Dust Mites in Homes
How many of us are allergic to dust? Quite a few, it turns out. Simple household dust can cause difficult allergic symptoms, asthma, and even stress already struggling immune systems, making the sufferer more vulnerable to respiratory infections.
The thing is, it’s not the dust you are allergic to. ‘Dust’ is mostly minute particles of human skin that we all shed constantly throughout the day. Not very pleasant, but the vast majority of people aren’t allergic to our own skin, or that of other people. It’s what lives in the dust that causes problems.
Dust mites live in nearly every home, office, factory and public place in their millions, too small to see and just about impossible to remove completely. Each one defecates an average of 20 times each day, and it is these truly minute faecal deposits which cause allergic reactions in most humans. Fungi also break down the dust and their spores can cause additional allergic or respiratory troubles.
The worst part is that even if you were able to kill every single dust mite in the home (by fumigation, perhaps), their wastes remain capable of causing allergies for years. The real allergens are too pervasive to remove entirely and so small as to become easily airborne with the tiniest movement.
So what can be done to reduce dust allergy troubles?
1) The bedroom
Dust mites live all over the home, but most of us spend at least 1/3 of our lives in bed. That means keeping your bedroom allergen-free can greatly reduce your suffering.
Consider buying allergen-proof mattress covers, duvets and pillowcases.
Wash your bedding at least weekly, at temperatures above 60OC to kill the mites and remove their wastes.
If possible, remove the bedroom carpet – wood or laminate floors are much easier to clean thoroughly.
A steady supply of clean, filtered air is vital for allergy sufferers. In the summer months this can be as simple as opening the windows, but on colder days you will have to reduce the amount of dust and allergens in your heating system and ductwork.
The problem is that a thick carpet of dust quickly builds up inside most air ducts. Dust mites live there in uncountable numbers, and their droppings easily get swept up in the air when your heating is on. Have your ducts cleaned thoroughly at least once a year, more often if it is a combined HVAC system that works during the summer months as well.
3) The rest of the home
Get a high-filtration vacuum cleaner – one with a HEPA filter if at all possible – this will not only trap the dust but the majority of the mites and their droppings.
Vacuum any upholstered furniture as well as soft furnishing s like curtains at least twice a month.
Lastly, try to keep the home’s humidity between 40% and 70%.
Realistically, nothing can permanently remove dust mites from a home or keep them from coming back. Keeping your air fresh and clean and your home dust-free should cause a dramatic reduction in the severity of your symptoms, though. The best way for allergy sufferers to reduce their symptoms is to remove dust from your bedroom and ductwork as thoroughly as possible.
At Ductbusters we offer a wide range of services to help improve the quality of indoor air within your establishment.
For more information, please call 0800 085 0403
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