Whether you like it or not, these spider-like insects sleep in the same bed with you most of your life. Let’s try to figure out how to get rid of dust mites, and more importantly, how to prevent these uninvited guests in your home.
Dust or dermatophagoides mites
Dust mites, or dermatophagoid mites, are microorganisms of the spider class. They are widespread not only in the U.S. but all over the world. They can be as small as 0.5 mm in size, and up to 2,000 individuals can colonize in just 1 gramme of house dust. The mites’ life cycle lasts up to 80 days, during which females manage to produce up to 70 eggs of new offspring.
Ticks adore humid and warm environment, that’s why they like apartments with temperature of 18-25 degrees Celsius. Their favorite places of habitation are old mattresses, books, soft toys, pillows, curtains and carpets.
What are the dangers of dust mites?
The main danger of dust mites is their ability to cause so-called mite sensitization – allergy, which is most often accompanied by allergic rhinitis and bronchial asthma.
According to statistics, more than half of people with bronchial asthma, suffer from exposure to the life products of dust mites.
In addition to offspring, these arthropods actively leave behind feces with a diameter of about 30 microns, and the amount of excrement they manage to produce during their life cycle is 200 times greater than their own size.
These excreta contain complex proteins – enzymes. They are capable of destroying human skin cells and are the strongest allergens for humans. Enzymes literally break down the epidermis, as a result of which it flakes off and subsequently serves as a source of food for the mites.
But even without the impact of these proteins the average person each day loses about 2 grams of skin, which these microorganisms enjoy a feast. They are also not squeamish about leftover food from your table, crumbs and other nutrients.
Mites die when the humidity in the room is below 45%, but if the humidity rises for at least a couple of hours a day, the mites can survive.
Some people suffer from dust allergies half their lives without realizing that their apartment is actually a breeding ground for these microorganisms. Once they get rid of house mites, their allergies will be gone.
How to get rid of house mites?
It is almost impossible to completely get rid of mites at home. The only way out is to extremely lower or raise the temperature in the room for a long time.
But to significantly reduce their population everyone can do it, the main thing is to follow certain rules and recommendations:
- The most trivial but basic rule is to get rid of dust regularly. Replace old rugs and soft slippers. Buy new pillows and change your bedding regularly.
- Regularly ventilate the room to reduce humidity.
- Try to keep the room temperature around 21°C. This temperature is lower than optimal for the reproduction of these spiders, which means you will significantly reduce their population.
- Get a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter. HEPA filters consist of a complex fiberglass filament system with diameters as small as 0.5 to 2 microns. Such a filter can trap even the smallest particles smaller than 0.1 micron in diameter. Learn more: What is a HEPA filter?
- Regularly steam your sofas, mattresses and curtains with a hand-held steamer. After such a procedure, do not be lazy to vacuum the surface additionally. Hot steam will kill the insects, but will not get rid of the source of your allergies.
- In winter, you can take mattresses and pillows out onto balconies and loggias. Extreme low temperatures kill mites.
- Use Kieselguhr (diatomite). The microscopic particles of this powder are so sharp that they can literally cut through the outer chitin layer of insects and mites when they come in contact with this rock, causing their death. The powder should be scattered over the surface of carpets and mattresses in a thin layer and left for several hours, after which it should be thoroughly vacuumed. In this way, the destruction of mites occurs in a completely non-toxic way. At the same time, it is absolutely harmless to humans and pets. You can buy diatomite in garden stores, as it is often used by gardeners in the control of insects. Learn more: Mechanical insecticide
- Do not make your bed immediately after waking up. The warm environment of your bed is the perfect breeding ground for parasites.
- Use hypoallergenic pillowcases and sheets, as well as protective mattress covers. Such covers made of special filtered fabrics provide reliable protection from the smallest allergen particles.
- Buying an air washer is a good solution. These devices filter the air in the apartment, humidifying and cleaning it from viruses and bacteria. There are different types of purification models on the market: with charcoal filter, ozonizing, photocatalytic. For allergy sufferers, devices with HEPA filter are also suitable.
- Another good bactericidal agent against mites and other microorganisms is an ultraviolet lamp. It cleans the air by quartz treatment. You can buy an ultraviolet lamp in many medical supply stores and online stores.
It is almost impossible to get rid of mites at home, but everyone can significantly reduce their population. Follow our simple recommendations to protect yourself and your loved ones from allergies.