going to totally kill this thriving ecosystem. To keep your rugs clean on a safe level, you’ll need to have it professionally cleaned regularly. This helps ensure that your carpeted floor is free from any unwanted inhabitants that can harm you, your household, and your home.

This is a contributed post.

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