House dust mite allergies are caused by dust mites that live in your home in the most unexpected places such as your bedroom. They are relatively common and affect approximately 20 million Americans as well as many more people worldwide.
The symptoms of dust allergies can be minor such as a runny nose or can be major such as serious respiratory problems.
Household dust is very common and is a combination of many fibers and particles such as pet dander, food particles, insect and plant components, mold and pollen spores, bacteria and other material.
This combination of materials make a perfect breeding ground for microscopic mites that also eliminate waste products of their own.
What Causes Allergic Reactions to Dust Mites?
The dust itself is not generally the cause of allergic reactions, nor are the dust mites. Rather, the waste products from the dust mites is the main allergen.
What Do Dust Mites Look Like?
A dust mite is too small to be seen without a microscope and is one third to one quarter of a millimeter!
They are eight legged, white bugs that are considered a part of the spider family.
Having no eyes nor mature respiratory system, their main purpose is to eat, reproduce and eliminate waste.
An adult dust 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?
Dust mites 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 typical areas in which to find these disgusting little microbes.
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 Dust Mites?
Well, almost. While it really is impossible to completely rid a house of these critters, you can significantly lessen their presence and negative affects on your health.
Where Are They 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 this type of allergy. The first place to start is to make sure the bedding provides protection against the mites.
The two most common places in a bedroom where dust mites thrive are mattresses and pillows!
Simply vacuuming your bedroom, is not enough to rid your sleep space of the allergen.
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.
These are a few helpful things that can be done to keep your house free from dust mites.
However, the very best solution is a general redecorating and refurbishing of particularly the bedroom to effectively avoid house dust mite allergies in the future.