Dust mites are tiny insects that live in household dust, and pet dander.
These tiny creatures cannot be seen by the naked eye. Only with a microscope.
Their environment of choice is humidity.
They feast on dead human skin, and pet dander commonly found in:
Dust mites cause allergies, as well as triggering asthma attacks.
Known Allergic Symptoms Include:
- Runny nose
- Itchy, red or watery eyes
- Nasal congestion
- Itchy nose, roof of mouth or throat
- Postnasal drip
- Facial pressure and pain
How to Prevent, and Rid them:
- Prevent Dust Buildup: Furniture, Floors, Windows
- Frequent Vacuuming
- Wash Bedding Weekly
- Steam Clean Mattresses, Drapery, Carpets, Rugs
- Maintain Air Condition Filter
Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus and Dermatophagoides farinae, are commonly known as house dust mites. Microscopic, eight legged creatures, 0.3mm in length, and invisible to the human eye, they are arachnids and relatives of spiders, not insects.
A gram of house dust (approximately half of a teaspoon) contains as many as 1,000 dust mites. That same gram of dust can hold 250,000 of their fecal pellets. A dust mite will produce 20 fecal pellets per day, which is 200 times its own body weight in feces during its short lifetime. With millions of dust mites living in one bed this means there are vast amounts of droppings there. These levels mean that virtually all dust mite sensitive people will experience problems as a direct result of exposure to dust mites and their droppings in their mattress, pillow and duvet.
Use dust mite proof bedding protection, HEPA air cleaners and vacuums, and humidity control. These are long lasting investment in the health of your family, and may help reduce dependence on prescription and over the counter medication. With a small investment you can breathe easier and live healthier. Dust mites are the most common allergen-producing organisms found in homes. They live in pillows, mattress, box spring, carpet, and upholstered furniture. Their waste becomes a part of the dust, and can be responsible for 80% of allergy symptoms and asthma related attacks in children. Typical symptoms can include difficulty breathing, redness, itchy and swollen eyes, nasal congestion, headaches, exhaustion, and an overall miserable feeling. This is not surprising since at night your immune system has been overwhelmed by heavy exposure to allergens. Dust mites thrive in a warm environment such as in bedrooms and require humidity above 55% to survive and reproduce. At lower humidity levels, they dehydrate and die.
Doctors recommend that people who are allergic to dust mites avoid exposure to dust mites and their waste by following these simple steps:
- Buy dust mite proof pillow, mattress, and box spring protectors. They prevent exposure to allergens and reduce the number of dust mites inside the bedding. Using bedding protectors impermeable to dust accomplishes two things; prevents exposure to allergens that exists inside the bedding, and prevents our dry skin from reaching the dust mites inside the pillow or mattress, thus starving them to death. In addition, if a proper humidity is maintained, their number can be reduced significantly.
- Indoor air can be filtered using HEPA air cleaners that are commercially available for different size spaces.
- Wash blankets and pillow cases regularly in hot water (>130 degrees C) to get rid of dry skin and allergens. If washing in hot water is not possible, use special laundry additive to neutralize allergens.
- Remove carpeting or vacuum regularly using vacuums equipped with HEPA filters. HEPA vacuums prevent microscopic dust particles from becoming resuspended into the air during vacuuming. In addition, carpets can be treated with special products to neutralize allergens including dust mites.
- Dust often, and keep conditions at home cool and relatively dry (35-55% humidity). Higher humidity can promote mold, dust mite, and bacteria growth. Lower humidity can predispose us to nasal dryness and sinus infections.