Dust mites (also called bed mites) is cosmopolitan pyroglyphid that lives in human habitation. Some call them “skin eater,” – and that’s exactly what they do. These microscopic arachnids are one of the main allergy offenders for people with allergic asthma.
Dust mites love and reproduce quickly in warm (temperatures at or above 70 degrees Fahrenheit), humid (70 to 80 percent) places. Dust mites die when the humidity goes below 50 percent. They are not typically found in dry climates. Invisible to the eye, dust mites are usually located in pillows, carpet, and upholstered furniture since they live on the dead skin and dander. Most loved places are mattresses. Dust mites find everything they need in your bed: warmth, moisture, and food. The mattress can hold around 100,000 to 10,000,000 dust mites.
Dust mite communities increase quickly; each egg-laying female can increase the population by 25 or 30 new dust mites per week. The average bed’s weight increases significantly throughout ten years of use due to dust mite infestation, and the weight of the average pillow increases by 10% after one year. If you usually wake up with congestion, a runny nose, watery eyes, itching, or sneezing, then you’re most likely allergic to dust mites. They are harmful when breathed since they irritate nasal passages and respiratory tracts.
Allergy symptoms arise when the immune system misses a usually safe protein for an outside invader; this protein that creates the reaction is known as the allergen. In the case of dust mite allergy, the allergen is a catalyst that helps mites eat the skin. The enzyme located in dust mite feces not only supports digest dead skin flakes but also damages the protective function of our living, intact skin, leaving it weak to other allergens and irritants. The enzyme may create allergic reactions when it touches the skin or when it’s inhaled.
Dust mite control
The sad news is that no matter how clean a home is, dust mites cannot be eliminated. But, the number of dust mites can be decreased significantly if you do your homework.
- Minimize household humidity. To do that, use a dehumidifier to keep relative humidity between 30 to 50 percent.
- Remove wall-to-wall carpets, especially in the bedroom: better use bare floors – linoleum, tile, or wood.
- Use mattresses and pillows in dust-proof or allergen-impermeable covers. Also, wash all bedding and blankets often in hot water.
- Keep pets out of the bedroom and preferably out of the house.
- Use a wet mop or rag to remove dust. Never use a dry cloth.
- Clean your house regularly using a vacuum with a HEPA filter.
- We recommend using a HEPA air purifier running in the bedroom and other rooms if necessary.