Can Spider Mites Live In a Carpet: How To Get Rid Of Them

Can Spider Mites Live In a Carpet: How To Get Rid Of Them

Spider mites, more commonly referred to as dust mites or straw itch mites, are small, microscopic bugs that live within your furniture, clothes, bedding, and anywhere they find refuge. Eradicating carpet mites is necessary as soon as you find them. 

Spider mites are small bugs that can target several different plant forms, and can be a major problem on indoor plants. These sometimes look like tiny white spiders on plants but can also look orange, red or black.

To answer the question: Yes, spider mites can live in carpets. Some of the ways you can get rid of them include:

  • Vacuuming the flooring
  • Maintaining low humidity levels
  • Washing carpets with laundry detergent in very hot water
  • Removing carpets from concrete floors

We’ll be looking at these and more throughout this article.

Despite our household air getting dry-as-toast, spider mites are a winter epidemic. They grow in moist, dry areas, and tend to be a staple on houseplants in February.

Spider Mite Life Cycle

Spider mites grow very quickly and can double their population every few weeks under the right conditions. Their eggs can hatch in 3 days.  Offspring becomes sexually mature in 5 days. Throughout their 4-week life cycle, females will lay 20 eggs a day.

Approximately a week after they hatch, spider mites develop entirely. It only takes a few weeks for an adult female to lay hundreds of eggs, and for those eggs to begin hatching. This results in rapid population development in a very short time. 

As the larvae are invisible to the naked eye and the adults are small, most people do not notice spider mites on their carpet or house plants until after the population has exploded.

Their short life cycle means they can easily adapt to pesticides. When you are using chemicals such as Pyrethrum but don’t destroy all of them, they can build resistance over time and magnify your problems.

Allergic reactions and symptoms have been documented for a long time, and can be a significant danger to health. Allergies pose a threat to the immune system, causing eye, nose (rhinitis), lungs (asthma), and skin (eczema) inflammation. It is estimated that about 50 per cent of the population were affected by allergies.

In the war with allergens one controllable culprit is the house dust mite, a microscopic insect found in our indoor climate. There are three common dust mite species, and they all produce and accumulate allergens.

It is estimated that there is some sort of allergic reaction to these allergens in 30 per cent or more of the population.

What You Need to Know About Carpet/Spider Mites 

People prefer to associate dust mites to their beds and apartments. However, dust mites are often found in most homes and also in professional offices. 

Humans shed skin scales that feed the dust mites in turn. Carpeting, bedding, and linen upholstery offers them a comfortable place to sleep. As a result, rooms which are most used in the home such as bedrooms, playrooms and dining rooms as well as carpeted floors in offices are perfect breeding grounds for the dust mite.

Hidden places with food, particularly when there is some humidity, are also habitats for dust mites. Even if there is no carpet, your kitchen – under refrigerators, dishwasher and ranges – can become a breeding ground.

Frequent cleaning and removing of carpet can help in getting rid of carpet mites. While cleaning, make use of wet cleaning or mopping, which will prevent stirring of dust and prevent you from breathing in these mites.

The most effective way to keep dust mite population down is by keeping the indoor humidity level low because dust mites thrive in humid environment.

Since dust mites reside in carpets, bedding, and mattresses, the use of a dust mite resistant mattress and pillow after reducing relative humidity represents a positive move forward.

How to Identify Carpet Mites

Carpet or dust mites are small, with a length of around 1/100th of an inch (0.25-0.3 millimeters). This means you need a minimum of 10x magnification to identify them. They are related to spiders.

They feed on dead skin cells that humans shed everyday.

A single ounce of dust can sustain up to 15,000 dust mites, and a single matted female dust mite can produce up to 100 eggs, making it possible for a dust mite problem to become chronic quickly. 

Carpet mites especially love pillows due to the increased content of sudden and breathable moisture. Several experiments have shown that feather pillows are good for dust mites and others have shown that they are not as comfortable with foam pillows. In either case killing them is easy.

Use a pad with mattress. It creates a shield to prevent mites from entering your mattress and heading back to your bedding in the opposite direction. Launder this pad daily.

Some people recommend using disodium octaborate tetra hydrate (DOT – an alkaline salt) powder on your mattress, but be mindful as DOT can be an eye irritant.

Daily skilled steam cleaning of your carpets removes dust mites and their source of food.

How to Get Rid Of Spider Mites or Dust Mites From Carpet

To get rid of spider mites in your carpet follow the steps below;

  • Vacuum the flooring, use a HEPA filter. This form of filter prevents the redistribution of carpet mites all over your house. If you find that the house is already infested, clean daily, and proceed weekly until symptoms go away. When the dust mites are gone, vacuum daily for at least two or three days.
  • Maintain low humidity levels (less than 50 percent) in your house. Carpet mites flourish in humid areas. It’s also wise to avoid carpeting places that get dirty, such as the toilet, kitchen, and basement.
  • If the issue persists, discard the carpeting. Because of their size and capacity to procreate rapidly, it is often difficult to get rid of carpet mites. When your home still has infestation symptoms after you have taken the required measures, it may be safer to get rid of your carpet. Replace it with hardwood, slate, or tile flooring.
  • Wash all bedding, drapes, fabric toys, rugs, sheets and other textiles with laundry detergent in very hot water, do this regularly. It will avoid the re-entering of carpet mites onto your carpet. Increase every to two weeks, at least once.
  • If possible change your carpets and remove all carpet from concrete floors as concrete floors trap moisture, thereby allowing dust mites and molds to thrive.
  • Reduce humidity by increasing ventilation. You can also make use of a dehumidifier. For your bathrooms and kitchens, you can use extract fans.
  • Damp-wipe all surfaces frequently. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

How long can Spider mite eggs live for? 

2 to 4 weeks.

The two-spotted spider mite can hatch in as little as 3 days under optimal conditions (approximately 27 °C). It becomes sexually developed in just 5 days. One female is able to lay up to 20 eggs per day and has a lifespan of 2 to 4 weeks, laying numerous eggs in that time.

What kills spider mite eggs?

The mixture of Botanical Pyrethrins and Insecticidal Soap will kill Spider Mites on contact. Neem oil helps curb re-infestation by wiping out the egg and larval phases of the insect.

Can spider mites live on humans? 

No. Although they can cause serious harm to plant and tree life, they rarely bite humans. On rare occasions, their bites have been known to cause allergic reactions in people. They, however, don’t have the ability to survive on or underneath human skin.

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