Warm and lush, the carpet accentuates the ambience of the interior space. It makes the environment cosy, muffles noises from footsteps, and even helps with regulating the temperatures of the indoors. There are those who skip out the seats and sofas, settling directly onto the carpet like during date and movie nights. Add to that the kids playing around, plus your pet that has no doubt picked a cosy spot of the carpet where it takes regular naps. However, you share the carpet with one more organism- the infamous dust mite.
Measuring only about a quarter to a third of a millimetre, the dust mite is practically invisible to the naked eye. When checked out under a microscope, it looks like a white bug. There are over a dozen species, and they thrive in the conditions of the carpet. After all, it has all they need, from warmth to loads of food. They mainly feed on the skin flakes that are shed by people in the establishment. The average adult sheds about 1.5g of skin flakes in just a day. It sounds miniscule, but that is more than enough to feed a million dust mites. The higher the number of people in the premises, the more nourishment there is for the mites. One ends up having colonies of the microbugs all over. In fact, each ounce of carpet can have up to 2000 dust mites living on it. During warm and humid weather, they multiply rapidly. Each egg-laying female can shore up the population by 25 or 30 new mites every week. In addition, those periods when people remain indoors or extended times like during the Fall and Winter, the concentration increases. They are not parasites, so you won’t have to worry about them biting, stinging or burrowing their way into the body. However, the dust mites still have their effects on the persons on the premises.
Their waste- from body parts to the faecal residue, is an allergen. A gram (about just a half teaspoon) of dust contains as many as 250,000 dust mite faecal pellets. Even in low humidity levels and extreme temperature conditions where they can’t surface and die off, their dead bodies can still cause reactions. This is due to the proteins in the matter. Dust mite allergy symptoms range from sneezing, itchy, red or watery eyes, a runny nose, itchy mouth or throat, postnasal drip where mucus flows behind the nose and into the throat, and the occasional coughing. Dust mite allergen is the leading cause of perennial allergic rhinitis. For those who have respiratory conditions such as asthma and bronchitis, the range of effects are wider. From difficulty in breathing, wheezing sounds when breathing out, all through to chest tightness and pain. Children and pets, who spend more time on the carpet, are at a higher risk of getting the dust mite allergies.
This is more than just a nuisance. You end up spending loads of funds on medical bills, purchasing antihistamines to relieve the sneezing and itching, nasal corticosteroids to reduce swelling in the nose, leukotriene receptor antagonists to alleviate the reactions, and even decongestants that help shrink the lining of the nasal passages and relieve stuffiness. The hospital visits and checkups also take up time. All this because of bugs that are a fraction of a breadcrumb. You don’t want your family members at home, or the customers and employees in your business premises undergoing this. Hence, it is vital to schedule carpet cleaning sessions to enhance the health and hygiene of your establishment.
Professional Carpet Cleaning To Fix Your Dust Mite Problem
You want to get rid of the infestations that have developed in the fibres of your carpet. Conventional cleaning methods ,where the dirt is just pushed further deep into the carpet to hide it, won’t solve your problem. In fact, it will simply intensify. In addition, dry vacuuming doesn’t pick up the dust mites. That’s why the professional crew employ hot water extraction systems, that kill the mites and flush them out of your carpet. The high temperatures of the process, plus the scrubbing action and superior vacuuming power, removes the mites, their eggs, together with the rest of the soiling from your carpet. This leaves it clean and fresh, enabling you to enjoy your investment.
While the dust mites and their residue is being removed, you don’t want your carpet being put at risk. Different material, from the natural to the synthetic fibres, have their unique cleaning requirements. Turning to professional services enables you to avoid problems such as discolouration of the carpet and shrinkage that are a threat to your investment. You get an effective job done with the peace of mind that it is being carried out safely.
Controlling The Dust Mite Population In Your Indoor Environment
Dust mites are a year-round problem. Follow these tips to reduce the population of these little creatures in your establishment:
- Keep the building aired out and dry. Since the mites thrive in humidity levels greater than 50% they don’t do well in dry conditions. Open the windows and screen doors, and allow fresh air to circulate. Using a dehumidifier or air conditioner will also come in handy in controlling the humidity levels.
- Open the curtains and blinds and let in the light. Sunlight is lethal to dust mites. Note that killing the mites does not mean the residue is removed. Further cleaning measures will still need to be carried out.
- When vacuuming, use a machine with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter, which will ensure that the dust doesn’t get recirculated into the air. While vacuuming itself doesn’t affect the mites since they are tiny enough to pass through the vacuum cleaner bug, it will reduce the amount of dust that contains the food they rely on, hence keeping them from multiplying at a high rate.
- Get your carpet cleaned regularly, with the frequency depending on the traffic levels in your home or business premises.
- Reduce clutter in your home. Excess items left strewn all over, like clothing baskets, knickknacks, magazines and toys collect dust, creating a haven for the dust mites.