If your child is struggling with asthma, eczema or constant cold-like symptoms, it could be down to a tiny creature called a house dust mite.
Living in bedding, carpets, clothes and other soft furnishings, these minuscule creatures produce droppings that contain proteins which can cause an allergic reaction.
Many people don’t even realise that they have dust mites in their home. At only about 0.3 millimetres in length, they are rarely visible to the human eye. Unfortunately, every house is infested with them. That is because they live off of human skin scales, so your home is their natural habitat.
There will also be a lot of them in your house, with a typical used mattress containing between 100,000 to 10 million mites.
Tackling a dust mite allergy
It is impossible to completely remove dust mites from your home environment. However, there are some measures you can take to reduce the likelihood of a dust mite allergy.
Follow the steps below to help clear as many mites and mite droppings from your living areas and hopefully you will see a significant reduction in any allergic symptoms that your child is experiencing.
- Wash bedding weekly at 60 degrees centigrade or above to kill the dust mites.
- Invest in allergen-proof barrier covers on mattresses, pillows and duvets and make sure that they have been proven to stop the escape of the house dust mite allergen.
- Replace bedroom carpets with hard flooring. You can even buy flooring that is specifically designed to minimize the buildup of allergens or house dust mites.
- Vacuum all carpeted and hard wood floors with a high filtration vacuum cleaner that can clear away very small particles.
- As house dust mites like humidity levels of 70% to 80%, use a dehumidifier to keep indoor humidity below 51%. This has been shown to significantly reduce mite and allergy levels.
- As stuffed toys also harbour mites, make sure these are washed regularly at 60 degrees centigrade. If that will damage the toy then put it in the freezer in a plastic bag for at least 12 hours and then wash it at the recommended temperature.
- Damp-wipe any hard surfaces that get dusty and vacuum any upholstered surfaces twice a week.
Whilst following the above steps will go a long way towards helping you reduce the likelihood of a dust mite allergy, there are other things you can do to further reduce these irritants.
Just click here to visit the Allergy UK website for more advice on tackling dust mites and details on useful products that can aide your battle with this tiny critter.