You can’t see dust mites, but if you are one of the 20 million Americans who are allergic to them, you will know they are present in your home. Inhaling the byproducts of dust mites creates allergic reactions that range from cold-like symptoms to severe respiratory problems more akin to asthma.
The best way to deal with them is by rigorous attention to controls and remedying the conditions under which they proliferate. Extremely sensitive individuals should also look into medication to control allergic reactions.
Dust Mites and Human Habitations
The dust mite, a close relative of the spider, is a microscopic animal that finds human homes quite advantageous for survival. These insects feed on flakes of human and pet skin, which are abundant in bedding, on upholstered furniture and in carpets.
They also like the warm conditions we maintain in our homes, and particularly thrive in a moist environment. They are more prolific during the warmest months of summer.
Employ the following controls to improve your indoor air quality.
Controlling the Dust Mite
Start your dust mite control efforts by washing bedding in hot water on a weekly basis. Choose pillows with polyester filling rather than feathers. You can try encasing pillows and mattress in dust mite-proof plastic covers, although the effectiveness of this procedure has been questioned.
Vacuum regularly with a HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter. Vacuum drapes and upholstered furniture.
Control moist conditions in the home with ventilation and a dehumidifier. Fix leaking plumbing.
Install a good quality HVAC filter with a MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) between 8 and 10. A denser air filter will trap dust mite particles as they are drawn into the HVAC in return air. An air cleaner may also help control dust mite particles by capturing them as they circulate in the home’s air.
For more on controlling dust mites, contact Detmer and Sons. We provide quality service to Dayton-area residents.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Dayton, Ohio about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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