Several signs can reveal the presence of dust mites, whether in your home or on your skin. Signs can come in the form of allergies, skin inflammations or excess dust. But sometimes there are no symptoms and they simply go unnoticed!
Dust mites measure between 0.1 and 0.6 millimetres, making them invisible to the naked eye. Dust mites are often the cause of respiratory allergies in the UK. 3 in 4 people (75%) suffer from respiratory issues related to the presence of mites in the air. While these symptoms can be light and somewhat frustrating, they also can be severe enough to be impairing.
So what are dust mites and how can we get rid of them?
What are dust mites?
Dust mites are small microscopic animals, invisible to the naked eye, that proliferate everywhere around us. Like spiders, they are part of the arachnid family. They have 8 legs, are translucent and light enough for simple draft to transport them from one place to another.
Dust mites live mostly in materials made of fabric, wool and feather. Heat and humidity help promote their growth. They feed on tiny flakes of skin, called “dander”, which humans and pets lose every day. Dust mites can most often be found on pillows, blankets, sofas, carpets, plush toys, etc. Beds are their favourite spot due to the presence of sweat, humidity and the absence of light.
Some people have strong reactions to dust mites, called allergies. Allergies to dust mites comes with familiar symptoms such as repeated sneezing, a stuffy and runny nose, itchy eyes and throat, etc. Their presence is rarely inconsequential.
How can you get rid of them?
Dust mites are everywhere, even in the cleanest homes. Fortunately, there is more than one way to fight them:
- Remove all rugs, carpets and draperies;
- Alternatively you should vacuum your carpets at least twice a week and regularly wash them using a steam cleaner;
- Regularly wash all the decorative textiles of the house;
- Buy an "anti-mite" cover for your mattresses and pillows;
- Change your bedsheets once a week.
Finally, high-end air purifiers are incredibly effective at trapping and eliminating dust mites. Since they are so light and volatile, they can easily be sucked in and captured when traveling through the air.