Dust Mite Allergies

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dust-mite-allergiesIt would be hard to find anyone who hasn’t heard about the dreaded “dust mite.” But most people have no idea that the dust mite is the number one cause of household related allergies and asthma.

Dust mites are found in the indoor environment and are most prevalent in the bedroom where they fest on the skin flakes in bedding. Oddly enough, people are rarely allergic to the dust mite themselves but the feces of the dust mite. The fecal matter of the dust mites contain a protein that allergy and asthma sufferers are sensitive to. In fact, allergy and asthma researchers state that most all allergy and asthma sufferers are hypersensitive to the protein found dust mite feces. It is only a matter of how much of this protein they must breath in at any one time to create a direct symptom.

The Microscopic Dust Mite
House dust mites, due to their very small size and translucent bodies, are barely visible to the unaided eye. A typical house dust mite measures 0.25–0.3 millimeters (0.010–0.012 in) in length. For accurate identification, one needs at least 10× magnification. The body of the house dust mite has a striated cuticle. They have eight legs and can become airborne by attaching them selves to a household dust particle.

The Dust Mite Life-Cycle
The average life cycle for a male house dust mite is 10 to 19 days. A mated female house dust mite can last up to 70 days, laying 60 to 100 eggs in the last 5 weeks of her life. In a 10-week life span, a house dust mite will produce approximately 2,000 fecal particles and an even larger number of partially digested enzyme-covered dust particles.

Controlling Dust Mites

The primary and most effective method of controlling dust mites and their fecal particles is by using a HEPA vacuum to control the household dust particles. Here a a few tips:

  • HEPA vacuum your mattress and box springs every month to remove microscopic skin flakes and other small dust particles.
  • Run a HEPA air purifier in the bedroom and other highly-used room 24/7.
  • Encase your mattress in a hypo-allergenic cover and wash weekly.
  • Keep dogs, cats and all other pets which produce dander from entering your bedroom.
  • HEPA vacuum all upholstery furniture, rugs and carpeting in the home weekly and all other surfaces every other week to minimize dust particles in the home.
  • Keep your skin moisturized will minimize the amount of skin flakes which you shed during sleeping.

About the author: Stan K. Hall a.k.a. The Sick House Doctor is a recognized specialist in Indoor Air Pollution as well as Health & Safety in the home. He has performed over 400 indoor environmental evaluations over the past 26 years and has helped hundreds of homeowners make their homes a haven. He is widely known as the originator of T.E.A.M., the scientifically proven approach to controlling and resolving indoor air pollution.

Related Posts: Dust Allergies.

The Unknown Micro World : Dust Mites

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