These microscopic bugs are commonly found in homes and they have the ability to thrive in our living environment by simply feeding off our dead skin cells, pet dander and dust. Dust mites are so tiny that we can not see them, but they are just around us scuttling everywhere in our homes. Sadly, dust mites have a detrimental effect on our health and they can also increase the amount of dust in the home. They can reproduce at a rapid rate and their presence in homes trigger allergic reactions as well as respiratory problems, which is a major problem among very young children and mature adults. This is why it is imperative to ensure that your home is free from any form of dust.
How Are We Exposed To Dust Mites?
Dust mites not only feed on dust, but on dead human skin cells and pet dander. They live on our clothes, beddings, carpet, stuffed animals, upholstery, towels and furniture. The more you allow dust to accumulate in the corners of your bed, unused furniture, piled boxes and unused rolled up carpets, the more dust mites you help thrive. When you fail to clean your home especially your couch and bedding, you provide dust mites with your shed dead skin cells as a food source.
The Effects Of Dust Mites To Our Health
The droppings of dust mites are composed of protein compounds and when you breathe in or come into contact with these substances, your body immediately produces antibodies for your protection. This results in the release of histamines from the antibodies that lead to swelling, itchy bumps and redness that are signs of allergic reactions. Other allergic reactions include runny nose, watery eyes, hay fever, and sneezing, coughing and breathing difficulties.
How You Can Keep Dust Mites Out
Despite the microscopic size of dust mites, you can still make an effort to keep them out of your home or minimize their presence.
Vacuum And Clean Not Sweep – Instead of sweeping, regularly vacuum furniture, curtains, upholstery, carpets and floors. Opt for a vacuum with HEPA filters to capture mites and their eggs better. Do not dust hard surfaces as dust will only circulate all the more in your home. Use damp cloths to easily and effectively remove and hold dust when cleaning hard surfaces.
Remove Clutter – Dust is collected when there is clutter and when there is dust, there are dust mites. Remove unused items from your living area and place them in an enclosed space in your home or rent out a storage space so you can also store unused clothes, furniture, carpets and boxes of old belongings. To ensure that your belongings are also safe from dust mites while in storage, box them or wrap them in packing plastic or paper. This is a good investment as you can continue to store belongings in the long run when your home becomes cluttered again.
Washing And Drying In High Heat – Wash your beddings and clothing in high heat and then dry them in high heat as well to kill all dust mites. The same goes with stuffed toys as they can hold plenty of dust mites.
Make Some Changes – Swap your heavy curtains with light weight ones as heavier materials tend to hold more dust mites. Opt for dust mite free pillow coverings, dust mite mattress covers and hypoallergenic furniture.
Valerie East is a freelance writer specializing in health and home management issues. She regularly offers information about various factors that affect health in the home and provides tips on how to eliminate such factors through proper housekeeping and efficient storage. Click here to learn more about efficient storage options when de-cluttering and creating healthy living environments.
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