House dust mites (HDM) are only just visible to the naked eye on a dark background. House dust mite waste products are a cause of asthma and other allergies. How to reduce dust mites and their allergens.
Identify the problem
Dust mites are tiny microscopic creatures that live in the dust that accumulates in our home. Mites are members of the Acari which include the ticks. They are part of the arachnid family which includes spiders.
These creatures do not bite but feed on dust and other detritus which is largely made up of skin flakes. They are associated with asthma as their faeces contain proteins that seem to aggravate allergic reactions. Most house dust particles are skin cells from humans and animals and the mites feed on this material. The mites are found in our bedding as well as carpets, clothes and furnishings. In fact anywhere dust collects.
Asthma and chronic skin diseases such as eczema have been shown to be linked to the level of dust mites. These diseases are over reactions of our immune systems to some environmental stimulus. It is not the mites themselves cause these diseases but their waste material. The wastes contain proteins that induce the inflammatory responses as our bodies ‘see’ them as foreign.
Control of dust mites and their strongly allergenic waste products is best achieved by a combination of approaches:
- Clean > Wash bedding and pillows in a hot wash. Mites will not survive above 55°C. Using a good vacuum cleaner, preferably with a HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filter. Such a very fine
- Spray and Fumigate > Use NO Bugs Indoor or NO Spiders Total Protection. Use NO Bugs Super Fumigator or NO Bugs Super Bug Bomb fumigators to reduce house dust mites.
- Ventilate > Lower the humidity in the house by using a dehumidifier, heat pump/air conditioner or improve ventilation. Dust mites prefer humidity above 60%.
- Insecticides and miticides have an effect on reducing mite numbers but should only be used in conjunction with the other measures outlined in 1-3.
- See the 1-2-3 House Dust Mite Control Programme.
Did You Know
- House Dust Mites (HDM) are members of the mite family Pyroglyphidae.