We’ve all heard about dust mites at some point in our lives. These microscopic organisms can basically be found in every home. They are part of the arachnid family (just like spiders), they only measure around 0.3 mm and they have eight legs. Wherever there’s any dust, there will most likely be dust mites, too. But just like any other thing or being invisible to the human eye, dust mites are usually ignored by people, because we tend to think that what can’t be seen, can’t really hurt us. Here are some interesting facts about dust mites, which will make you never ignore dust mites again:
- Even though you can only see them with a microscope, you might want to know that a bed mattress can have as much as a million dust mites on it, depending on how old and used it is
- Among others, dust mites feed with dead skin cells and pet dander
- Dust mites can cause a lot of health problems for humans: asthma, allergies, rashes, coughing, sinus congestion or runny nose and more
- Approximately 85% of all households have dust mites in them
- The most common places in your household where you can find dust mites are your beds (and pillows, sheets, blankets, mattresses, etc.), your carpets, your closets, vents, your pets’ cage or sleeping space and anywhere there’s any dust
- Dust mites can live up to 19 days in the case of males, while females can live up to 70 days
- Females can lay up to 3 eggs/day and the eggs hatch in max. 12 days
While you can never really get rid of all the dust mites in your home, there are some measures you can take to reduce their number. One thing you can do is to keep a low level of humidity in your home (below 50%). You can achieve that with a dehumidifier, if necessary. If you are sensitive or susceptible to allergies, try to get rid of your carpets and wash your blankets, sheets and so on as often as possible and at a high temperature (at least 54 degrees). Instead of carpets, you should go for wood, laminate or even linoleum. You should also opt for synthetic bedding instead of feathered or wool.
You should vacuum as often as possible and use a vacuum that has a HEPA filter, to catch all allergens. If you have children, try to buy them only stuffed animals and other toys that can be washed. You can try to put the soft toys in the freezer once a week to kill the mites and then wash the toys afterwards. The toys should be stored in a closed, well-sealed box, so they won’t gather so much dust.
Also, if you suspect you have an allergy, the best thing to do is see a doctor who will test you for several aeroallergens. This way you can find out for sure if you are allergic to dust mites or not.