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What are dust mites - House dust mite facts.

BY: Swati | Category: Animals and Pets | Post Date: 2008-10-29
 



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Dust mites are tiny microorganisms which belong to the arachnids class and are often present in the house dust and consume minute particles of organic matter.

How big are dust mites?
These tiny bugs belong to the spider family, they have an oval shape and measure about 420 micrometer (or about 1/100th of an inch)in length.

What do they eat?
They love to feed on dead skin cells of humans and other pet dander. Most animals and birds continuously shed flakes and dead cells which is the primary food of dust mites. An average person can sheds about 1-2 grams of dead skin cells and flakes per day, which can feed few thousand house mites. Waste from house dust mites often triggers allergies and asthma. They thrive on mattresses, pillows, carpets, kitchen, bedding and can be found almost everywhere inside your house.

How long does a dust mite live?
Lifespan of a typical male dust mite is about 2 weeks, while females can live for 70 days. House dust mites reproduce very quickly. A typical female may lay about 50-100 eggs during her lifespan.

Allergies caused by dust mites:
The fecal particles and partially digested dust particles produced by them can trigger allergies among humans. If you experience allergies (or asthma) with hay fever like symptoms - runny nose, wheezing, watering eyes,itchiness, infected eczema, lungs clogging, it could very well be because of dust mites

How to kill dust mites?
Dust mites usually die when exposed to temperatures over 60C (140F) or freezing conditions or when the relative humidity less than 50.

Prevention:
Dust mites love warm, dusty and humid areas. Therefore to prevent dust mites you can do the following

* Regularly wash your bedding in warm/hot water. (say once in a week)
* Using a tightly-woven and dust-proof bed sheet.
* Cleaning carpets regularly with a HEPA certified vacuum cleaner.
* Using a dehumidifier and air conditioner.
* Keeping furnace clean and frequently changing the filter of your air conditioner.
* Keep house mold free.

Allergy medicines:
Most over the counter antihistamines, decongestants, and nasal sprays may be helpful, but it is always advisable to consult your doctor first. Many people require pre scription allergy medicines to control their symptoms.

Do they increase weight of our bedding?
Over a period of time, dust mites can increase the weight of mattresses and pillows by a minor amount. That amount is usually very less but many people have a false myth that they can increase the weight of our bedding drastically over time.

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