Dust mites are predominate component of indoor allergies, probably second only to animal dander. However, even if you have no animals whatsoever, you will have dust mites. These microscopic insects love high humidity areas and nibble on the flaky pieces of skin that we leave behind in our environment. Dust mites, their insect bodies and their droppings are all considered a single allergen causing allergic symptoms in millions of susceptible people.
Where people live so do dust mites, it’s as simple as that. If you have indoor allergies you probably have a reaction to dust mites, as well as other indoor allergens. Indications of dust mite allergies might be a combination of respiratory symptoms. These would include stuffy head, runny nose, red itchy eyes, breathing problems and asthma. An additional, little understood symptom, is over whelming sleepiness often seen after a large exposure to dust mites, like after vacuuming a room.
Since the bedroom is one of the worst locations for mites (or the best as far as they are concerned) this is the area for the first line defense. Pull up the carpet and install hardwood flooring. In addition, for the bedroom there are dust mite proof mattress and pillow covers, it is important to do your research before buying products because some say they are mite proof but they aren’t. Bed covers need to be non fabric plastic or plastic coated. Zip the mattresses up in them and cover the pillows including decorative pillows. All bedding, sheets pillowcases, blankets and quilts should be washed in hot water at least once a week with an extra rinse cycle to get rid of bed mites and their droppings. Airing out bedding in the sun helps too, but if you have pollen allergies it isn’t the best idea.
It is also important to keep the humidity in the room below 50% use dehumidifiers whenever possible. Painted walls are better than wallpaper, blinds are better than curtains, if you must have curtains and rugs make sure they are washable and wash them at least once a month.
Interestingly enough, not making the bed in the morning is also a good way to cut down on mites. If you make the bed right after getting up then moisture from sleeping is trapped inside and create a perfect environment for dust mites. If you leave the bed unmade it allows the bedding to air out and dry. So it’s better to make the beds later in the morning rather than first thing.
Dust mites can be controlled to a degree, in the house and in the bedroom. In addition to making these changes it is important to vacuum frequently with a good vacuum that has a secondary HEPA filter. Make sure to empty the bags outdoors and use dust masks and gloves if you are the allergy prone person. Taking these steps will help lower the population explosion of dust mites in the house.