What’s one of the most common allergy triggers lurking inside your home? It’s not pollen, pet hair, peanut butter, or even gluten—it’s something far less noticeable, but far more repulsive. Haven’t got a clue? It’s dust mites, and if you have fabric or upholstery anywhere in your home, there’s a 100% chance you’re sharing your abode with these tiny critters. But here’s the real question: are they dangerous to your health? Our Dust Doctors team digs into the details below.
What Exactly Are Dust Mites?
Dust mites are microscopic arthropods (a.k.a. insects) that exist anywhere dust gathers. Because they’re so tiny—about one-quarter to one-third of a millimeter in length—they can fit themselves virtually anywhere, which means they’re lurking in places you might never expect.
These tiny critters feed off human skin, which, as you may have heard, comprises a large percentage of the dust within your home, office, car, and wherever else you frequent. Here’s the really gross part: Just 1.5 grams of dead skin (the amount you usually shed in a day) can feed up to one million dust mites at a time!
It’s safe to say that if you have dust inside your home, you have millions of dust mites, too. And, unfortunately, these nasty little critters can live a whopping 90 days. The worst part? Because they’re so small, you can actually inhale them. And when you do? Get ready for some not-so-pleasant allergy symptoms. If you’ve been struggling with mysterious sniffles or other unexplained respiratory issues, there’s a good chance dust mites are the culprit.
Allergies Associated With Dust Mites
If you’re one of the estimated 20 million people with a dust mite allergy, you’ve probably wondered why you constantly feel under the weather. Unfortunately, it’s not just the live mites that cause irritating allergy symptoms; it’s the proteins present in their dead carcasses, their droppings, and their saliva, too. If you’re sensitive to these tiny critters, you might experience one or more of the following symptoms:
● Itchy, watery, red eyes
● Runny nose, sneezing, coughing
● Nasal congestion or post-nasal drip
● Difficulty breathing
● Facial pressure or pain
● Shortness of breath or wheezing
Even if you aren’t sensitive to the mites themselves, excessive exposure to dust can trigger allergy symptoms, too. Fortunately, though, there are several things you can do to reduce the amount of dust in your home. But before you whip out the Swiffer, know this: If your air ducts aren’t clean, no matter how much you dust, the rest of your house won’t stay clean, either.
Getting Rid of Dust Mites: What Are Your Options?
To reduce dust accumulation inside your home, the first thing you must do is ensure your ductwork is clean. At Dust Doctors, we highly recommend bi-annual duct cleaning for every home, but if you have pets or allergies, annual cleanings may be necessary.
Routine, professional duct cleaning ensures that when your HVAC system circulates air throughout your home, it’s not circulating those nasty dust mites into the air you breathe. But beware: dust mites don’t only live in your air ducts—they live anywhere dust accumulates inside your home. To tackle the mites that live in your bed, your pillow, your carpet, and even on your clothes, here’s what you can do:
● Change your sheets frequently and wash all bedding in hot water.
● Steam clean your carpets and rugs. Replace carpets with wood or tile flooring, if possible.
● Keep your home at a cool temperature setting and maintain low humidity.
● Let your bed air out before making it in the morning.
● Keep your pets out of your bedroom.
● Sprinkle diatomaceous earth on your upholstery to kill live mites.
Dust Doctors: Your Trusted Source for Quality Air Duct Cleaning in the Twin Cities
At Dust Doctors, our mission is to help hard-working Minnesotans improve their indoor air quality and along with it, their health. We know how critical clean indoor air is for you and your family’s overall well-being, which is why we’re committed to providing excellent duct cleaning services at an honest, fair price. To learn more about our duct cleaning or air purification services, give our team a call at 651-319-9777 or send us a message on our contact page, and we’ll be in touch! For your convenience, you can also request your free service quote online.
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