Just the word “bug” can send shivers down the spines of many. We try our best to keep our distance but it just isn’t possible. They’re at the park, at work, and at the supermarket. The FDA has even worked out laws that regulate how many bugs are tolerable. To put it in perspective, every gram of pasta is allowed to have one bug part, your normal 454g box of pasta probably has a bug part in it. Now how would you feel about know that you’re not only sleeping with bugs, you’re feeding them.
The dust mite, is a cosmopolitan pyroglyphid that is native to human habitation. They are naked to the human eye but appear as white specks under a microscope. Their scientific name is Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus and the main fuel to their existence is exactly as their name suggests; your skin.
Why can’t you feel it?
Well, they feed on your dead skin. And you should nearly an ounce of dead skin a month which is plenty for a colony of mites. though the males live for an average of 15 days, the females can live up to 70 days and lay nearly 100 eggs in just 5 weeks. In 10 weeks, that same dust mite will produce nearly 2,000 fecal particles that are no doubt touching your skin and hair should they manage to live in your bed.
Dust mites can cause eczema, hay fever, or asthma in humans. They are especially toxic to children and babies. Any type of insect invasion will have adverse health affects, so let’s avoid them at all costs.
How to get rid of dust mites?
Decrease Humidity- Dust mites thrive in high-humidity situations. If you live anywhere near the tropics or have a humidity issue in your home, try investing in a dehumidifier.
Wash Bedding Weekly- Washing your bedding every week can also help you combat bed bugs. The creatures do not thrive well in extreme situations so using water at 130 F should be able to kill the critters. Freezing non-washable bedding also works.
Allergen-Proof Bed Covers- Covering your mattresses and pillows with dustproof, allergen-blocking covers made with tightly woven fabric can prevent dust mites colonies from spreading or migrating.
Buy Washable Toys- This goes for both pets and kids. Buy toys that can be washed safely. This will decrease the chance of mites being able to find a steady home within the fabric of toys.
Vacuum regularly- Vacuuming also helps combat the accumulation of dust in any space. Vacuuming furniture as well can help get rid of invaders.
Remove Carpeting- This many not be an option for everyone, but tile and flooring are not as forgiving for dust mites. They will find it more difficult to thrive in environments where they cannot cling between microfibers.
Mites are a problem that thousands if not millions of households face yearly. Though some of the specifics may change, these guidelines should be taken to prevent a dust mite infestation.