While it is impossible to see dust mites without magnification, these little creatures are a major cause of allergy. Generally, they can be categorized in two with the dermatophagoides farinae being the North American mite and the Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus being the European mite. They have a very close connection to spiders and ticks and have hairy bodies, do not have eyes or antennae, and have a mouthpart at the front of their bodies.
Lifespan of Mites and Their Food
They have an 8 to 10 week lifespan and the female lays eggs either alone or in small groups. It takes about 3 to 4 weeks for the egg to become an adult. They are common where there are human beings and pets and will feed on dead human or animal skin when it is shed. They produce about 20 droppings on a daily basis and the droppings have a protein which human beings are allergic to. The protein combined with the mite’s feces and the shed skin is what brings about allergic reactions in human beings. Compared to other mites, house mites though are not parasitic and feed only on dead tissue
Habitation of the Mites
Skin cells or scales, which are generally known as dander, is found in lounging areas, and in mattresses used for furniture and also in carpeted areas. These are very good habitations for the microscopic creatures in large numbers because most people will shed about 10 grams of skin weekly. Cats and dogs produce even more dander for the mites to feed on although they can also feed on fish food flakes, pet food kibble, fungi and cereal crumbs when necessary.
The best habitation for the creatures is on beds with one mattress containing 100,000 to 10 million of them. Pillows are also prime places and the mites favor warm moist environments like mattresses when people lie on them. They also like bedroom carpeting and upholstery and sofa sets on the living room. They will also be found on blankets, bed sheets, box springs, and decorative curtain panels and on tapestries that are hung on a wall or wall hangings. They will be found on house pets and in vehicles interiors.
Are the Microscopic Creatures Harmful?
These creatures are without a doubt quite repulsive but are not harmful in real sense. But the almost undetectable cast skin and faces are a major part of the dust that brings about allergic reactions in people. Most people are bound to get allergies from them that will come about over time. When allergen levels are high in a home, they can bring about sensitivity in people that did not have allergies. This means that high levels of mites and their waste can bring about allergy in people that did not previously have the problem. The creatures can also bring about a problem called nasal polyps growth that occurs inside the nose.
What is an Allergy?
An allergy is usually a hypersensitive disorder of the immune system. When people react to a substance that is normally harmless, they are having an allergic reaction. People that do not have allergies will not react to such substances. However, anyone with allergic will encounter a trigger causing the body to react and release chemicals that bring about the allergic symptoms.
Some people are allergic to dust or have dust allergies while others have different types of allergies such as nasal allergy usually caused by hay fever. There are also skin allergies, food allergies, drug and medication allergies, and insect allergies. There are some allergies that are seasonal and some people are allergic to pets
Cause of Allergy from the House Mites
The house dust is easily trapped into the fibers of bed linens, in furniture cushions and in carpeting. These materials are good receptors for moisture and this makes them good habitations for mites. Their allergy is generally caused by the debris such as feces and their decaying bodies. When a person’s immune system reacts to any foreign substance like the mites, they get allergies.
Symptoms of Allergy from the Mites
The symptoms of allergy from the creatures generally occur when there is an inflammation of the nasal passages. Such symptoms include sneezing, having a runny nose, itchy eyes that become red or watery, nasal congestion, an itchy nose or itchiness on the roof of the mouth or throat, postnasal drip, coughing, facial pressure and pain, a swollen and blue colored skin under the nose. You are also likely to develop a skin rash because of the mites.
Their allergy can also bring about asthma and this may result in difficulty in breathing, tightness on the chest or pains, wheezing which becomes audible when breathing, problems with sleep due to shortness of breath, coughing and wheezing which becomes worse because of a respiratory virus like a cold or flu. You may also experience fatigue and the condition of your health will deteriorate.
What to Do to Relieve Your House of Mites
Most people wonder what they should do to get rid of dust mites. It is virtually impossible to eradicate these little creatures and your priority should be to eliminate the allergen. This can be done through hot water extraction of carpets, rugs and upholstery and will help because dust mites are unable to withstand the temperatures available of any good cleaning system. If you have mild symptoms, this should be enough. People with serious allergy problems are advised to use anti allergen which physically changes the allergens and makes them harmless to anyone that have allergen problems from the mites
You cannot kill dust mites but you can encase your pillows and mattresses with anti dust mite covers and these only need to be washed about twice a year. It is also advisable to wash pillow covers often and you can also regularly vacuum. You can also purchase mite proof fitted sheets that help in the prevention of accumulation of human scales on their surface.
Your bed sheets, pillows, covers and blankets should be washed with very hot water about two times weekly. If you have to travel and stay in a hotel, you can carry along the dust mite covers. You can use synthetic fabrics instead of woolen fabrics and keep your house thermostat temperatures below 70 degrees and the humidity below 50 percent because mites favor humid conditions, above 70 F and 50% or greater humidity.
Laminate, wooden, tiling on your floors or even linoleum, or vinyl floor covering will help keep away dust mites. Freezing and sunlight will also kill the mites but will not get rid of their residue. These mites also like the soft toys that children play with and these can be placed in the fridge for about 24 hours or can be washed regularly. The dust levels in the air must be controlled with the use of air purifiers and the air filters on your furnace and air conditioners must also be cleaned at least once every month.
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