I. What are Dust Mites?
Dust mites are tiny, invisible insects that live in fibers on carpeting, plush furniture, curtains, mattresses, pillows and bedding. Unlike spiders or ticks, dust mites are not visible to the naked eye and do not bite or transmit disease. The average adult sheds two pounds of dead skin per year; much of it while sleeping. Dust mites live in bedding and mattresses and eat these flakes of skin. They prefer warm, humid environments.
II. Why should we be concerned about dust mites?
Dust mite allergen is a very potent allergic trigger for some asthmatics. Over 50% of all allergic asthmatics are sensitive to house dust mites. With an average of eight hours of sleep nightly, the bedroom is the most frequently inhabited room in your home and is a good first place to stop.
Steps to reduce house dust mite:
- Remove carpeting: vacuum is simply not enough! Dust mites burrow into the carpet and hold on fast with little sucking pads on the ends of their legs, so it’s virtually impossible to vacuum the live ones out. If carpet removal is impossible, regular cleaning is a must.
- Reduce humidity: dust mites are sensitive to humidity. Reducing humidity is important.
- Encase your mattress and pillow: special medical grade encasings (e.g. AllergiKa) are proven scientifically to reduce the effect of house dust mite and so improve asthma and allergic rhino-conjunctivitis symptoms. Encasings are recommended by allergists, respirologists, dermatologist, pediatricians and ear-nose doctors.