Dust mites and allergies part-1

Dust Mites and Allergies – What are Dust Mites and how do they get in your house? – Part 1

Many people are allergic to dust mites and the answer to getting some relief is to keep your house dust free. However, this is much easier said than done. This is a 4 part series on how to keep dust mites to a minimum and find lasting relief for your allergies.

Dust mites are minute or microscopic creatures that live on our beddings, carpets, curtains, upholstered furniture and mattresses. These miniscule pests, which are close relatives of ticks and spiders, prey on dead skin cells of humans and animals every single day and they thrive in humid and warm places near their food. A Sad fact is, dust mites reproduce quite fast. Although they have a short life span of only 2 to 3 months, the female mite can lay over a hundred eggs every month. Can you imagine that your mattress can accumulate over 100,000 to 10 million dust mites inside, while your carpet per square yard can contain an average of 100,000 dust mites?

The real problem is, mites leave behind their waste. A single mite can leave behind more than 20 feces a day which contain allergens that cause allergy to humans. Keeping your house clean is one way of keeping those pesky pests at bay, but they are not that easy to get rid of. Their usual hideouts like your beddings carpets and cushions which can hold and trap moisture, makes these dust mites thrive and accumulate. Increased allergic reactions can be experienced over time if not dealt with properly and can even lead to asthma. Although you cannot totally eliminate dust mites from your home, you can at least reduce their existence and have some relief from your allergy, with the following tips.

  1. Clean your house, particularly your bedroom. Have someone who doesn’t have the dust mite allergy to clean your room, or if you have to do it yourself, be sure to wear a mask. In order to clean out as many mites as possible, use a damp mop to wash your flooring and damp cloth to wipe your furniture. Unless the cleaning instructions specify not using hot water to clean, do not use cold water in washing rugs because it can still allow up to 10% of dust mites to linger, instead use hot water. Dry cleaning is also effective in killing these unwanted pests. Wash your beddings in hot water on a weekly basis. Cover your pillows and mattresses in airtight, plastic covers or dust mite encasement.
  2. Ease down on dust and humidity in the air. In order to keep the air humidity low, utilize your air conditioning unit or your dehumidifier. Dampness level under 50% is needed in keeping the dust mites at a minimum. Another effective way of reducing dust is by using a HEPA filter (with around 11 to 12 MERV rating), which helps in trapping a substantial amount of dust and helps in keeping it out.
  3. Get rid of hiding spots. Eliminate or limit any materials from your house that are beneficial to dust mites such as upholstered furniture or stuffed toys. Also, go for washable fabrics if at all possible and choose other flooring materials instead of carpets. Select window shades instead of curtains, as they are easier to clean.
  4. Seek professional cleaning services. Hiring professional house cleaners can make your life more comfortable as they are experts in getting rid of dust mites inside your house.

We encourage you to come back next week for the 2nd part series – Dust Mites and Allergies – Most Overlooked Items to Clean.