All the Things That Could Be Hiding in Your Area Rug or Carpet


Carpets can captivate your guests’ attention, but they may also attract unwanted microorganisms and different pests. In fact, even the cleanest-looking rugs can hide some filthy things most homeowners may not want to imagine. Some, however, would only realize the need for area rug cleaning until the signs have become noticeably clear—nasty stains, musty odors, or tiny insects crawling on the surface.

All the Things That Could Be Hiding in Your Area Rug or Carpet

But without those signs, how would you know what could be hiding in your carpet? Here are some of the things you may find in your rug.


Every year, over 50 million Americans suffer from asthma and allergic diseases, with the latter being the 6th leading cause of chronic illness in the U.S. While several diseases are triggered by certain food, insect stings, or medications, most allergic reactions are caused by airborne allergens. These are pollen, fungal spores, and dust mites commonly found in the air—and sometimes, in your carpet.

Carpets and area rugs, especially those with long fibers, can harbor irritants that can trigger allergic reactions. Symptoms may vary depending on the specific allergy, but these often include itchy, watery eyes, runny nose, difficulty in breathing, and a feeling of pressure in the chest. A comprehensive house or area rug cleaning can help lessen the risk of developing or worsening such conditions.

Dead Skin Cells

Humans shed 30,000 to 40,000 skin cells every day. They don’t fall off at once. Instead, they are flaked off everywhere you go. That means you leave a trail of shed skin on your clothes, the couch you’re sitting on, the bed you sleep on daily, and the house carpet you walk on each day. Once they’ve been exfoliated from your body, these dead skin cells become what you see and clean every day—dust.

Dust Mites

These insect-like pests are close relatives of ticks and spiders. But unlike them, dust mites are too microscopic to be seen with the naked eye, making them difficult to spot. However, you’d get an idea of where they could be lurking by learning about the food they consume: dead skin cells.

As mentioned before, you leave a trail of dead skin cells everywhere, which may also mean dust mites are present all over your carpet. Rugs often make a favorable place for them to live as they generally prefer hiding in warm, humid environments. In fact, a carpet can house about 100,000 dust mites per square yard.

Carpet Beetles

Similar to clothes moths, carpet beetles feed on household items made of wool, fur, leather, silk, felt, and feather. But just as their name implies, they also infest carpets and area rugs, eating through the fibrous materials. Sometimes, people confuse these pests with bed bugs since they can also be found on mattresses and sheets. However, carpet beetles don’t generally bite. But the bristly hairs of their larvae may cause skin irritation, with symptoms including a rash or bite-like marks.

Mold and Mildew

Mold spores travel through the indoor and outdoor air. Once they’ve landed on a damp spot with dust to feed on, mold growth can occur. Carpets and area rugs are more vulnerable to this due to their ability to absorb excess water from the floor or walls. If you notice that your carpet feels moist or usually smells musty, it’s best to have it properly cleaned immediately to prevent further growth of such microorganisms.

Just because you do not see any mold or mildew on your carpet doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Usually, these microorganisms only become visible on the surface when they’re already in their advanced stages, making them more difficult to remove. In severe cases in which mold has already spread across a large portion of the material, carpet cleaning may not be a sufficient solution, and the rug may need to be replaced.

Pet Urine and Feces

One common problem among homeowners with pets is having animal waste on their carpets. And usually, it doesn’t even get noticed until somebody recognizes an unusual, foul odor coming from the rug. This strong smell may be caused by ammonia in the animal waste. If not taken care of immediately and properly, the odor-causing microorganism will remain further in the underlay, making it more difficult to remove.

Bring the Magic Back to Your Carpet

With their variety of style, size, design, and material, area rugs and carpets make for a great addition to any home. But like other household items, they can also lose their original beauty over time, especially if not taken care of properly.

Some homeowners may think it’s impossible to keep their carpets free of allergens, dust, and other unwanted items mentioned above. But preventing potential rug damage caused by them can be as easy as calling a trusted professional for area rug cleaning.


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