Having Dust Mites
Dust mites are small bugs that live in bedding and carpets. These little critters feed on dead skin cells and shed the resultant skin fragments into your home, providing a steady source of food for them.
They are microscopic, but prolific, living in your pillow cases or bed covers, in your couch and even in your car seats.
Do you know how to tell if you have dust mites? When symptoms appear, such as rashes or skin inflammation, what is being triggered?
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How do you know if you have dust mites?
Everyone has dust mites, but with cleaning there number can be a lot lower. This is because dust mites don't live long in an environment that is clean and dry. Good time to do a thorough cleaning of your rooms.
Frequently vacuum and clean your home to keep the dust mites at bay. Turn mattresses over every six months, wash bedding once a week before adding a fresh cover. Wash your wardrobe's contents once every few weeks too, and keep those freshly-washed clothes in airtight bags during storage, so dust can't sneak in again.
Removing them from your environment means fewer skin cells for them to feast on, which means less skin irritation when they are present. To help reduce the chance of a dust mite attack you can:
- Change your bedding weekly to avoid dust mites growing in your sheets.
- Vacuum or dust mop at least twice a week if you have allergies.
- Wash all of your sheets and pillowcases once a week in hot water to kill any dust mites that might be living in them. In fact, any washable fabric used in the bedroom—your bedskirt and quilt cover, for example—should be washed weekly as well, because they can become a hiding place for dust mites. (Curtains are too often overlooked when people clean their rooms.) The wash cycle will also kill any dust mites lurking on clothes, so you can wash those items during this cycle too.
- If you have a family room or a home office with a computer, you will want to steam clean it so that the dust mites will be expelled from the furniture and fabric.
- If you are having skin issues such as dermatitis, eczema, or psoriasis, then dust mites are possible culprits. Dandruff is another possible symptom of a dust mite attack on the scalp.
How do you test for dust mites?
A simple dust mite test can be purchased online or at a local drug store. The dust mite test kit will enable you to detect the presence of dust mites.
Can you see dust mites with the human eye?
You cannot see dust mites with the naked eye. You need a microscope to see dust mites. The size of a dust mite is about one ten thousandth of an inch. You need high power to clearly see the mite.
What does a dust mite look like?
A dust mite looks like any other bug. It has six legs and eyes, although they are too small to be seen with the naked eye. They have two body parts, a head and abdomen, but no wings or antennae. They have no ears and only one set of jaws where their mouth is located on the underside of their head, which means they are unable to chew solid foods.
How do you get dust mites?
You are mostly likely to have dust mites if you live in a home that is older and has carpets or furnishings that are high quality. If you own a dog, your sleep could be affected because they shed skin flakes everywhere, which attract dust mites.
Almost everyone has dust mites in their homes, and the presence of these little creatures does not mean you have an allergy to them. Similarly, having a lot of dust mites around is not necessarily unhealthy or harmful to your health.
How do dust mites affect my home?
Dust mites can be a problem in that they cause allergic reactions in some people. People who have dust mite allergies are often allergic to other substances that are released from the skin of these bugs including histamine, which contributes to some allergy-related problems.
Not all people who suffer from allergies have dust mites around, so if you think your children or yourself have dust mites, it is best to seek medical advice.
Do dust mites bite?
No, dust mites do not bite people or animals. However, you can see the dust mite shed skin (which is full of their waste), which can sometimes be seen on blankets or the edges of carpets.
Why do I sometimes get a rash when I have dust mites?
If you have allergies and get cramps in your neck, back and legs this can sometimes be treated with a special cream that is used to treat cases of kennel cough. If your skin also has a rash, then you could be having an allergy or an asthma attack. Dust mites are one of the possible causes of this so it is best to seek medical advice if needed.
Signs of dust mites
Here are some signs to look for:
- Excessive sneezing – the microscopic waste produced by dust mites causes irritation and swelling of the sinus passages resulting in excessive sneezing. Some allergic people sneeze more than 40 times a day!
- Itchy, watery eyes – the 'mites' are so small they cannot be seen with the naked eye. They get into your eyes, causing itching, and possibly a scratchy sensation. They can also cause conjunctivitis, or pink eye. Don't scratch them – wash the area with hot water and soap to relieve the itch.
- Itchy ears – some people repeatedly itch their ears because mites have burrowed under the skin here also, aggravating an existing infection or conjunctivitis.
- Minor skin irritations – dust mites produce an exoskeleton that causes minor rashes that appear as pimples or dry bumps on your body and face. There are no serious symptoms associated with dust mite bites (other than those listed), but they are quite uncomfortable!
- Sore throats – dust mites can burrow into the lining of your mouth and cause a sore throat.
- Coughing – the above causes will often aggravate a chronic cough.
- Asthma and bronchitis sufferers can suffer from an asthma attack triggered by a dust mite attack of some kind.
- Allergic rhinitis – dust mites cause an allergic reaction to the nasal passages that result in stuffy noses, sinus congestion or sneezing fits. Allergic rhinitis may also set off sinus congestion or ear itching in some people and aggravate other respiratory allergies such as hay fever or seasonal allergies. (1)
Dust Mites and Air Purifiers
A Dust Mite Filter in an Air Purifier can be helpful to reduce the symptoms of people who are allergic to dust such as sneezing, runny nose, watery eyes or itchy skin.
What is an Air Purifier?
It is a machine that cleans and freshens the air in your home. They can remove dust mites and other allergens from the air. They can also trap and eliminate odors inside the air purifier. Air Purifier Air Filters are a great way to reduce the allergens in your home such as dust mites, mold spores, cigarette smoke and pet dander.
There are different types of Air Filters for different types of air purifiers. The most common types of filters are HEPA and Carbon Air Filters. Both Air Filters trap airborne particles like bacteria, mold, and other microbes and also the smells. The Carbon Air Filters usually don't filter out the smells while HEPA Air Filters usually do not remove most allergens like dust mites that can trigger allergies.
The best thing about an air purifier is that it can reduce many allergens in the air by removing microscopic particles from your home so you don't have to worry about them anymore.
Dust mites are almost everywhere. They are a normal part of our environment and many people do not even realize they have them in their home, or remember that you cannot see them with the naked eye.
They are a common problem in homes and can cause allergic reactions and discomfort if you have them. If you are suffering from allergies you need to think about what is causing your symptoms or check with your local doctor to find out whether there are any other possible reasons for your symptoms.
I hope this article has helped answer some of the queries you may have had and hopefully will give you an idea of what dust mites are and what they can do. I hope it also helps to educate people so they can understand that dust mites are not necessarily harmful in and of themselves, but they can cause discomfort if you suffer from allergies.
- Bottle will treat approximately 600 square feet. Re-treat surfaces every 30 days for optimum benefit.
- Neutralizes allergens from non-living sources such as dust and mite waste, cat and dog dander, and pollen.
- Non-staining formulation for colors, white, or off-white. Spot test before applying.
- For use on carpeting, upholstery, vehicle interiors, hard surfaces, pet bedding and more.
- Deep Clean: Neutralize allergen-causing dust mites and particles living deep inside your mattress, bedding, furniture, carpet, clothing and other soft surfaces in your home with this portable, lightweight, handheld vacuum.
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- Covered Rolling Brush: Efficiently clean multiple types of soft surfaces without disrupting the fabric, such as beds, pillows, or curtains. Vacuum vibration loosens the dust mites and allergens buried deep inside these fabrics. 5-inch brush opening covers large areas while cleaning.
- Dual Filtration: Included HEPA filter captures up to 99.97% of particles as small as 0.3 microns from the air including pollen, dust, mold spores, hair and pet dander. Dust collection bin collects other particles without releasing them back into the air. Both the HEPA filter and dust collection bin are easily cleanable.
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