Dust Mites – An Unwanted House Guest
Living With Dust Mites
If you haveallergies or asthma, a tiny creature living in your home could be making bigproblems for you. Although you can’t see them, dust mites do live in your home!
Dust mitesare microscopic and are found in most high humidity environments. Inhomes with dust mites, a recent survey determined that dust mite populations arehighest in the following areas:
Beds –Over 60% of the dust mite population loves your bed as much as you do. Dust mitesare living in your mattress, pillow and covers.
Upholstery– Over 30% of the dust mite populous enjoy lounging of your sofas, chairs, andother fabric furniture.
Carpets– 10% of dust mites set up shop in your carpet. Most commonly in your bedroomcarpet.
AirDucts – 0%. This is because there is no food source in your air ducts, althoughmany other nasty allergens and thrive in air ducts.
Thismakes sense 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 highconcentration in mattresses, upholstery and carpet where abundant skin scalesprovide a plentiful food source.
Dust mites no ability to biteand their food must be moistened so the protein can be absorbed.
Dustmites 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 inareas with humidity less than 50%.
The mosteffective way to evict dust mites is to:
Reduce indoor humidity levels
Vacuum regularlywith a HEPA filter
Wash beddingweekly in hot water
Purchasea new pillow every 6 months
Cleanyou mattress, upholstery and carpets twice a year.