The Mighty Dust Mite and How To Deal With It


Article by: Edward Green

A Closer Examination of the Dust Mite

The dust mite's mouth parts are grouped in front of the body, resembling a head. Their body is oval and covered with fine striations. Their eight tiny legs have small sticky pads which enable them to burrow deep into carpet , How To Remove Popcorn Ceiling fibers and furniture, , Lladro Porcelain easily resisting the pull of even the most powerful vacuum cleaners. You definitely would not want to turn over in your bed , Making Small Bathrooms Seem Larger and find yourself , Lladro Porcelain face to face with one of these strange looking creatures. Unfortunately, that is where their populations are often the highest. The average bed , Finding Reputable Sauna Dealers can easily have over 10,000 dust mites living in it. Dust mites do not bite, sting or transmit diseases, , Log Home Basics so they pose no harm except to people who are allergic to a protein they produce. Their numbers have increased dramatically in the past 20 to 30 years, especially during the winter , Color Help: Color Imagery for Happy Homes months, partly due to tighter homes , Interior Tricks And Tips where ventilation is limited and temperatures , Designing Your New Kitchen On The Computer tend to be warmer.

Egg-laying female mites can increase the population by 25 to 30 every three weeks. They go through five stages in their life cycle; from egg, the larvae stage, then two nymphal stages, and finally the adult. The adult may also molt once. This cycle from egg to the adult takes about one month. Adult mites can live up to two months, depending on the humidity levels and temperatures , How Your Home Can Benefit From A Furnace Humidifier of their environment. , Kitchen Cabinets Choices They do not drink water , Solar Energy Systems for Pools but they absorb moisture , Waterproofing Foundation: What are your Choices from the air , Lladro Porcelain and their environment. , There Are Several Basic Types Of Air Purifiers They just love higher relative humidities of 70-80% and temperatures , Making Small Bathrooms Seem Larger of 75-80 degrees F in which their development and food , Conveyor Belt Tracking consumption increases.

Dust Mites Produce a Powerful Allergen

It is the protein DER p1 in the faecal products , How To Remove Popcorn Ceiling and disintegrating body parts of these minute dust mites that has a mighty adverse effect on those who are allergic to it. Dust mites produce about 20 pellets per day, each measuring about 10 to 24 microns in size. To put that in perspective, the diameter of the human hair measures 80-100 microns. A gram of dust can hold 250,000 of these minute droppings. They are so tiny and light , Ten Convenience Built-Ins That’ll Save Your Busy Household Hundreds Of Hours Each Year that they float easily into the air , Finding Reputable Sauna Dealers when disturbed by our daily activities. Inhaling these minute particles causes allergic reactions in those who are sensitive to this protein.

Allergens from the dust mite which cause asthmatic symptoms was first suggested in 1921 but analysis of dust did not happen until 1964 when a group led by Voohorst suggested that a mite may be responsible for the dust allergen. It was soon established that the dust mite droppings contain an allergen so they became a focus over the years for their involvement with respiratory ailments. The DER p1 produced by the dust mite is though to be the most important allergen associated with asthma. About 10% of the population are allergic to dust mite extracts.

Identifying the Sensitivity to Dust Mite Protein

House dust contains many types of debris, including fabric fibers, human skin scales, human and animal dander, bacteria, cockroach parts, mold spores, food , Bedroom Feng Shui: 8 Important Considerations particles and other organic , Thinking About Buying Ornate Tin Ceiling Tiles? and synthetic materials. About 90% of the people who are allergic to house , Various Types of Fences dust extracts are allergic to dust mite extracts. Symptoms which may come from sensitivities to the dust mite protein include sneezing, congestion, itchy, watery eyes and persistently stuffy nose and ears. Symptoms point more specifically to dust mites when you experience repeated sneezing shortly after awakening, symptoms get worse when beds , Never Rely on Your Plumbing Expectations are made or when using your vacuum cleaner, and improve when you are outside. , Taking Solar Into Account When Designing Your Home Improvements Diagnosis, using scratch tests, etc., by an Allergist is recommended to determine which allergens cause reactions. These doctors who specialize in treating allergies can recommend a course of action specifically designed to reduce or eliminate your allergic reactions. This may include steps for reducing exposure to troublesome allergens, medical therapy and desensitization injections (Systemic Immunotherapy - SIT). The latter may be recommended if avoidance and medical therapy fail to sufficiently reduce the allergic reaction. It involves injections of a dust mite extract starting weekly, followed by injections every six weeks for three to five years.

Importance of Reducing Exposure to the Dust Mite Allergen

If your family is not sensitive to the dust mite protein DER p1, managing them may not be a high priority. For those who suffer from it, management by reducing exposure to the allergen DER p1 is quite important. Two important aspects which need to be addressed are the removal of environments , My Front Porch which are conducive to dust and dust mites and the reduction of airborne dust mite droppings and disintegrating body parts. Inhaling these minute particles causes allergic reactions in those who are sensitive to this protein.

The exposure level at which you experience allergic reactions is determined by the sum of exposure to all allergens you're sensitive to. Those who are sensitive to multiple allergens find that reduction of exposure to any of the allergens will help in their tolerance of all the allergens. It is important to realize that you do not need to completely eliminate exposure to allergens. Simply keeping your total exposure of all allergens below the threshold at which you experience reactions is all that is necessary.

Reducing Exposure to Allergens in Your Bed

Due to the amount of time we spend sleeping the mattress should be covered with a protector, our bedrooms are the areas which deserve the most attention. Simply turning over in bed , Ten Convenience Built-Ins That’ll Save Your Busy Household Hundreds Of Hours Each Year or breathing near your pillow can cause you to inhale minute dust mite droppings. Using hypo-allergenic fiberfill pillows is recommended over feather, kapok or foam since they are more easily washed. Encasing your pillows, mattress and box spring , Things To Consider When Buying A Dishwasher with plastic , When To Turn The Lights Off or specially coated or finely woven (pore size < 10 microns) vapor- permeable fabrics will deprive the dust mites of food , Budget Bathroom Remodeling Ideas and prevent many of the dust mite droppings from reaching you. The fabrics are more comfortable since they allow perspiration vapor to be more naturally carried away from your skin. Thorough vacuuming the mattresses, especially the seams and bed , When To Turn The Lights Off frame on a regular basis is also helpful. Wash your sheets and mattress pads in soapy water , Granite counter tops Part.I at 130 degrees F every one or two weeks to kill all mites. Bedding , Refinish Your Hardwood Floor Like a Pro and curtains which can withstand frequent washing should be selected. Blankets can be dry cleaned or washed frequently. Using an electric , Home Improvement and Hurricanes blanket for eight hours every day can reduce dust mites in beds , Decorative Window Shutters significantly. Heating blankets in a cloths dryer , Making Small Bathrooms Seem Larger for several hours also kills mites. By doing this, dry cleaning or washing of blankets can be reduced to once a year.

Reducing Exposure to Allergens in All Your Rooms

Wall to wall carpet , Knobs, Hinges and More is Proud to Introduce Objects by Tracy Glover Studios and Michael Healy Desig and upholstered surfaces can be reduced or replaced with hard surfaces that are easier to clean. Dust mites can not survive long on hard surfaces due to dehydration. They absorb water , Various Types of Fences through contact with their environment. , Waterproofing Foundation: What are your Choices Dusting with a ULPA or HEPA filtered vacuum cleaner or specially treated cloths is recommended over damp mopping. The latter may increase the humidity in the house. , Color Help: Color Imagery for Happy Homes Dust mites can't live at humidities below 50%. Using air , Solar Energy Systems for Pools conditioners and dehumidifiers during the summer , Mistakes? to keep the humidity between 40% and 50% is often recommended. During winter, , Designing Your New Kitchen On The Computer if using a humidifier, be careful to keep the humidity in this same range. A good humidity gauge can help monitor this. Carpets , Kitchen Cabinets Choices that get damp on a regular basis should be replaced with hard surfaces.

Having carpets , Solar Energy Systems for Pools professional cleaned with superheated steam will effectively killing dust mites in them. Carpets , Solar Energy Systems for Pools can be treated with sprays containing 3% tannic acid to make dust mite droppings non- allergic. Benzyl benzoate powder which actually kills dust mites is also available. Reduction of contact with dust mite droppings is often preferred since these contain toxic chemicals which some people are sensitive to.

Reducing Exposure to Allergens with Air , Finding Reputable Sauna Dealers Filters

Wearing a well fitting dust mask while vacuuming and making beds , How Shower Filters Are Useful For Your Family Health can reduce the dust mite allergens you inhale. Some allergists even recommend airing out a room , Elegant looking shower curtains and rods can really make a difference really well after vacuuming to reduce the airborne particles which are stirred up by many vacuum cleaners. Furnace mounted and portable air , Knobs, Hinges and More is Proud to Introduce Objects by Tracy Glover Studios and Michael Healy Desig cleaners are available but their cost may be greater than the benefits achieved by them. They definitely are not a substitute for the preventative measures described above. The best are media type filters like those which meet the stringent HEPA specification. Electrostatic filters are not recommended unless cleaned regularly in which case they may be as effective. Special filters can be placed on the furnace air , Color Help: Color Imagery for Happy Homes vents leading to your rooms , Taking Solar Into Account When Designing Your Home Improvements to help trap allergens before they can enter the room. , My Front Porch Air , Designing Your New Kitchen On The Computer cleaners which generate ozone , Pros of Using Geothermal For Your Home should be avoided since they have little effect on allergens in the air , 5 Tips To Find Step Ladders That Are Cheap and may worsen allergy symptoms since the ozone , Ten Ways to Add Value to Your Property may irritate the respiratory system.

Importance of an ULPA or HEPA Filtered Vacuum Cleaner

The vacuum cleaner is one of the most important tools , Knobs, Hinges and More is Proud to Introduce Objects by Tracy Glover Studios and Michael Healy Desig for managing dust mites and their minute droppings. Thorough cleaning of carpets, , How To Remove Popcorn Ceiling mattresses, upholstered furniture, , 10 Tips To Maximizing Sale Of Your Home curtains and drapery regularly will reduce the dust mite allergens in your home. , Improvement and Hurricanes It is better to clean thoroughly once a week instead of lightly every day. In order to prevent these minute particles containing allergens from being recirculated into the air , Where to Buy Kitchen Counter Bar Stools you breathe, a vacuum cleaner's filtration system must be very efficient at trapping particles at least that small.

The agitation and air , Kitchen Cabinets Choices flow created by your vacuum cleaner to clean you surfaces causes a huge number of minute dust mite dropping to be drawn into it. They can easily pass through most vacuum cleaner bags and filters and be exhausted back into the air , Should I Sell My Home or Remodel Instead? you breathe, making it much dirtier than before. The vacuum cleaner industry is taking advantage of the development of advanced filtration media to provide much higher quality exhausted air , House Painting Book than was possible just a few years ago. The current cutting edge in vacuum cleaner technology is in the area of improving the filtration efficiencies of vacuum cleaners. Special high filtration paper bags are available from many manufacturers , Kitchen Cabinets Choices which filter much better than conventional ones. To learn more about these high filtration paper bags, see our article on the efficiency of vacuum cleaner paper bags

To reduce the effects on allergies and asthma caused by the allergens in dust mite droppings, look for a vacuum cleaner with an ULPA or HEPA filter. It also is very important to have a completely sealed system so all air , Taking Solar Into Account When Designing Your Home Improvements flow must pass through the ULPA or HEPA filter to be cleaned by it. By combining high filtration paper bags, a Certified HEPA filter and completely sealed systems, vacuum cleaners can achieve extremely high filtration efficiencies of 99.97% at 0.3 micron size particles. ULPA filters have an even higher efficiency of 99.999% at 0.12 micron size particles. For more information , Choosing A Down Comforter about HEPA and ULPA filtration.


Dust mites are microscopic creatures which live at peace with all of us, constantly going about their routine of cleaning up our environment. , Heating Your Home With Solar, But Without Panels Unfortunately, for about 10% of the population, the protein DER p1 in their minute droppings causes allergic reactions which affect their respiratory systems causing allergic reactions and triggering asthmatic attacks. A visit to an doctor specializing in allergies (allergist) can confirm which allergens you are sensitive to. They are able to prescribe a course of action which may include steps to reduce the allergen exposure, medication therapy and possibly desensitization injections.

Key steps to reduce exposure to dust mite allergens include encasing mattresses and pillows, washing bedding , My Front Porch and curtains regularly, controlling humidity in you home , Finding Reputable Sauna Dealers and cleaning thoroughly with a powerful high filtration vacuum cleaner. In extreme cases, carpets , 10 Tips To Maximizing Sale Of Your Home and upholstered surfaces should be replaced with hard surfaces which are easier to clean and which inhibit dust mite growth. The goal is to reduce allergen exposure to below the level at which allergic reactions occur, not necessarily the elimination of all exposure to the dust mite allergen.

The Marble Master Stone , Keeping Your New Hardwood Floor Beautiful Care System is specially formulated and developed by stone , House Painting Book care professionals with more than 40 years of experience in the natural , Elegant looking shower curtains and rods can really make a difference stone industry. For more information , How To Remove Popcorn Ceiling or to purchase the products, , When To Turn The Lights Off visit or call , The Ugly Truth About Ceiling Fan Installations 020 8807 8889.

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Edward Green , Garage Door Repair owns and operates the highly successful Marble Master Ltd company. Marble Master specializes in Restoration and Refinishing of all types of natural , How Shower Filters Are Useful For Your Family Health stone and consultancy services to Architects, Restoration Companies and Interior Designers. , Ornamental Fountain

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