Dust-mites are leading cause of asthma in children.
House dust mites are microscope bugs that primarily live on dead skin cells regularly shed from humans and their animal pets. Dust mites, relatives of the spider, are too small to see without a microscope. Dust mites are generally harmless to most people. They don’t carry diseases, but they can cause allergic reactions in asthmatics and others who are allergic to their feces. People sometimes confuse dust-mites with bed bugs. 500 million people are affected by these little critters worldwide and may be a factor of 50 – 80% of asthmatics.
Skin cells and scales, commonly called dander, are often concentrated in lounging areas, mattresses, frequently used furniture and associated carpeted areas, often harbor large numbers of these microscopic mites. Since the average human sheds or loses about 1/3 ounce (10 grams) of dead skin a week. That gives dust mites a lot to eat. Cats and dogs create far more dander for dust mites to eat.
Beds are a prime harborage (where 1/3 of life occurs). A typical used mattress may have anywhere from 100,000 to 10 million mites inside. Ten percent of the weight of a two year old pillow can be composed of dead mites and their droppings. Mites prefer warm, moist surroundings such as the inside of a mattress when someone is on it. A favorite food is dander both human and animal skin flakes. Humans shed about 1/5 ounce of dander or dead skin each week. About 80 percent of the material seen floating in a sunbeam is actually skin flakes. Also, bedroom carpeting and household upholstery support high mite populations.
What can you do?
- Wash the bedding frequently with very hot water.
- Purchase quality mattress encasement.
- Purchase and use a good hepa vacuum daily.
- Use Green Cleaners.
- Reduce the temperatures and humidity – dust mites love warm, humid conditions, above 70 F & 50% or greater humidity.
- Replace air filters frequently (air and dehumidifier).