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The Ugly Facts about Dust Mites

How to eliminate them from your home

Microscopic insects referred to by entomologists as “skin-eaters,” Dust Mites are common residents on floors and surfaces in homes of every kind. They live where human beings reside, when the humidity is optimal for their life cycle. Dust mites are known for causing allergies, hay fever, eczema, and asthma attacks in millions who react to mite droppings on floors and furniture in homes…even in houses that appear on the surface to be clean.

One of the barriers to the identification of house dust mites is the fact that the tiny creatures are invisible to the naked eye. Measuring a mere 1/100th of an inch, what they lack in size they make up for in sheer numbers. According to DustMites.org, densities of dust mites in the typical used mattress can range from 100,000 to ten million individual mites. Dust mites feed on organic detritus such as flakes of shed human skin.

House dust mites survive in every climate, even at high altitude. They thrive in the indoor environment provided by homes, specifically in bedrooms and kitchens, hiding out in mattresses, carpets, furniture and bedding. Since experts agree the best treatment for allergies is avoidance of dust mites and their allergens altogether, the experts at the domestic referral agency, My Cleaning Lady, would like to advise you about how to keep your house spic and span to eliminate or at least reduce the presence of dust mites in your home.

The environment commonly found in bedding is optimal for most dust mites. And comparative studies have shown that the density of dust mites in mattresses to be on average greater than 2500/gram of dust. Cleaning beds with most vacuum cleaners will not remove dust mite allergens, but actually throw them into the air, thereby increasing their volatility.

So how can you combat this creepy creature?

  • Some polyethylene bedding is beneficial as it makes the environment difficult for the dust mites.
  • Bedding should be breathable and able to withstand frequent washings.
  • Proper, thorough sweeping and mopping of hard floors as well as carpet are critical. (Wall-to-wall carpet and upholstered surfaces can be reduced or replaced with hard surfaces that are easier to clean.) Since dust mites absorb water through contact with their environment, they cannot survive long on hard surfaces because they dehydrate.
  • Carpets that get damp on a regular basis should be replaced with hard surfaces. If you cannot replace carpeting, have it steam cleaned at least once a year in the spring.
  • The vacuum cleaner is one of the most important tools for managing house dust mites and their minute droppings. Vacuums which incorporate very efficient Certified HEPA or ULPA filters in completely sealed systems are optimal.
  • Do not scatter dust. Instead, dust with a damp cloth rather than dry dusting. Spraying furniture polish/dusting liquid directly on surface reduces airborne particles by 93 percent compared with dry dusting.
  • Having carpets professional cleaned with superheated steam will effectively killing dust mites in them.
  • Wash all bedding weekly. Research shows laundering with detergent in warm water (77 degrees F) removes nearly all dust mites from bedding. If you cannot launder blankets, dry clean them once a year.
  • Use air cleaners.

If you are committed to keeping a clean, dust-mite free home, you could benefit from professional housecleaning services. My Cleaning Lady is a domestic referral agency.  The house cleaners we refer offer complete home cleaning services including thorough dusting at reasonable prices. My Cleaning Lady Referral Agency proudly serves Arcadia, Chino, Chino Hills, Duarte, Ontario, Pomona, LaVerne, Covina, Rancho Cucamonga, Fontana, Montclair, Claremont, Phillips Ranch, Upland, West Covina, Glendora, San Dimas, and Sierra Madre. Visit http://www.mycleaninglady.com/or call (909) 593-6690 for information or to arrange a free estimate.