Dust Mite Allergy
WHAT ARE DUST MITES?
Dust mites are the microscopic (unable to see with the eye) insects
found in dust to which people may be allergic. They live mainly in mattresses, carpets,
upholstered furniture and other items that collect dust. They especially like.. humid and
warm conditions. Dust mites eat scales of human skin that are shed everyday. The waste
products that are produced by the mite are the main thing in house dust to which people
have an allergic reaction. Each mite can produce about 20 waste particles per day. These
particles can cause allergies even after the mite has died. Each female mite can lay 25-50
new eggs. A new generation of dust mites is produced every thee weeks.
WHERE DO DUST MITES LIVE?
The greatest source of dust mite exposure is in the bedroom
mattress. The mites live in the mattress as there are plenty of skin scales for them to
eat. The dust mites are also present in pillows, blankets, carpets, upholstered furniture,
curtains, stuffed animals and other fabrics.
WHAT CAN BE DONE TO CONTROL DUST MITES?
It is best to minimize exposure to the dust mite, especially in the
bedroom to control allergic symptoms. The bedroom is the most important room since most
people spend one third or more of .each day there. The bedroom also has the most dust
mites. The mattress, box spring, and pillow should be encased in zippered air tight
covers, either plastic, vinyl, or vinyl with cloth. This is the major way of controlling
the dust mites.
The home should not be over humidified in the winter. All bedding
should be washed in very hot water. Also, if possible, other sites where the dust mites
live should be removed. Finally, people with a dust mite allergy should not be around when
their home is vacuumed or dusted.