Do you know how teeny tiny are the dust mites? Well, they are 1/100th of an inch in length. This is even smaller than the full stop used at the end of sentences. Dust mites are also called bed mites, but do all beds have dust mites?
No, all beds do not have dust mites in them. However, you must be aware that dust mites feed on human and pet dander- dead skin cells on the surface of homes and present in the air.
Dust mites also reside in the furniture as well as mattresses. You must read on to know more about dust mites and what you can do to get rid of them if your bed has been compromised!
- 1 What Causes Dust Mites?
- 2 Are Dust Mites Dangerous?
- 3 How Do I Know If My Bed Has Dust Mites?
- 4 How Long Do Dust Mites Live In A Mattress?
- 5 Do Dust Mites Live In Memory Foam?
- 6 Do Dust Mites Live In Pillows?
- 7 Does Water Wash Away Dust Mites?
- 8 Does Vacuuming Get Rid Of Dust Mites?
- 9 What Time Of Year Are Dust Mites Worse?
- 10 How Do I Test My House For Dust Mites?
- 11 Wrapping It Up
What Causes Dust Mites?
The dust mites thrive in humid conditions where the weather is warm. Our homes have furniture, bedding, and carpets that provide the ideal conditions for dust mites to propagate. It is a common misconception that dust mites exist in beds only; they are everywhere.
The house dust breeds the dust mites. They stick to the humid places and replicate. If you start implementing ways by which the dust mites can be reduced in your house, you can get hold of the dust allergy caused by them.
The ideal conditions that become a cause for the dust mites are temperatures above 70 F. The humidity range should be 75 to 80 percent. A humidity level of less than 50 percent kills the mites automatically.
Are Dust Mites Dangerous?
Dust mites can be dangerous to some extent. For instance, they cause allergic reactions in humans like watery eyes, asthma aggravation, sneezing, nasal congestion, and breathing issues in people exposed to dust mites.
This is very inconvenient considering you cannot even see dust mites and, therefore, cannot trace its root cause. However, you can notice your symptoms and their initiation point. If they are caused due to dust, it is the dust mites then.
On the contrary, if you are not allergic to dust mites, they do not pose any health threats. The dust mites neither bite human beings nor do they burrow into our skin. Still, a clean environment is necessary.
Therefore, even if you are not allergic, you must take appropriate actions to get rid of dust mites.
How Do I Know If My Bed Has Dust Mites?
The dust mites can make their way into your mattresses without you even realizing they are there. Only through some signs and symptoms can you identify their presence. Otherwise, they are not visible to the naked eye!
A lot of people are diagnosed with dust mites when they visit the doctor. The same doctor can run a quick allergy test on you by taking a blood or skin sample to see your sensitivity to the presence of dust mites.
Many people constantly feel an itchy nose, dryness in their throats and roof of the mouth, and cough in the morning. Facial pressure and pain are other signs and symptoms that prove the presence of dust mites in beds.
How Long Do Dust Mites Live In A Mattress?
Dust mites can either come from humans or animals. They can be found in lounging areas, wooden furniture, sofas, carpets, and mattresses. Though the dust mites have a brief life span of about ten to thirty days, they breed enough to make their population look never-ending.
It depends on the environmental conditions, i.e., the moisture in the atmosphere and temperature. Both of them favor the breeding of dust mites. The females live longer than males- up to 70 days and lay hundreds of eggs before dying.
This ensures that the dust mites keep prevailing in an area they have occupied. This also makes it very hard to get rid of the dust mites; ultimately, you have to get rid of the infested thing immediately.
Do Dust Mites Live In Memory Foam?
Memory foam is a polyurethane material that is temperature and pressure sensitive. It is used for making mattresses. The best thing about this material is that it molds and changes the shape of an individual’s body.
The memory foam is resistant to dust mites compared to the other standard materials used for making pillows and mattresses. The main advantage of having this material is that the mites do not burrow inside the bed as its fiber is solid.
Also, the mattresses are made fluffy by stuffing them with materials like fiber fill. This does not give way to the dust mites penetrating deep into foams, which protects from bed mites. This also prevents the mites from breeding in your sleeping mattress and enables you to sleep soundly at night.
Do Dust Mites Live In Pillows?
The dust mites are microscopic creatures that can infest anything you can think of- be it the pillows or your bedding. Pillows are stuffed with materials like polyester, down, feather, microfiber, and foam.
The dust mites are capable of living inside each one of them. All they need is the right set of temperature conditions and humidity. The ultimate solution is to eliminate the pillows that have been infested with mites.
You can quickly go to the market to replace the old mite-infested pillows with new ones. This way, you can regain your sleep at night without having to go through the trouble of sneezing and coughing with the presence of mites.
It is also advised that you put your pillows out in the sunlight at least once a month. This gets rid of the mites naturally and will dry out the inner pillow stuffing. Other than mites, other bugs will be killed too.
Does Water Wash Away Dust Mites?
The dust mites cannot survive high-temperature washing. The temperature must be at least 140 degrees Fahrenheit to get rid of all the dust mites in your bedding sheets. You should make a fortnightly practice.
You should also change your bedding and swap it with clean sheets. This will eliminate the last possibilities as well. It might be interesting to know that cold temperatures can kill dust mites.
If you suspect your small pillows or stuffed toys have been infested with mites, try putting them in the freezer! They will come out clean, and your problem will be solved in no time. It is one of the many options. Still, washing is the best one as that method is very thorough.
Does Vacuuming Get Rid Of Dust Mites?
Unfortunately, vacuuming is only effective when getting rid of dust. A vacuum will suck in the furniture dust and carpet dust. It is not effective in removing dust mite allergens and dust mites.
However, you must use a vacuum cleaner with a double-layered microfilter bag or HEPA filter. The HEPA filter is a high-efficiency particulate air filter that decreases the amount of dust present in your homes considerably.
Though the cleaner does not clear away the mites, it does help in cleaning dust. When dust is less, the dust mites population reduces in that area. As a result, your mite problem can be solved indirectly. All you have to do is take care of the cleaning part!
What Time Of Year Are Dust Mites Worse?
It is better to be informed about the season of dust mites so that you know when to take extra care. The allergens are highest from May to October. It is their peak breeding season. The mites lay their eggs during this season.
As the winter approaches, mites start dying out. Still, the allergen dust prevails and is re-activated by the heating systems. That is one of the main reasons some patients experience symptoms all year.
You should take care during their breeding season and watch out for the mites. Otherwise, all your bedding and furniture will be left at the mercy of their creepy crawlies. You must take action before destruction is irreversible.
How Do I Test My House For Dust Mites?
The dust mites are hard to see but there is a way by which you can detect the presence of dust mites in your house by using the Ventia rapid home allergen test kit. The procedure can be performed in ten minutes.
- You should insert the plastic filter into the dust stream collector
- Then attach the collector to the cleaner tuber of your vacuum
- Once the machinery has been put together, choose an area in your home that needs to be tested for instance carpeting, bedding, and mattresses.
- Now pour the testing solution onto the dust collector
- Gently mix it
- Now pour a drop into the test cassette.
- Next, look closely at the T line and look for the red line
If the mites are present, the line appears to be bright red.
Wrapping It Up
The mites can be a real nuisance. They can ruin your bedding and pillows in their breeding season. You must be on the lookout for mites. You can implement any of the above ways to get rid of mites.
Through regular washing and dust-eliminating techniques, you can easily get rid of the mite issue. After all, cleanliness is healthiness.
Cinteza M, Daian C. House dust mite – the paradox. Maedica (Bucur). 2014 Dec;9(4):313-5. PMID: 25705297; PMCID: PMC4316872.