Living With Dust Mites
If you have allergies or asthma, a tiny creature living in your home could be making big problems for you. Although you can’t see them, dust mites do live in your home!
Dust mites are microscopic and are found in most high-humidity environments. In homes with dust mites, a recent survey determined that dust mite populations are highest in the following areas:
Beds –Over 60% of the dust mite population loves your bed as much as you do—dust mites are living in your mattress, pillow, and covers.
Upholstery– Over 30% of the dust mite populous enjoy lounging on your sofas, chairs, and other fabric furniture.
Carpets– 10% of dust mites set up shop in your carpet, most commonly in your bedroom carpet.
AirDucts – 0%. This is because there is no food source in your air ducts, although many other nasty allergens thrive in air ducts.
This makes sense because dust mites feed on shed skin scales from humans, animals, birds, moths, and butterflies; also on pollen, fungi, and bacteria – which explains their high concentration in mattresses, upholstery, and carpet where abundant skin scales provide a plentiful food source.
Dust mites cannot bite their food must be moistened so the protein can be absorbed.
Dust mites need moist conditions to survive. Dust mites thrive in humidity levels above 55%.
DustMites live 2 to 2 1/2 months but cannot survive more than 7 to 10 days in areas with less than 50% humidity.
The most effective way to evict dust mites is to:
- Reduce indoor humidity levels
- Vacuum regularly with a HEPA filter
- Wash bedding weekly in hot water
- Purchase a new pillow every six months
- Encase your bedding
- Clean your mattress, upholstery and carpets twice a year