The problem with respiratory allergies such as rhinitis, sinusitis, and asthma is that most allergic reactions are caused by house dust mites. Dust mites are microscopic arachnids that “live with and all around us.” House dust must thrive in places like our furniture and specifically love our beds (just like we do)!
According to the WHO, 30% of the world population suffers from some type of allergy. In fact, mites have a high degree of responsibility in causing allergies. The best way to help in preventing an allergic reaction is to understand them than not to understand them and in turn, have you “sleeping with the enemy.”
Mites are microscopic arthropods of the arachnid class which are invisible to the naked eye and feed mainly on the remains of human skin. Each person “produces” about 1.2 grams of skin per day, so there is an inexhaustible source of food for these (when seen under the microscope) creepy creatures. More precisely, that amount of skin is enough to feed about 100,000 mites! A mated female house dust mite can last up to 70 days, laying 60 to 100 eggs in the last five weeks of her life. In a 10-week lifespan, a house dust mite will produce approximately 2,000 fecal particles and an even larger number of partially digested enzyme-covered dust particles.
To get a better understanding of the seriousness of these dust mites and the gravity of the problem; according to experts, your bed pillow increases in weight one-third after two years of use. After ten years, your mattress can house up to a TRILLION of these “microscopic monsters.”
Purify is the watchword! Dust mites don’t only utilize our beds to live and reproduce. In addition to feeding on particles resulting from the normal shedding of human skin and animals, their diet also includes fungal spores. This is why mites can inhabit any environment in our home that is warm, damp and dark, including furniture, carpets, curtains and even cute cuddly stuffed animals.
It is very important to pay special care and attention when cleaning an allergic person’s room. It is highly suggested that a weekly cleaning of the mattress, cushions, curtains, and carpets by using a HEPA-type special filter as well as the use of cleaners, fungicidal solutions, and even the use of specialized companies in this area is advised. And of course, an air purifier in the bedroom will make all the difference!
How does an allergic reaction occur?
- Unlike common household pests – like the flea, for example, a house mite does not bite. But, whether living or dead, their bodies, secretions, and especially their feces contain specific proteins that can trigger allergic symptoms in susceptible people. The results are not only respiratory allergies but can also dermatological issues such as eczema.
- Those who suffer from respiratory allergies know how difficult it is to live with them. The patient may have severe headaches, runny nose, watery eyes, shortness of breath, and poor sleeping habits. Other symptoms can also include wheezing and tightness in the chest as well as rashes.
How to reduce mites in your home?
- Because a house mite thrives on the humidity of your indoor air and by reduced ventilation, it is impossible to destroy the entire population of dust mites. That being said, their numbers can be drastically eliminated to reduce respiratory or dermatological symptoms. It is important to remember that feces from dead mites can continue to cause allergic reactions, so it is also important to remove their dead bodies and feces.
- Use anti-dust covers for mattresses and pillows
- Blankets and duvets that do not have covers should be washed every two months
- Pillowcases should be washed weekly in hot water, preferably at more than 140 ° F.
- Do not leave cuddly stuffed animals in the bedroom. Choose wood or plastic toys that can be easily washed
- Dust furniture weekly by using electrostatic (or damp) cloths instead of a mop
- Always to keep the house dry and well ventilated to reduce humidity
- Avoid upholstered furniture – choose leather, vinyl, plastic, and wood if you can
- For windows and doors avoid heavy curtains or blinds. If a curtain is necessary choose a flat curtain.
- Wash clothing before using especially if they were stored for a long time
- Remove carpets and rugs from rooms of the allergic person. Wood or ceramic floors can be cleaned with electrostatic or wet cloths.
- If you have carpets, wash them regularly and dry them outdoors on warm and sunny days
- When vacuuming the house, dust mites can stay in suspension for up to twenty minutes. Therefore, allergy sufferers should avoid this task, or wear a mask.
- After the house is vacuumed, it should be ventilated for some time to help clean the air.
- Do not clean the bed when you wake up. Allow moisture to dissipate from the mattress before doing so.
Did you know?
- In domestic dust can be dead cells of human skin, resulting from the natural process of desquamation; hair and hair particles; fabric fibers (from carpets, and clothing); earth (we bring home on the soles of shoes, pollen, fungi and other substances brought by the wind, and…mites!)
- That 19,000 mites can live in a gram of dust?
- That the size of the mite can be only 0.2 to 0.3 mm?
- That 1.5 MILLION mites can be found in the dust of a vacuum cleaner bag?