We’ve all heard of dust mites – You can’t see them, but they’re all over your home. These tiny insects, visible only under a microscope, leave a trail of waste that is a highly allergenic.
Dust mites, cousins to the spider, are tiny, eight-legged arachnids measuring only one-quarter to one-third of a millimetre in size. They spend their two to four months of life eating, creating waste and reproducing. A female will lay 100 eggs in her lifetime, and each mite produces about 10 to 20 waste pellets a day.
Unfortunately, these creatures aren’t just “gross”. They can also cause allergic reactions, ranging from mild eye and nasal irritation to more severe reactions and asthma attacks. So it’s important to know what you’re up against and tackle them head on.
Here’s everything that you didn’t want to know about dust mites!
THEY THRIVE ON DEAD SKIN FLAKES
Dust mites are microscopic scavengers that feed on flakes of skin shed by people and pets. The average person sheds 10 grams of dead skin a week, and pets shed even more.
This means that in a home, dust mites have an endless food supply. In fact, one human sheds enough skin each day to feed a million dust mites!
YOUR MATTRESS, PILLOW AND CARPET MAY BE HOME TO MILLIONS
Dust mites like damp, warm, dark environments, with plenty of places to hide and lots of dead skin to feast on. They will be in the carpet, the sofa, the bedding, the curtains, even a child’s stuffed animals.As a result, they’re often concentrated in mattresses, pillows and carpeting.
It’s estimated that a used mattress can contain anywhere from 100 000 to 10 million dust mites.
A square metre of carpet can contain up to 100 000 mites.
And the average pillow may be home to as many as 40 000 of these insects, along with a significant volume of mite exoskeletons and droppings.
Control them using these proven methods:
- Reduce humidity,
- Do regular cleaning,
- Wash bedding,
- Use air purifiers.
THEIR FAECES AND BODY FRAGMENTS CAN TRIGGER ALLERGIC REACTIONS
Although dust mites themselves are not harmful to most people, research suggests that about 10 percent of people have allergic sensitivity to dust mites, with children and the elderly being particularly susceptible.
These allergic reactions are caused by dust mite faeces and shed body fragments.
A dust mite defecates up to 20 times a day, producing up to 300 milligrams of faeces during its lifetime. When people walk on carpets, sit on mattresses or hit their pillows, the faeces and body fragments are thrown up into the air that’s at breathing level.
Symptoms to look out for include coughing, nasal congestion, sneezing, itchy, red or watery eyes, difficulty breathing, wheezing and chest tightness, as well as chest pain.
YOU CAN’T GET RID OF THEM COMPLETELY
The bad news is that no matter how clean your home is, you can’t totally eliminate dust mites.
The good news? Dust mites die at temperatures above 60° C. So you can kill them by washing or tumble-drying linen.
You can also rid fabrics and items that can’t be washed of dust mites by placing them in the freezer for 24 to 48 hours.
When it comes to dealing with dust mites, prevention is better than cure. Regular cleaning of your home can significantly reduce the dust mite population, as well as removing the faeces and body fragments they leave behind.
How to reach a goal in getting rid of dust mites?
Do you face the problem of allergic reactions caused by dust mites? Don’t panic! Get relief with our useful tips to attain a hygienic, clean and healthy house free of mites.
- TIP 1. Keep the house full of sunlight Minimize the population of mites by keeping your house full of sunlight and well ventilated.
- TIP 2. Thorough dusting How to remove dust mites easily? Dust as thoroughly as you can. Go along skirting boards, behind or under furniture and in places where dust might collect.
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