How The Carpet In Your Home Can Contribute To Pest Problems

Although having carpet in your home might offer a more comfortable and cozy environment for your family, carpet is also prone to becoming host to a variety of different types of pests for a few different reasons. Each pest will seek out the carpet in your home as a means of survival, with most of them preferring carpeted flooring because it provides them with the food they need. Keep reading below to learn about some of the different types of pests you will find in your carpet, how to identify them and how you can get rid of them.

What Types of Pests Can Be Found In My Carpet?

  1. Bed Bugs

When homeowners think of bed bugs, they rarely consider that these bugs can infest their own homes. Bed bugs are often associated with travel and less than clean hotel rooms. However, it is possible for bed bugs to infest your home and especially your carpet.

As their name suggests, bed bugs are fond of warm homes, and most commonly, near or inside of beds, bedding and other areas where you might sleep. Bed bugs are also known to be found in carpeting. These critters will usually come out during the night hours to feed on human blood. While bed bugs are not known to spread disease, they can be disruptive to you and your family as they bite exposed areas of the skin, especially in areas such as the neck and head. The bite of bed bugs is often mistaken for the bites of other insects, making it hard for homeowners to diagnose their pest infestation. Although the spread of disease is not usually something to worry about when dealing with a bed bug infestation, some people are allergic to their bites. Allergic reactions to bed bugs can range from small red spots or a rash to a full blown outbreak of hives. If you have pets, bed bugs can also be found in their bedding or even in their fur.

How To Identify Bed Bugs

If you suspect that bed bugs might be living in your home’s carpeting, there are a few identifying features you can use to determine whether or not this is the type of infestation you are enduring. Bed bugs are oval in shape and appear as though they are flat. These bugs do not have wings and adults can range from 1/4 of an inch to 3/8 of an inch in length. The natural color of a bed bugs is brown, but if they have recently fed, they might turn purple or red in color. A freshly fed bed bug will also swell in size, as it is full of blood. During this time, the bug will look longer and can often appear to be a different insect all together. If you spot bed bugs in your home that are much smaller in size and mostly colorless, this means the bugs are young and have not yet reached adulthood.

How To Treat Bed Bugs

Unfortunately, it is difficult to clear your home of a bed bug infestation. If you are facing a bed bug infestation, experts recommend that you hire professional pest control provider to rid your home of these tiny invaders.

2. Dust Mites

One of the biggest inconveniences of a dust mite infestation in your carpet is that these pests can cause serious allergy symptoms in you and your family. Approximately thirty percent of people suffer from some form of an allergic reaction to dust mites, making it imperative that you rid your home of these pests once the infestation has been identified.

Instead of feeding on blood, dust mites feed on human skin cells that have been shed and dispersed throughout your home. Soft surfaces, including your home’s carpet, have a tendency to catch these skin cells, making this an ideal environment for the dust mite to thrive. This means that rooms in your home which are usually carpeted, including bedrooms, children’s playrooms and living rooms, are all susceptible to a dust might infestation. Even areas in your home such as under the refrigerator or stove are breeding grounds for dust mites, as these bugs also enjoy moist environments where food is present.

How To Identify Dust Mites

Dust mites are particularly tiny, measuring approximately one one-hundredth of an inch, or .25-.30 millimeters, in length. Their incredibly small size makes it impossible to see them with the naked eye. In order to physically see a dust mite, you must have a microscope that magnifies by a least ten times. Due to their size, one ounce of dust can contain up to fifteen thousand dust mites. One female dust mite is capable of producing one hundred eggs, making a dust mite infestation a problem that can very quickly develop in your home.

How To Treat Dust Mites In Your Carpet and Other Areas of the Home

The best way to treat a dust mite infestation in your carpet is to get professional carpet steam cleaning on a regular basis. These cleanings can remove the dust mites themselves, as well as the skin cells on which the dust mites feed. Dust mites also enjoy the soft and moist environment of your bed and pillows, so it is recommended that you regularly wash and dry your bedding and pillows to rid them of any living dust mites. Additionally, using a mattress pad is a good way to prevent dust mites from penetrating and living inside of your mattress. If you do decide to use a mattress pad for these purposes, make sure to wash and dry it regularly. 

3. Carpet Beetles

Carpet beetles are another lesser known big that commonly infests the carpeting in homes. Although these bugs do infest carpet and are named based on this inclination, these pests will do the most damage to products around your home that have come from animals including furs, flannels, wools and feathers. Surprisingly, carpet beetles are more damaging to these fabrics than the infamous clothes moth.

While carpet beetles do not actually bite, they can cause allergic reactions in humans that might induce the formation of red welts on the skin. This allergic reaction is due to the long hairs present on carpet beetle larvae that will penetrate the skin if you come into close contact. If you find that only one person in your home is experiencing these welts on their skin, it is a good indicator that your infestation is that of carpet beetles and not bed bugs. If you were dealing with a bed bug infestation, every person in your home would be showing symptoms, as bed bugs do not discriminate when it comes to who they choose to bite.

How To Identify Carpet Beetles

Carpet beetles are small in size, measuring approximately one eight of an inch or less in length. These beetles are shiny, oval shaped and black in color. Carpet beetle larvae will often appear to be red or brown with short hairs that protrude from their bodies. One way to tell if you have carpet beetles in your home is if you find the skins of the larvae lying around. However, it is important to inspect these skins, as they can often look like live larvae. These cast off skins and larvae will usually be found in areas where there is a large amount of lint and animal fur, including along the edge of your carpet, under rugs, under furniture, in air ducts and vents, in corners or in the cracks of your floor. 

How To Treat Carpet Beetles

If you are suffering from allergy symptoms due to carpet beetle larvae in your home, there are a few steps you can take to rid your home of these pests. First, throw away any clothing items that might have been damaged by the carpet beetles. With the clothing or bedding that has not been damaged, but that you suspect might be infested with carpet beetles, wash them in hot soapy water. The last line of defense against carpet beetles is to either steam clean your own carpets, or have a professional carpet cleaning service do this for you. Steam cleaning your carpet should get rid of the carpet beetles living within the carpet, as well as remove the stinging hairs that have shed from the larvae.

4. Fleas

Fleas are a fairly common carpet pest, as they can be tracked indoors by your pets or even by any person living in your home as the fleas cling to socks, shoes or pants. These tiny pests are capable of living for as long as several years, but will usually only live for about two or three months. Once a young flea reaches adulthood, its main goal is to find a blood source on which it can feed. This means that by nature, fleas will bite. After biting their victim, fleas will then lay eggs, which is typically done on their blood host. This fairly unnerving fact makes it likely that if your home has fleas, the areas where you and your pets sleep, such as bedding or carpet, is riddled with flea eggs. These eggs can take between two and fourteen days to hatch and also require blood to survive.

The bites from fleas will be itchy and on pets, can cause hair loss as they scratch the itchy bites fleas leave behind. Fleas can also be dangerous to your pet’s heath, as well as your family’s health because they can carry various diseases including typhus, pneumonic, septicemic, and bubonic plagues, spotted fever, bacteremia, endocarditis, bacillary angiomatosis and peliosis hepatis. Fleas may also carry Hymenolepiasis tapeworm.

How To Identify Fleas

The appearance of fleas is common knowledge to most, but for those who have fortunately never had to deal with fleas on a pet or in their homes, fleas are very small, agile pests, measuring approximately an eighth of an inch in size. These critters are difficult to spot and their bites are usually the first sign that there is a flea presence in your home.

How To Treat Fleas

One of the most effective ways to rid your home of fleas is to hire a professional pest control service, such as Natran Green Pest Control, to rid your home of this pesky pest problem. Natran Green Pest Control will use botanically based solutions to treat fleas in your Houston area home. This green approach to flea control ensures that you and your family will not be exposed to the harsh chemicals present in traditional pesticides. The solution Natran uses to treat the inside and outside of your home for fleas consists of thyme, rosemary and wintergreen oils, offering your family protection from these pests by providing gentle and effective treatment. After Natran Green Pest Control has serviced your home, it is a good idea to regularly vacuum the carpet in your home, as vacuuming can remove up to ninety-six percent of adult fleas and one-hundred percent of young fleas from carpeted areas. 

Benefits of Non-Carpeted Flooring

If anyone living in your home is prone to allergies or is allergic to any of the above carpet pests, different types of flooring, including wood flooring, might be a better option for your home. Wood or tile floors do not trap allergens or entice most pests and can be a cleaner alternative to carpet in general. These non-carpet alternatives are also easier to clean, add value to your home, provide better air quality in your home, are longer lasting, are less prone to appearing dirty or stained, can enhance to look of your home, are a great long term investment and more.

Equipped with this knowledge, the Natran Green Pest Control team hopes that you are now able to identify and treat carpet pest infestations in your home. If you do identify a flea infestation in your home, please call Natran Green Pest Control today for a botanically based and green flea control solution.

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