Did you know that four in every five American homes have dust mite allergens in at least one bed? These creatures may be minuscule–just 0.2mm/0.0008 inch in diameter–but they can wreak havoc on your health.
Thankfully, they’re too tiny for us to see, so we don’t have to endure the sight of these little critters invading our homes. But like it or not, they’re there, and if someone in your family has allergies, they can make life miserable.
Read on to find out 4 facts about dust mites you never knew and what you can do to keep them at bay.
Fact #1- They Live Off Human Skin
Sorry to start with something gross, but at least take heart from the fact that they only eat dead skin cells. Unseen by us, we’re constantly shedding skin cells, which are a veritable buffet for dust mites. So they tend to hang out where they can guarantee a good supply; think, your mattress, bedding, carpets, clothes, and soft furnishings.
Wait, it gets worse. They not only eat human skin cells, they eat partially digested skin cells. They allow molds to do a little work first before polishing off the remains themselves. They’re not above chowing down on pet dander, so your furry friends could increase dust mite levels in your home.
Fact #2- They Like It Humid
Dust mites cannot live in deserts; they need humidity to thrive. That’s because they can’t drink water. They have to absorb it from the air.
This sounds like a mere curiosity, but we can play it to our advantage. By keeping humidity levels in our homes below 50 percent, we make it harder for dust mites to survive.
Fact #3- They’re Members of the Spider Family
Bet you’re glad you can’t see them now! Dust mites are actually arachnids, which puts them in the same family as lobsters, shrimp, crabs, and spiders. However, unlike their much larger cousins, they have a few anatomical anomalies.
For a start, they have glands on their legs that absorb water instead of drinking. Also, they don’t have teeth or chew their food. But although they can’t bite, exposure to their waste can cause skin irritation, which leads to this common misconception.
Fact #4- You’re Not Really Allergic to Dust Mites
In fact, people are usually allergic to their poop and a protein in their dead bodies. Dust mites poop around 20 times a day, and each dropping contains enzymes that can cause allergic reactions. Here’s the kicker – this means that the allergens can hang around long after the dust mite has died.
How Air Quality Inc. Can Reduce Dust Mites
Most homes have a dust mite problem to some extent. But if you suspect they’re causing allergic reactions in your family members, it’s time to call Air Quality Inc.
Our consultants can conduct a home allergen test, revealing exactly what’s going on inside your home. We’ll provide a detailed report with guidance on improving your air quality and getting dust mites under control.
Schedule an appointment by calling us at (757) 650-0996 or request a quote online today!