Dust Mites

Author: ANCP   Date Posted:2 April 2014 

Dust mites are tiny microscopic bugs in the same family as ticks and fleas. They survive by eating the dead skin cells of humans and pets in homes where they are present. Allergic reactions occur, not to the actual dust mites themselves but to the faeces of the dust mites.

The faeces contain a type of protein that becomes airborne. This protein is what many people are sensitive to. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include sneezing, wheezing, and watering or itchy eyes. Dust mite allergies cannot be cured, but there are some steps that can reduce the dust mite population and allergic reaction.

Bed Linens

At the start, from day one, it is imperative to add dust mite protection to your mattresses. The beds are the main living spaces of choice for dust mites. They have an adequate food supply and the warmth and moisture preferred when people are sleeping. Get covers for your mattresses. They should be airtight and made from a polyurethane or plastic material.

The same applies to pillows. Bedding should be washed every two weeks. Covered pillows will need to be washed in hot water once a year. Everything should be washed in hot water at a temperature of at least 60 degrees. Curtains are included as well.

Clean Daily

Hardwood, linoleum, laminate, and tile floors should be cleaned daily with a damp mop or wet duster. Sweeping should be avoided because it stirs up the allergens. You should also vacuum carpets and cloth furniture daily. Any fabrics that cannot be machine washed should be steam cleaned at least once a week.

You can also put some items, such as stuffed animals and cushions, in the freezer for at least 24 hours before you wash them to kill the mites.

Purify and Dehumidify

Add purifiers and dehumidifiers to clean the air and reduce humidity levels. The purifiers work to remove mite allergens that may get circulated by movement. By removing excess humidity, you take away part of the environment that dust mites thrive in. Dust mite allergies do not have to mean endless suffering. By taking time to thoroughly clean and protect your home, you help reduce their population.

With less dust mites present, you are also reducing the allergens they produce.