If you sneeze, cough, or experience other unexplained symptoms, you might have allergies to dust mites. Although you can't see, feel, or touch the pests, they can wreak havoc on your immune system. The pests lurk in the things you use or need each day, including your home's fabrics. Here are things to know about the dust mites in your home.
What Should You Know About Dust Mites?
As long as the environment in your home is warm and moist, you'll find dust mites. Dust mites are microscopic cousins of spiders that feed off the dead skins of humans and animals. When humans develop allergies to dust mites, it's usually from the pests' body waste, which consists of dead shell casings, feces, and protein excretions. The body waste can enter your respiratory system every time you inhale it. Some people develop skin allergies whenever they touch the body waste of dust mites.
Here are two common places you'll find dust mites and their waste:
The dust in your home isn't just pieces of hair intertwined with dirt. The substance is a combination of indoor and outdoor contaminants, including dust mites. Dust can cover many different surfaces in your home, which exposes you to dust mite body waste on a daily basis.
Bedding, Curtains, and Other Personal Items
Dust mites can also wreak havoc on your immune system if they live on your bedding, mattresses, and other personal items. Live dust mites can release secretions or proteins that aggravate your skin.
In order to find relief from your dust mite allergies, you must clean the things the pests affect.
What Should You Do About the Dust Mites?
You can cut down your exposure to live dust mites by washing your curtains, bedding, and other fabrics in hot water and allergen-free detergent. The water should reach a temperature of about 140 °F to kill the dust mites. If your fabrics can't tolerate such high temperatures, wash your items in water that is slightly warmer than usual. Afterward, run your items through the rinse cycle twice to ensure that the dust mites die. Cold water is fine for the rinses.
Sources recommend removing contaminated carpeting from your home. But if you can't afford to do so, you can remove the dust from your flooring with a high-powered vacuum. A high-powered vacuum generally comes with a stronger, more effective air filter to suction up and contain dust.
In addition, use damp cloths to clean off your appliances, tables, and other surfaces. A dry rag can stir up the dust and allow it to float through the air. Be sure to discard the soiled cleaning supplies immediately after use.
If your allergy symptoms continue after you clean your home, contact an allergy doctor for care. You may need medical intervention to control your symptoms.