Dust mites

Millions of people are allergic to dust mites. Dust mites are amongst the major indoor allergens and can cause a lot of problems. These are microscopic creatures that cannot be seen with the human eye but that have been living in our environment for centuries. The most common dust mites are called Dermatophagoides farinae and Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus, which means, "skin eater". As the name suggests, dust mites feed off of dead skin flakes that are shed from humans and animals.

Since we are not able to see dust mites we don't always realize the amounts that live within our homes. Dust mites live everywhere such as carpets, clothing, bedding, pillows, mattresses, blankets, sofas, stuffed toys, etc. They specifically concentrate in warm, humid places like comforters and bedding, which is where skin scales accumulate, and they then feed off of this. In a study made, it was observed that in homes where dust mites were prevalent, one teaspoon of dust mites could contain up to one thousand dust mites.

Obviously there are times in the year when dust mites show up more such as summer and early fall where the humidity tends to go up. For people living in humid areas year round, it can turn into a real problem. Dust mites don't drink water but they feed off of the moisture in the air. They don't survive very well in dryer climates or in high altitudes.

Dust mites are not actually the specific cause of allergens; it's the proteins in their fecal matter, decomposing body parts and secretions that cause the problems. These then dry out and become airborne as soon as you move them or when they are blown into the air by the wind etc. When dust mites are inhaled, they stick to the damp lining of a human's nose and they almost immediately cause allergic or asthmatic reactions in allergic people. Children and babies can also be sensitive to dust mites so it is absolutely necessary to get rid of them as much as possible.

Unfortunately dust mites love human's beds. This is the place where they tend to concentrate in the most. Millions of them can gather up in your pillows, mattresses, sheets, blankets, comforters etc. The heat of a human body, the moisture it releases, as well as the dead skin cells from your body are all just too tempting for them to stay away from.

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