How Many Dust Mites Are In Your Home?
One common cause of poor indoor air quality is allergens produced by dust mites. Indoor air pollution can cause annoying allergy symptoms, or worse, for people with asthma. Read on to learn more about dust mites, the symptoms dust mite allergens cause, and how to reduce the number of dust mites in your home.
About Dust Mites
Dust mites are microscopic pests attracted to human dander, a substance found on carpets, upholstery, and other surfaces throughout homes, but especially on mattresses, where humans sleep seven or more hours on average every night. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates 100,000 dust mites can be found in just one square yard of carpet and a mattress that gets typical use may contain 100,000 to 10 million of them.
Symptoms Caused by Dust Mite Allergens
Allergy symptoms triggered by airborne dust mite fecal pellets range from sneezing and runny or congested nasal passages to cough, darkness under the eyes, and other symptoms. For people with asthma, symptoms are more severe, including wheezing and difficulty breathing.
How to Reduce the Number of Dust Mites
The only way to completely rid your home of dust mites is to move out. In other words, dust mites are very likely to be present in an inhabited home, but there are steps you can take to reduce their numbers. Let’s begin with bedding, the place these tiny, bug-like creatures prefer most.
Avoid down pillows and wool blankets, opting for cotton or synthetic materials, instead. Wash your bed linens once per week. Use mite-resistant covers on pillows and mattresses. If you have kids who love to sleep with stuffed animals, purchase washable toys.
Dehumidify Your Home
Dust mites thrive in humid environments. Make sure humid areas such as bathrooms and kitchens are properly ventilated. If necessary, run a dehumidifier to control indoor moisture.
Vacuuming May Not Be Enough
Vacuuming your mattress, carpeting, upholstery, and other textiles has traditionally been the go-to method for removing dust mites and the dander that serves as a food supply for them, however, a study by Woolcock Institute of Medical Research concluded that vacuuming in an inconsistent or incomplete manner will only serve to redistribute dust mites.
Suggestions for improving results of vacuuming include using a vacuum with:
- rotating brushes in the head
- proper suction
- fully functional seals and gaskets
- HEPA (high efficiency particulate air filter) filtration
- By all means, vacuum often and vacuum thoroughly, but be aware that vacuuming may not be enough.
We Provide Deep Cleaning Services
Professional carpet and textile cleaning equipment and solutions can remove more dander and dust mites than vacuuming alone. Our highly trained and skilled technicians are very methodical and thorough, deep-cleaning from the folds and crevices in mattresses and upholstery to the corners and baseboards of carpeting for a fresh, clean, healthy living environment. Let us help you give bugs the boot.
This article is one of a series of articles written and published on behalf of Surface Care PRO Partners.