Dust Mites: Serious Allergens in Your Home

The quality of life inside your home is directly related to the quality of the air inside your home. Your house—walls, windows, doors, and roof—likely keeps in more air pollutants and allergens, like dust mites, than it keeps out leading to environmental allergies caused by high concentrations of allergens. The primary causes of poor indoor air quality in homes is the release of gases or particles (dust, smoke, and insect parts) that lead to indoor pollution and possibly life-threatening breathing problems such as asthma. Inadequate ventilation increases indoor pollution levels by not allowing enough outdoor air into the house to dilute indoor pollution.

Indoor pollutants are often a greater health hazard than the same pollutants in an outdoor setting because of the concentration of the indoor air pollution. Since American families spend most of their time indoors, asthma and other respiratory problems are on the rise from poor indoor air quality. Fortunately, there are steps that you can take to reduce the health problems from existing indoor air quality and prevent new ones.

A dust mite is one of the major sources of indoor air pollution. Dust mites are spider-like microscopic insects that are often allergens to humans. Dust mites live on dead skin cells and pet dander found in house dust. The waste from dust mites and their dead body parts are the leading cause of allergy in humans. Dust mite allergies are not seasonal and cause health problems all year round. Though dust mites are microscopic and airborne, they can have a large role in the occurrence and severity of children’s asthma.

Dust mites live in warm, moist areas where dust accumulates freely and is not easily cleaned or cleaned often; both common conditions found in most of our homes and work places. Carpets, curtains, bedding, mattresses, upholstered furniture and even stuffed toys are places that dust mites thrive. The bedroom is the most affected as there is plenty of cloth surfaces for the tiny creatures to live, and there’s humidity from people’s bodies.

Dust mites are a key trigger of allergic reactions such as sneezing, rashes, watery eyes, coughing, dizziness, lethargy, breathing problems (asthma), and digestive problems. There is no way to completely eliminate dust and dust mites, but here are ways you can reduce dust mites in your home and improve your indoor air quality and health.

  • Remove curtains, drapes, feather pillows, upholstered furniture, non-washable comforters, and soft toys.
  • Wash all bedding in hot water (hotter than 130°F) every 7 to 10 days. Don’t use mattress pads. Use plastic covers on mattresses and pillows.
  • Replace carpets with easy-to-clean stone, linoleum, or wood. Polished floors are best. Mop floors often with a damp mop.
  • Wipe dust off of surfaces with a damp cloth. Vacuum carpets and furniture regularly with a machine that uses a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter. Don’t forget to vacuum upholstered furniture and curtains.
  • Install an air cleaner with a high-efficiency particulate (HEPA) or electrostatic air filter.
  • Wash carpets and upholstery with special cleaners, such as benzyl benzoate or tannic acid spray.
  • Lower the humidity in your home using a dehumidifier.

All Quality Air is a leading provider of solutions for improving your indoor air. Call or contact us today for a healthy home analysis, and let us make recommendations that save you money, restore your indoor air quality and reduce health problems from allergens.