Of Monsters and Mites: The Nasties Living in Your Carpet

Let’s face it: carpets are dirty. In addition to the actual dirt, dust, and dead skin cells, there are also all kinds of nasties living there too. What’s more, they can cause serious health problems, which is why regular carpet cleaning is so important.

The Australian Carpet Beetle

Did you know that Australia has its very own breed of carpet monster? That’s right, the Australian carpet beetle, or Anthrenocerus australis. These insects don’t just live in carpets; they actually feed on carpet and other similar types of fabric. They are especially common in urban areas and in southeast Australia, so Canberra is a hotbed of Australian carpet beetle activity.

Other Carpet-Dwelling Insects

There are a few other types of insects that are commonly found in carpets in Australia and around the world. One of them is bed bugs, which cause horrible infestations. Just as the nursery rhyme says, bed bugs bite, and their bites are frequently the first sign of an infestation.

Bed bug bites usually appear wherever skin is exposed at night, such as arms and legs or neck and head. Bed bugs feed off living blood, hence the bites. The bites aren’t dangerous as they don’t transmit disease, but they are very itchy and red.

Dust mites are another very common insect that lives in carpets. Dust mites are a frequent cause of allergies, causing much unpleasantness for the sufferer in the household. Commonly associated with beds, dust mites actually feed off of dead skin cells so they can live anywhere that humans dwell or frequent, including carpets in businesses and offices.

How to Prevent Infestations

When it comes to carpet-dwelling infestations, prevention really is the best medicine.

Put simply, bugs don’t like clean carpets. Therefore, regular carpet cleaning is the best way to avoid infestations of the Australian carpet beetle, bed bugs, dust mites, or any other creepy crawly carpet critters.

Especially if you’re seeking information about prevention in an office or business setting, we recommend hiring professionals to regularly deep clean carpets. It is an added expense, but well worth it in order to protect the health of your team.

Problems Caused by Carpet Bugs

Carpet-dwelling insects can cause a plethora of problems, which is why it is important to protect against them. Both carpet beetles and bed bugs leave itchy bites or rashes from coming into contact with them on the skin. These can become infected.

Carpet beetles especially can get into food. They are remarkably mobile and will lay eggs and leave larvae in food, which can cause indigestion and other health problems.

Dust mites in particular are dangerous to breathe. Especially for people with allergies or asthma, repeated exposure to a dust mite infestation can cause short- and long-term health problems.

Finally, a true infestation of any kind, be it carpet bugs or other types of insects, will require professional cleaners to clean up and that is a very costly process, much more so than regular preventative measures. So schedule a carpet cleaning immediately; you’ll be glad that you did!