We all love a nice, clean home. Most of us spend a portion of our time a week to make sure that our homes are tidy, clean and free from dirt and grime.
But as much as we try, we are sharing our living accommodation with tiny, 0.2mm bugs, called House Dust Mites. These little organisms live in our soft furnishings, carpets, curtains and our bed linen. They feed on our dead, discarded skin cells that we shed each day, which of course make up some of the dust that collects in our homes.
Do they bite?
House Dust Mites themselves are not harmful to humans, they can’t bite or sting for example. If you are being bitten, particularly in bed, then you need to consider asking a pest control specialist to investigate as you may have bed bugs, which are biters and tricky to get rid of.
Some people have an allergy to House Dust Mites but, in actual fact even these people are not actually affected by the mites themselves but their waste.
Yes. House Dust Mites can produce up to a whopping 200 times their own body weight in waste and it is this that causes the allergic reaction, similar to that of hay fever.
The good news, however, is that managing them is a relatively simple task.
Get rid of the carpet
It might sound entirely Scandinavian to suggest that you have hard flooring throughout your home, but the less fabric-based elements there are to your décor, the less space there is for the Mites to populate. They love nothing better than a nice thick carpet in a nice warm and humid room, so by taking away their home, you can minimise the risk.
If you’re not a fan of reclaimed wood floors, however, and want to keep the carpets, ensuring that you regularly vacuum with a good quality vacuum cleaner is a good control method. Of course, it goes without saying that you need to be careful as to how you dispose of the bag or collection in the hoover.
Looking after soft furnishings
The mites also live in the soft furnishings around our homes, particularly in our beds, given the amount of time we are in them. To manage this, washing your bed linen and any removeable soft furnishings like rugs, cushions and curtains regularly is a good idea. A good hot wash is recommended, as this will kill off any live mites. For the larger pieces, sofas etc., then wiping them down with a slightly damp cloth will help to remove some of the mites, their waste and the skin cells they feed on.
If you do have an allergic reaction to House Dust Mites, there are many products available which both treat the reaction and manage the effects, such as blotchy skin. For more information on allergies and their management, you can read more here.