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Dust mites belong to the tick and spider family and can’t be seen with the naked eye.  Their droppings carry allergens (the microscopic protein Der p1) triggering possible allergic and asthmatic reactions when they are exposed to human skin or are inhaled.  Dust Mite carcasses and feces are the single most common allergen people inhale in their homes.  Their main diet is human skin scales (which make up 80% of household dust), also fingernails, hair, pollen, fungi, bacteria and animal dander.  They find the places to feed in our mattresses, pillows, duvets, comforters and box springs, stuffed toys, old clothing, upholstery, carpet, and pet beds.   These places are most problematic because the conditions are warm and humid, ideal for dust mite growth and reproduction.

Here are some statistics about the dust and dust mites in your home:

  • 42,000 dust mites can live in one once of dust
  • 40 lbs of dust is generated per year in 1500 square feet of space
  • Dust Mites can double in numbers every 10 hours
  • Each mite can produce 20 waste particles every day resulting in 30 million pieces of feces overall
  • 10% of the weight of a 2 year old pillow is dust mite carcasses and feces
  • Dust Mite allergies affect 10% of the populationand mostdon’t know about it
 
  • Asthma: wheezing, coughing, and tightness of chest
  • Allergic rhinitis: runny or stuffy nose, sneezing and itchy watery eyes
  • Eczema: itchy skin, red rash and small raised blisters
  • Respiratory problems
  • Atopic dermatitis
   

There is no way to completely keep dust mites from infesting your home but there are several steps to take to ensure that your exposure is minimal:

  • Keep dust levels to a minimum; this means dusting regularly with a wet cloth, not to resubmit the dust back into the air
  • Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter instead of a bag or central vacuum with unit outside living space (garage) 
  • Keep indoor moisture low (humidity level 30-50%), as dust mites cannot survive at humidity below 50% and in hot temperatures
  • Wash all bedding in hot water weekly (130 degrees), as warm or cold water will not kill the mites
  • Clean carpets every six months with hot water extraction method
  • Use anti-allergen mattress, duvet, pillow and box spring encasings as dust proof encasings have a tightly-woven layer of material keeping the mites outside keeping your items clean and safe
  • Use wood, leather or vinyl furniture in the bedroom and remove all dust attracting objects i.e. pictures on walls, knick-knacks, books etc
  • Carpet is never a good idea in the bedroom for those who suffer with this allergy, so opt for hard flooring instead where possible
  • Do not allow pets into the bedroom or on furniture
  • For children, purchase stuffed toys that are machine washable but still keep stuffed toys off their beds
  • A person with the dust mite allergy should not vacuum or be in the room when being vacuumed.
  • Use an air conditioner or dehumidifier in summer months
  • Change furnace filter at the manufacturer's recommended intervals
  • Clean air ducts regularly (every 3-5 years) by a professional with truck mounted equipment
   
If you or someone in your family suffers from dust mite allergies, call Home Heroes today for a cleaning and maintenance schedule specific to your family's needs!
   
 
 
Home Heroes' CODE WORD
for Indoor Air Quality
is "IAQ"
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