There are many interesting facts about dust mites that you should know.
More or less, we all have dust mites in our home. They are probably living in your pillows and mattresses and eating your dead skin and hair while you sleep. I know this sounds gross. But it is true.
Dust mites whether died or alive can wreak havoc on your health. If you have asthma or allergies, they could make your condition worse. You can’t eradicate dust mites entirely from your home. You can only hope to reduce the amount of them living and dying in your homes.
Listed below are 21 interesting facts about dust mites. Some facts are starling and some you might not want to know about.
21 Interesting Facts About Dust Mites & Frequently Asked Questions
Although dust mites are a real problem that affects millions of people, there is plenty of misconceptions and false information being spread around. Pay close attention to the first 7 facts which dispel this misinformation.
1. They Don’t Bite You
There are plenty of people who claim to have been bitten. But the truth is dust mites do not bite. This is probably the most widespread misinformation of all.
2. You Can’t Feel Them Crawling On Your Skin
Contrary to what most people think, you are not able to feel dust mites crawling on your skin. In most cases, they move around freely without you ever knowing.
3. You Can See Them With The Naked Eye
Unfortunately, dust mites are not visible to the human eye. You can see them under a microscope.
4. They Don’t Live In Your Vacuum Cleaner
You should clean often with a high-efficiency HEPA filter vacuum.
5. They Can’t Fly
Dust mites have eight legs and are from the same family as spiders. They have no wings and can’t fly.
6. They Don’t Burrow Under Your Skin
Mites crawl around the surface of your skin feeding on dead skin cells.
7. They Can’t Chew Through Your Sheet
Mites are so small there is no need to chew through your sheets. Because they a super tiny they just crawl their way through bedding to get to your body. Where they feed off your dead skin.
8. Where Do Dust Mites Flourish?
Dust mites flourish and feel right at home in warm and humid environments. They like to hide out in your bed, on your furniture and crawl around deep in your carpets.
9. You Can Control Dust Mites By Reducing Relative Humidity
Studies show that when you reduce the indoor relative humidity in your home to less than 50%, even in a humid temperate climate, you can control dust mites and their allergens. Homeowners can eliminate dust mites by keeping relative humidity below 35% for at least 22 hours per day.
10. They Cause Asthma And Allergies
Dust mites are a major contributor to allergies and conditions of asthma in children and the elderly. You can use a skin prick or RAST tests to determine if your allergies are dust mite-induced.
11. Your Mattress And Pillow Are Breeding Ground For Mites
The Center for Disease Control reported, “a used unprotected mattress can have anywhere between 10,000 and 10 million dust mites in it”.
12. Wash Your Bedding Weekly, Use Mattress And Pillow Covers
According to a Johns Hopkins University study, “mite population and allergen levels decreased by 90% or more within a month of using mattress and pillow covers and treating bedding”. It’s a good idea to use bedding covers and wash your bed linens weekly to reduce mites.
13. Not All Mattress Covers Will Protect You From Dust Mites
Dust mite “proof” mattresses and pillow protectors are popular products to have. There are plenty of products on the market that do not work. You should only buy certified products that prevent dust mites from crawling through the fabric.
14. What Do Dust Mites Like To Eat?
There are plenty of other food sources in your home. The primary food source for dust mites is dead human and animal skin. So as long as you have humans and pets living in your home, mites will always have a way to eat.
15. How Do You Kill Dust Mites?
They cannot live in extreme cold or heat. So you can freeze them out or turn up the heat to kill them off. You should wash bedding, stuffed animals, and other wool garments in hot water. To be most effective the water temperature should be 130 degrees Fahrenheit or greater. To remove and eliminate mites from carpet, just vacuum weekly with a HEPA filter cleaner. Be sure to properly dispose of the contents after vacuuming.
16. Are Dust Mites Harmful To Humans?
No, dust mites are not harmful to humans unless you are asthmatics or suffer from allergies. In both cases, these insect-like pests can be very problematic and cause health problems.
17. How Often Should I Wash My Bed Sheets And Blankets?
Dirty blankets and sheets are a breeding ground for mites. So what do we recommend if you’re concerned about dust mites in any way? You should wash your bed sheets and blankets at least once a week.
18. How Often Should I Vacuum My Carpets?
Your best option when it comes to carpets is to replace them with wooden floors. If this is not an option, you should vacuum or steam clean your carpets weekly.
19. What Allergy Symptoms Do Dust Mite Cause?
Many experts believe mites are the trigger for year-round allergies in children and elderly adults. With common symptoms such as itchy, red, or watery eyes; stuffy and running nose; sneezing, coughing, and post-nasal drip.
People with asthma can experience difficulty breathing. They may also feel more tightness and pain in the chest.
In almost all cases, dust mites intensify symptoms for people living with asthma and allergies.
20. How Do You Treat Dust Mites?
The best treatment plan is to see your family doctor or an allergy or asthma specialist if you suffer from these conditions. They can provide you will several treatment options.
You should also try to rid your home of dust mites. Clean up regularly by sweeping and mopping the floors. You should vacuum your carpets weekly. Machine wash your bedding in hot water weekly. Cover your mattress and pillows with mite protective cases.
These are just a few things you can do to reduce mites.
21. How Can I Protect my family from developing asthma and allergies caused by mites?
The best protection is to cover all mattresses, box springs, and pillows with protective covers.
What do dust mites eat? A dust mite’s favorite food is human dander better known as dead skin flakes. Considering the body sheds about .20 ounces of dander per week there are a lot of skin flakes for dust mites to eat.
How do you know if you are allergic to dust mites? Dust mites cause major inflammation in your nasal passages. Telltale signs of dust mite allegories include nasal congestion, sneezing, and runny nose. To know for sure you would have to take one of two specialized tests for dust mites.
What is the best allergy medicine for dust mites? There are few over-the-counter and prescription medications that will help relieve symptoms for dust-mite sufferers. Talk to your doctor about antihistamines, nasal corticosteroids, and decongestants.