The average amount of bacteria found in a homeowner’s carpet is 200,000 organisms per square inch. This amount is 4,000 times more than that found on an average homeowner’s toilet seat!
Vacuuming alone is not effective in removing the skin cells, food particles, and pollen that these bacteria feed on.
Avoiding wearing shoes in the house and using indoor and outdoor mats will help reduce these bacteria. In conjunction, a semi-annual, high-temperature carpet cleaning service will help eliminate harmful carpet bacteria that accumulate over time.
Below is a list of common bacteria that can be found in the home on carpets and furniture:
Escherichia coli (E. coli)
E. coli comes in a variety of different strands with varying effects. While some can be harmless, others can cause diarrhea, urinary tract infections, respiratory illness, and pneumonia. It is found in the intestinal tract of mammals and released through fecal matter. It can be placed onto your carpet directly from pets, splashing out of toilets, and tracked from outside – to name a few. A toxin carrying strand causes E.coli infections when consumed, usually through contaminated food or water.
Staphylococcus aureus (Staph)
Staph is a bacteria carried by around 25% of the population living in the nose or on the skin, even on otherwise very healthy people. Staph can range from minor skin irritations to much more extreme conditions. The contamination often begins with a little cut, which gets infected by the bacteria. Some types can be treated with antibiotics, while some are unaffected. Staph can spread on the carpet through blood, skin, dirty hands and fingernails, and mucous (sneezing).
There are approximately 40,000 cases of salmonella stated each year with an estimated 30-40 times milder cases undiagnosed. Salmonella can cause diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramping, with infants and young children being the most vulnerable to infection. It is spread to the carpet through feces of people and animals, including mammals, birds, and reptiles. Salmonella can be transferred on the carpet through contaminated food, pets, and from tracking in from outside.