House dust mite allergies are relatively common and affect approximately 20 million Americans with many more worldwide. The symptoms of dust allergies can be minor such as a runny nose or can be major such as serious respiratory problems and more.
Household dust is very common and is a combination of many fibers and particles such as pet dander, food, insect and plant components, mold and pollen spores, bacteria and other material. This combination material makes a perfect breeding ground for microscopic mites that also eliminate waste products of their own.
What Causes Allergic Reactions?
The dust itself is not generally the cause of allergic reactions and surprisingly, neither are the mites. Reactions occur to the wastes product of these organisms. This is the main allergen for those who suffer from house dust mite allergies.
What Do Dust Mites Look Like?
They are too small to be seen without a microscope. In fact, each one is one third to one quarter of a millimeter in size! They are eight legged, white bugs that are considered to be part of the spider family. Having no eyes nor mature respiratory system, their main purpose is to eat, reproduce and eliminate waste products.
An adult mite can live up to 4 months. There are 13 species of the microbe and they easily adapt to the comfortable environment of the typical home. They especially thrive in warm temperatures that are generally between 67 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit.
What Are the Best Conditions for Dust Mites?
The microbes also are most comfortable in humidity levels between 70 and 80 percent. Their food is typically the dead, flaked human skin that people commonly shed each day inside the home. Places like carpet, furniture, stuffed toys, and bedding are the most common areas to find these disgusting little microbes that can cause so many problems for those who have house dust mite allergies.
Since the typical person may shed up to 1.5 grams of dry skin flakes a day, at least a million dust mites can keep their hunger satisfied every 24 hours per person!
Is It Possible to Get Rid of Them?
Well, almost. While it really is impossible to completely rid a house of dust mites, you can significantly lessen their presence and negative affects on your health.
Where Are These Organisms Most Often Found in Homes?
Guess where these little creatures congregate the most? Right, in the bedroom! That’s why is extremely important to create a healthy bedroom environment for those who suffer from house dust mite allergies. The first place to start is to make sure the bedding provides adequate protection.
The two most common places in a bedroom where these microbes thrive are mattresses and pillows. Simply vacuuming your bedroom, mattress and all, is not enough to rid your sleep space of dust mite allergens. In fact, over 90% of mites generally remain after vacuuming because they have burrowed deep into carpeting, mattress layers, pillows, furniture and even some types of wall decor.
Even though these are some helpful suggestions that can be followed in order to make it safer for those who suffer from dust allergies, the very best solution is a general redecorating and refurbishing of a bedroom to effectively avoid house dust mite allergies in the future.