Even if you vacuum your carpets on a regular basis there are still some pretty nasty things hiding in those carpet fibers. According to microbiologist Dr. Philip Tierno of NYU Langone Medical Center, carpet can contain a shocking 200,000 bacteria per square inch. That’s more than your toilet seat! While regular vacuuming can help, nothing works as well as professional carpet cleaning.
So, What’s Hiding In Your Carpets?
GERMS AND BACTERIA
As was noted above, your carpets can contain more bacteria than the average toilet seat. Most of these bacteria arrive via the footwear that you wear every day. The University of Arizona conducted a study that investigated germs collected on footwear. Participants of the study averaged a staggering 421,000 units of bacteria on the outside of the shoe, and 2,887 on the inside. While most of this bacteria stays on your footwear, a great deal of it ends up in your carpet.
Most of these bacteria are harmless but the study found some pretty nasty stuff in this bacterial soup. E. coli, known to cause intestinal and urinary tract infections, meningitis, and diarrhea; Serratia ficari, which can cause infections in both the respiratory tract and wounds; and Klebsiella pneumoniae, known to cause wound and bloodstream infections as well as pneumonia – just to name a few.
DEAD SKIN CELLS
The average human sheds 1.5 million skin cells each day. Multiply that by the number of people in your home or office and you can quickly see how it piles up. While the thought of dead skin cells piling up in your carpet is creepy enough, the real problem is the dust mites that feed on them. Dust mite waste is a leading cause of indoor allergies, a major problem for allergy sufferers, and a prime suspect in the onset of childhood asthma.
That’s right. We said animal feces. In the study conducted at the University of Arizona, 96% of participants were found to have fecal bacteria on their shoes. It turns out that even if we are careful to avoid stepping in poop, somehow we still do. What is worse is that the transfer rate of bacteria from shoes to your carpets is a staggering ninety to ninety-nine percent.
BUGS (LOTS OF THEM)
A study published in the journal PeerJ found that a large number of tiny animals — arthropods — are taking up residence in modern human dwellings. In 50 houses in and around Raleigh, N. C., the research team found about a hundred different species of arthropods in each home. Carpeted dwellings were found to harbor more bugs than non-carpeted buildings and in addition to the live critters, there were hundreds of dead ones as well.
Mold requires four things in order to thrive: moisture, oxygen, a food source, and a surface to grow on. The carpeting in homes and offices can provide a suitable environment for mold to thrive if conditions are right. Basement carpets, carpets in areas of high humidity, and carpets that have been wet are at especially high risk for mold growth.
Mold produces allergens as well as irritants and potentially toxic substances known as mycotoxins. Exposure to mold can cause allergic reactions, skin irritation, and asthma attacks in those with asthma.
How Professional Carpet Cleaning Can Help
Routine deep cleanings of your carpets can go a long way toward reducing the number of nasties that thrive in your carpets. Professional carpet cleaning utilizes high-pressure injection and extraction equipment that removes most foreign material from your carpets. If you would like to learn more about how professional carpet cleaning services can refresh your home or office, call on the pros at Complete Care Maintenance.