Dust Mite Allergy

Dust mites are not “bed bugs” – you can’t see them and they don’t bite. But they are a common cause of itchy eyes, scratchy throats, runny nose and other allergy symptoms, as well as a potent trigger of asthma.

These tiny insects live in mattresses, pillows, upholstered furniture – anywhere they can find moisture along with their favorite food, tiny bits of shed human skin. Allergens from their droppings and dead bodies collect in bedding, furnishings and dust, then irritate airways and eyes on contact.

To protect yourself:

  • Reduce humidity in your home to 50% or lower, as dust mites need moisture to survive and reproduce.

  • Cover your mattress, box spring and pillows with dust-mite-proof encasings, to keep dust mites and their allergens out of your airways while you sleep. Allergy supply companies sell comfortable fabric-textured covers that the dust mites and their tiny allergens cannot penetrate.

Special 15% discount on dust mite encasings for Allergy & Asthma Network members: use code AAN15 at www.allergyguardian.com
  • Wash all your bed linens weekly in hot water to remove dust mites and their allergens.

  • Keep household dust down by vacuuming regularly with a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter or bag that traps dust mite and other allergens.

  • Replace dust collectors like carpets, drapes, and upholstered furniture with washable floors and furnishings. Focus on the rooms where you spend the most time – bedroom and family room.

  • Keep dolls and toys to a minimum in the bedroom and choose stuffed animals that can be washed in hot water. Putting stuffed animals in the dryer or in plastic bags in the freezer overnight will kill the dust mites, but will not remove their residue, which is a major part of the problem.

Read more: Relative Humidity: Finding a Balance
                      HEPA Filters: Hype or Help?
                     Green & Healthy Homes Initiative

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