You would not believe that those microscopic 8-legged creatures (which are part of the spider family) could cause so many problems. They are so small that they are virtually invisible unless you view them under a magnifying glass or microscope. They are not parasites, they don’t bite, they don’t burrow under the skin but there many who are allergic to them (or rather to their droppings) and this is when the trouble starts.
If you are allergic to house dust musts, you could have itchy watery eyes, sneezing, a stuffy or a runny nose, blocked ears, respiratory problems, eczema
or at worst asthma.
House dust mites are found in every home without exception!
They thrive in warm and humid homes with lots of food. And this food is of course human skin which we shed all day long and especially in bed. As mites prefer to live close to their best food source, they are in our beds and as a result we inhale plenty of dust mite allergens which are in their excretion. This excretion contains a number of protein substances which when inhaled or touch the skin cause the body to produce antibodies. It is when these antibodies release histamine that we get that swelling and irritation of the upper respiratory passages such as in hay fever and asthma. Many people will take an anti-histamine medication to counteract this.
House dust mites are not seasonal but there all the year round causing allergic conditions
If you have been diagnosed as allergic to house dust mites, you will want to make your home as free of this nuisance as you can.
Think “do away with clutter”!
And there is more
• Keep your furniture to the minimum.
• Instead of curtains and drapes, use simple blinds or better still shutters that can be wiped clean frequently. Damp dust (using hot water) rather than dry dust so it is not scattered. Wear a protective mask when you are doing a big clean up.
• Use the type of vacuum cleaner that has no bag plus an allergen filter. Keep the cleaner clean and dust free.
• Keep cuddly toys, cushions and other dust traps to a minimum and make sure they are washed regularly too or if put in plastic bags and then into the freezer for 24 hours.
• Go for chairs and other furniture with minimal upholstery which should be removable and washable.
• Aim for tiled or wooden floors instead of carpets. If you cannot get rid of carpets, clean with a steam cleaner twice a month.
• Try to clean all walls, woodwork and flours with damp cloths (again with hot water) frequently.
• Any rugs used should be washable in the first place and then washed frequently.
• Avoid woollen blankets or quilts which can hold the dust and fluff. Go for cotton sheets and synthetic blankets, pillows and duvets. Wash frequently and in between washes, shake them outside and/or hang up in the sun to air. An hour a day is ideal. Bed linen should be washed at a temperature of 60 degrees C to kill the mites. Instead of washing duvets and pillows, put them in a large plastic bag and into the freezer for 24 hours every month. This will kill off the mites.
• Your mattress is going to be a great hiding place for mites so you may have to be inventive about how to deal with it. Can you drag it out into the sun or cold regularly? At the very least, it should be vacuumed and turned frequently. Investigate buying mite prevention pillow and mattress covers with a tight weave that cannot be penetrated by mites.
• Don’t hoard old books and clothes.
• You should not be smoking and make sure no one else in the house does either.
• Try to reduce humidity levels to less than 50% in your home and especially the bedroom. Air conditioned homes have been proven to have 10 times fewer dust mite allegens than those homes that are not.
• If you have pets, it is best to make sure they sleep far away from the bedroom in an area and on a bed that can be easily cleaned. Fur and feathers add to the problem by being an extra food source!
It is not easy to avoid house dust mite allergens and it takes a lot of time and effort.
But if you can cut down on the symptoms and discomfort by doing so, then I am sure you will agree that it is worth while.
The other advantage is that as your symptoms become less severe, you can be less dependent on pharmaceutical medications.
Natural products for eradicating dust mites are not that common but try this site
for their suggestions.
One is to sprinkle tannic acid around problem areas where dust seems to accumulate more quickly.