What are dust mites?
House dust mites cannot be seen by the naked eye. They are found universally in every home, no matter how much you clean. Heat and humidity encourage the proliferation of the mites. They live in warm, humid environments between temperatures of 68º to 84º F and humidity >70%. They diet on human skin flakes that we naturally shed. Mites live in fabric, not hard surfaces. They are mainly found in upholstered chairs, mattresses, pillows, window treatments, and carpets. As dust mites die (usually within 2-4 months), there bodies decompose to fine dust. These particles may cause allergies.
What can I do about house dust and dust mites?
Here are some modifications in your life, which will reduce your exposure to dust:
- Limit all fabric materials such as carpets, upholstered furniture, stuffed animals and thick window treatments. Emphasize hardwood floors, ceramic floors and linoleum.
- Change air filters often or install an air condition to reduce humidity.
- Use a hypoallergenic zippered dust mite cover on mattresses, box springs and pillows.
- Wash sheets and blankets in hot water once a week to kill dust mites.
- Remove carpets and vacuum frequently with high-filtered bags that capture dust mites. A central vacuum is ideal.
- Keep chest drawers and closets closed