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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Dust Allergy


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dust-allergy

Dust Allergy Dilemma

One of the most prevalent indoor air pollutants and the primary cause of a dust allergy falls into the big category simply called “dust particulate matter” or “dust particles.” If you were to classify many of the household airborne pollutants, they would fall into the general category of a dust particle.

We have all heard of household dust so you may be wondering, “What’s such a big deal about a dust particle?”


Well there are actually 3 big deals …

  1. The size of the dust particle
  2. The amount of airborne dust particles
  3. The type of dust particle

If a dust particle is very small we call this a sub-micron particle. A sub-micron particle can lodge deep within the lung tissues. If there are just a few of these sub-micron particles in the indoor environment it wouldn’t really be a big deal. However, extensive studies have proven that these sub-micron particles “by count” are more than 90% of the particles in any residential indoor environment. In fact, I have tested many homes over the years for sub-micron particles and have never found a count less than 90%; while most houses I have checked have been closer to 98%.

But what does this mean?

The answer is tied into the third point above . . . “The type of dust particle.”

There are many sub-micron dust particles in the indoor environment you just don’t want to breathe in every day.

Some of the more common dust particles which are known allergens include:

  • Dust mites
  • Dust mite feces
  • Mold spores
  • Broken-down pesticide dust
  • Broken-down dead insects
  • Bacteria from vacuum cleaner bags
  • Broken down tree and grass pollen
  • and more

People with chronic allergies, asthma or other respiratory problems probably have some level of a hypersensitivity (allergic response) to one or more of these allergens found in house particles. The key to controlling a dust allergy is limiting the amount of these sub-micron dust particles floating in the air of your home.

HEPA To The Rescue

A HEPA vacuum used regularly will drastically reduce the amount of these airborne dust particles over time. By combining the use of HEPA air purifiers in the main rooms of the home along with weekly vacuuming, your should notice a marked improvement in your indoor air quality and dust related allergy symptoms.

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.

80% Of Allergies Linked To Household Dust Mites

Dust Mite Allergy


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DustMitesA dust mite allergy is actually a hyper-sensitivity reaction to proteins found in the feces of dust mites. These proteins may attack the respiratory airways causing mild to severe allergic reactions and even asthma. House dust mites are found most homes around the world.

Microscopic Dust Mites

Dust mites are microscopic organisms that thrive in warm and humid environments such as furniture and bedding materials. Their favorite food is human skin flakes and animal dander. Since human actually shed thousand of skin flakes everyday and dogs, cats and other household pets shed dander daily, dust mites never run out of food.

As we inhale large quantities of dust mite protein allergens, the body produces antibodies in the form of a chemical compound known as histamine. Histamine is what causes an allergic reaction and can lead to swelling and irritation of the upper respiratory passages. It is believed that dust mites allergies are one of the primary causes of childhood asthma symptoms and the predisposition for this allergy is often hereditary.

Unlike pollen, dust mites are present all year round causing constant allergic reactions. The excretion from the mites dries out and can become airborne when someone walks over a rug, sits down in a chair or shakes the bed clothes, creating immediate symptoms in allergic people.

Controlling Dust Mites

The best tool controlling these microscopic dust mites is the HEPA (High Efficient Particle Air) vacuum. The certified HEPA vacuum cleaner (or central vacuum system) is the best dust, skin flakes and dust mite removing device over which you have total control. You decide what surfaces you vacuum and when. Any other vacuum filter is potentially a vacuum polluter and only recycles the microscopic dust which can be responsible for many respiratory allergies and asthma.

About the author:
The Sick House Center is a resource and information center about indoor air pollution and other related subjects. Read about Indoor Allergies Prevention at the Sick House Center.

How to Cure Dust Allergies