Cleaning Carpet/Rugs of Morgellons Disease 6/19/19


Rugs often show up as an issue and are a challenge to disinfect. Susan writes,

"Hi Richard,

Thank you for all that you do to help people with this challenge,

Can you please tell me the best way to treat carpet.  I just moved into a new apartment and they are in the carpet.  
I Think I have Collembia or mites.  I do vacuum everyday and I can use DE mixed with water,

Just not sure it's a good idea to wet the carpet.  I can use just the powder but it seems to stay in the carpet even if I vacuum.

Hi Susan,

Carpet can be a challenge and sometimes you just have to experiment to see what works. For me, diatomaceous earth and spraying with ammonia was all that was required. I didn't vacuum up the DE, but left it in the carpet. Back then, I didn't know that I could spread the DE by spraying it with water. Instead, I used a duster and wore a breathing mask. To apply with water, using a funnel. put 2 tablespoons of DE in a 32 oz spray bottle and fill with water. Shake vigorously and spay lightly. You can spray walls, floors, rugs, bedding, clothes, and so on. Because, the DE is wet, you really can't see it as you spray so be careful to avoid over spraying. When it dries, you'll see it, so you might experiment with a small area to get an idea as to how to apply it. Boric acid would be another option to DE.

Boric acid crystals are dissolved in warm water and then sprayed. Again, there will be a white dust when dried.

To avoid mold or mildew, the idea is not to soak the carpet, but just lightly spray it. You can always operate a fan to dry it.


The next step would be to either purchase or rent a steam cleaner and spray the carpet with white vinegar prior to steaming. Do not put the vinegar in the steamer as it may damage it. You may have to do this every day for up to 21 days depending on the type of mite. Again, you might use a fan to dry it. This also works on tile floors. If it's a wood floor, you might want to test a small area to make sure the vinegar doesn't affect the finish. Alternatively you can use ammonia, but you'll have the smell of ammonia to deal with which is more pungent than white vinegar.

A more dramatic approach would be to spray the rug with lime sulfur solution. Our 5 ounce bottle of concentrate makes 5 quarts of solution. You may want to test it in an inconspicuous area to make sure the rug is not discolored. Again, avoid over wetting. And, you will have the distasteful odor of sulfur for several hours.

Another option is to use the ozone generator. Again, if you're dealing with mites you may have to close off the room and treat it every day for up to 21 days. You need one generator for each 500 square feet to produce a minimum of 10,000 mg/hr. Set the timer to run the unit for 30 min and then off for an hour, then on for 30 min and off for another hour and then on again for 30 more minutes and then off and let the space be closed off for another hour before occupying 
A newer option is the electrostatic sprayer if affordable. It's easier and only takes about 5 minutes to spray a rug rather than as opposed to the ozone generator, but still needs to be done daily for up to 21 days. Complete instructions are on the on-line store. You can spray NG, or NG with essential oils, or enzymes, but do not mix NG with enzymes as the NG will destroy the enzymes.

And, I'm sure there are other options as well. I imagine one could be creative with essential oils. For instance, you can mix about 5 droppers of peppermint with a gallon of ammonia. We have clove oil, lavender, lemon, red cedar, and several other essential oils. The problem is that if you mix them with water, they will float to the top. Instead, mix them with a 50/50 solution of water and concentrated NG and then add that mixture to the water.

You can get a gallon sprayer at a hardware store for about $10. Mix two ounces of 100% NG with about 4 ounces of water and then add the essential oils of your choice--maybe 20 drops of peppermint, or 12 drops of lavender, or 20 drops of lemon... Fill the sprayer with water leaving enough room to add the NG and essential oil mixture.

If you're dealing with Collembola, you might want to wear riding boots as you apply so they do not jump onto the lower portion of your legs and ankles.

I thank Susan for writing. As you see there is no one thing to do. You start basic with ammonia and if you need more, you go further. Sometimes, if it's an old carpet or rug, it's simply easier to throw out the rug or carpet and replace with tile or wood. If you're dealing with a resistant strain of skin parasites and have successfully disinfected your rugs or carpets, kindly write me back with how you did it--we learn from each other.