Dust mites are microscopic creatures which are smaller than 1/70 of an inch that lives in warm, moist, dark places with temperature of 68 degrees F and humidity levels of 75-80 percent. Under a microscope, dust mite appears as sightless, spider-like arachnids. They breathe through their skin and when they are dormant, they are resistant to poisons. Take not that using insecticides on them will not work.
Dust mites are present in dust ruffles and bed curtains because they can trap dust easily. Polyester bedding is also good dwelling places for mites because it traps moisture coming from perspiration. Dust mites eat skin cells shed by people.
Dust mite allergy is an allergic reaction to small bugs that lives in house dust. People with dust mite allergy will have runny nose, sneezing, and sometimes symptoms of asthma such as wheezing and difficulty breathing.
- Runny nose and sneezing
- Nasal congestion
- Itchy and watery eyes
- Itchiness of the roof of the mouth or throat and nose
- Postnasal drip
- Swelling and blue-colored skin under the eyes
- Frequent rubbing of the nose in an upward direction
- Facial pressure and pain
- People with asthma will have tightness of the chest or pain, difficulty in breathing, whistling or wheezing sound can be heard when inhaling and difficulty sleeping due to shortness of breath.
If the symptoms become severe such as difficulty sleeping, nasal congestion and wheezing, it is vital to seek medical help immediately.
- Direct sunlight exposure can kill dust mites. Hung beddings outside under the sun, but be careful of airborne allergens that might accumulate on the beddings outside.
- Freeze stuffed toys inside the freezer placed in a tightly closed plastic bag. Another way is washing the stuffed toys frequently.
- Use allergen-proof bed covers which are made of tightly woven fabrics and helps in preventing the dust mites from colonizing the area. Encase box springs with allergen-proof covers.
- Wash all beddings such as blankets, pillow cases and bed covers using hot water that is 130 degrees F or 54.4 degree C to eliminate dust mites and other allergens. Put the washed beddings in the dryer with a temperature above 130 degrees F at least for 15 minutes to kill them. Non-washable materials can be frozen at least 24 hours to kill dust mites, but it cannot eliminate the allergens.
- Maintain a relative humidity in the house of at least below 50%. Use a dehumidifier or air conditioner to keep the humidity low and use a hygrometer to measure the humidity levels.
- Avoid using bed covers that trap dust easily and difficult to clean. Wash stuff toys using hot water frequently and avoid placing stuffed toys in bed.
- Use damp or an oiled mop or rag in cleaning up dust in order to help prevent dust from becoming airborne and resettling.