What is dust mite?
Although dust mites are known to be spider-like arthropods – dust mites can cause severe allergic reactions, irritate asthma, and cause severe discomfort in the form of other diseases. Dust mites are microscopic and invisible to the naked eye, but their discomfort can be felt in homes where there is clutter, carpets are laid throughout the home and regular cleaning is required. Dust mites usually live in colonies, buried deep in mattress fibers, pillows and furniture. Where there are high temperatures, high relative humidity in the home, and where human skin cells are present, dust mites can easily thrive.
Where do dust mites come from?
Dust mites get around them easily. Everyday soft objects – stuffed animals and toys, clothes, fur, hair, soft bags – can all carry dust mites. The powerful claws allow them to cling to and wear on the fibers on clothes, soft toys and even mattress fibers, enabling them to travel and refill once positioned. Their ability to live deep in mattresses can create major problems in terms of allergies and health.
Where can find the dust mites?
Dust mites easily live on fabric surfaces in the home. Any room occupied by humans could have dust mites. Common places where dust mites can live include:
- Fabric shutters
- Upholstered furniture
- Down blankets
What kind of allergies and diseases can dust mites cause?
The problem with dust mite allergies stems from the enzymes they produce in the body. Dust mites release enzymes in their excreta to break down dead human skin cells, enabling them to consume dead skin cells. Enzymes and excrement that allow dust mites to continue their life cycle are irritating to some people rather than others. Since dust mite excrement is very light and can easily spread through the air, feces can enter the body, causing problems such as hay fever, asthma, eczema, sneezing, conjunctivitis, runny nose, etc.
How do I know if I have a dust mite or dust mite allergy?
Determining if you have dust mites in your home can be determined by the Dust Mite Detection Kit, which takes 10 minutes and vacuum. There is no need to send samples, as you can test dust mites throughout your home, checking concentration levels – low, medium or high. If you are concerned that you may be allergic to dust mites, a simple skin or blood test can be done by your GP. Extracts of dust mites and dust puncture the skin and may take up to 15 minutes to observe. Your doctor will look for any redness or irritation near the sting marks, which may indicate a dust mite allergy. If you are unable to have a skin test, your doctor can do a blood test that tests specific antibodies used to fight dust mites.
Protect your bedroom (and home) from dust mites
A home that wipes out dust mites for the health of your home is a great place to start. There are several chemical-free ways to remove and prevent dust from flowing out of your home.
Central vacuum cleaner
Using a central vacuum cleaner is a good idea. Vacuum your upholstered furniture, shutters, carpets, rugs and especially your mattress. A high-suction central vacuum cleaner removes dead skin cells – dirt on dust mite food and mattresses is an important tool for dust mites. For carpets, hardwoods, mattresses and any fabric surfaces, regular vacuuming should be done at least once a week. A variety of portable vacuum cleaners commonly found on the market will collect large particles of dust inhaled, but more subtle allergens and dust mites are discharged back into the air, causing secondary pollution.
Dust Mite Encasings
Wrap your quilts, mattresses and pillows with dust mites. These enclosures are micro porous cotton and polyester designed and are breathable to prevent dust mite dust from spreading through the air when moving or getting out of bed. In addition, these enclosures prevent dust mites from entering your bedding – mattresses, pillows, sheets, etc. Dust mites that may inhabit beds do not eat dead skin cells, killing them without food supplies. Plus, you’ll find soft, hypoallergenic, machine-washable, and dust mite packaging certified by the American Allergy Foundation.
- Tidying: Tidying up your home will help reduce the amount of dust that accumulates and where dust mites thrive.
- Temperature: Monitor the temperature in your home. According to the American Asthma and Allergy Foundation, keeping humidity below 50 percent will help reduce dust mites in your home.
- Vacuuming: Vacuum your home and mattress at least once a week to eliminate dust and other allergens. Using a central vacuum cleaner is the best way to eliminate allergens in your home, especially dust mites.
- Launder Your Sheets: Wash bedding in hot water at least once a week, including dust mite wraps. This will help prevent dust from entering while further removing dust mite dust from your home.
- Carpets: If you have carpets in your home, use the HEPA vacuum cleaner to keep vacuuming. Any smaller carpet should be cleaned as needed to remove external dust and dirt.
- Carpet removal: Remove hardwood or other bare floors from carpets if possible, as carpets are a great place for dust mites to thrive.