After a long, hard day at work, you probably look forward to kicking off your shoes and hitting the sack. But instead of a good night’s sleep, your sleeping experience is more like an asphyxiated pass out or comma that you wake up from in the morning all groggy, blocked and more tired than before.
Whether you have a respiratory illness such as allergies and asthma or not, you could be sharing your home with one tiny yet bothersome creature. There are literally millions of dust mites that live in your bed, carpets, pillows, soft furnishings, clothes and plenty of other surfaces.
The worst part is that while you may not see them, dust mites can wreak havoc on your entire lifestyle. Here’s all you need to know about the scourge of allergy sufferers worldwide.
What Are Dust Mites?
Measuring about a quarter or a third of a millimetre, dust mites are minute creatures that belong to the same class as the spider family. While they are too small to be seen with the naked eye, a microscopic view reveals some white bugs with eight legs.
They thrive and feed off of dead human cells and scales that have been partially digested by mould. As a result, they are mostly found on beddings, clothing, furniture, carpets and anywhere else that you love spending time.
Although the dust mite itself is not really dangerous, it’s their droppings that pose a wide array of health hazards. Prolonged exposure to dust mites is very bad for your skin as well as your overall health. Some symptoms of dust mites include eczema, blocked nose, coughing, watery eyes and clogged breathing.
If not remedied immediately, the situation could escalate and become worse for you and your family. Here’s a few tips on how to prevent dust mites from taking over your home.
How To Prevent Dust Mites
1. Regular Cleaning Of All Beddings
It’s inevitable; dead cells will always shed from our body every single minute of every single day. Considering how much time we all spend in bed, you can imagine just how much of that remains in the pillows and sheets.
Research shows that the average bedroom contains anywhere between 100,000 to over 10 million dust mites. As shocking as it may be, failing to clean your beddings will only see the numbers multiply. Make sure you either wash your beddings with water that is above 60 degrees Celsius or with vapour steam cleaning.
2. Utilise Direct Sunlight
When it comes to fighting dust mites, the sun’s rays are the ultimate enemy. If your home is infested with the little creatures, taking your clothes, beddings, and carpets out in the sun for a few hours should prove useful.
This method is the cheapest and easiest to use, but it is also the least effective. You may end up using dust mite aerosol sprays to kill off the remainder.
3. Monitor And Adjust Humidity Levels
It’s a well-known fact that dust mites thrive when the humidity levels soar anywhere over 50 %. As such, you should ensure that the humidity levels in your home are always 10 % below that. Anything below that will tip the scales to the negative aspects of low humidity.
If you suffer from severe dust mite allergy, you may want to invest in a great humidifier or dehumidifier depending on where you stand on the humidity scale. Since you are indoors, you also need proper ventilation and an air purifier to catch all those other pesky allergens that you may have missed.
4. Replace Carpets With Hard Flooring
Just like your beddings and pillows, carpets trap an even bigger amount of dead cells and pet dander for the mites to feed on. Since you can’t keep washing your carpets every now and then, you need a more permanent solution.
Replacing carpets with hard floorings such as tile, laminate, linoleum or many others is a very effective measure to eradicate dust mites. If you are still fond of your plush and expensive carpet, we understand if you don’t want to get rid of it. There are sprays and treatments that exterminate dust mites on their most fertile breeding ground.
More often than not, danger lies deep in the places where we least expect it. You may have an insect screen all over your home and layers of mosquito netting around your bed, but dust mites live and thrive right there next to you in your bed; unseen, unheard and unchallenged.
Chances are that your home is littered with millions of these creatures. Take action today and prevent the spread of dust mites before they take over your entire home.