What do I do to kill mites in my carpeting?

Updated February 21, 2017

Different kinds of mites can live inside a home, such as dust mites, bird mites and rat mites. and all of them can get into carpeting. One of the most common kind of mite and the one that often affects humans is the dust mite. Dust mites can contribute to poor indoor air quality, and their excrement and body parts can cause sneezing, rashes, watery eyes, coughing and other types of allergy symptoms.


The first line of defence when it comes to killing mites in carpeting is the vacuum. The very first thing to do if you suspect mites in the carpeting is vacuum. While this will not completely eradicate the mites in the carpeting, it will go a long ways towards getting rid of them, their faeces, and their eggs, all of which will most likely be in the carpets. After vacuuming, take the bag from the vacuum and put it in another plastic bag, seal it and then take it outdoors and dispose of it by putting in a rubbish bin with a lid. This will ensure that mites that may have survived being vacuumed don't make it back into the house.

Steam Cleaning

Steam cleaning combined with vacuuming is another way to kill mites in carpeting. Either rent or purchase a steam cleaning unit to use on carpeting. Mites are sensitive to dry heat and cannot survive the temperatures put out by steam cleaning units, provided the steam they emit is at least 100 degrees C. Anything less is going to leave the possibility of mites surviving in the carpeting. Also, regular high moisture hot water vacuum systems used by many carpet cleaning services do not have water hot enough to kill mites. So, contrary to what the carpet cleaning technician may tell you, they cannot kill mites with their hot water vacuum systems. Instead, use a high temperature, low moisture steam cleaning unit.

Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth

An option in place of steam cleaning is vacuuming combined with food grade diatomaceous earth. Food grade diatomaceous earth is nontoxic to humans and animals, unlike pool grade diatomaceous earth, which is deadly to both humans and animals. Food grade diatomaceous earth causes mites to to dehydrate and die. Essentially, food grade diatomaceous earth will dessicate the mites in the carpeting. In order to kill mites, spread food grade diatomaceous earth all over the carpets and then leave it overnight. The next day, vacuum up the food grade diatomaceous earth and all the dead bodies and eggs of the mites that have been living in his carpets. Since they are dead, they will not be able to cling to carpet fibres as they might be able to do in the case of just vacuuming by itself.

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