Unseen Danger – the House Dust Mite

child with ventilator

The causes and effects of allergies have long been known and can be a serious health threat. Still allergies seem to be on the increase. They are an unwanted response of the immune system resulting in inflammation of the eyes and nose (rhinitis), lungs (asthma) and skin (eczema). It is estimated that allergies affect some 40% of the population at some time and the percentage is on the increase.

One controllable culprit in the battle with allergens is the house dust mite, a microscopic insect which is found in our indoor environment. The bedroom is particularly vulnerable for allergy sufferers as we spend one third of our life in bed and a good deal of other time dressing and preparing for the day.

We shed skin scales (which is food to the dust mite) into our sleeping environment collected by the linens, pillows, mattress and carpet. All these areas are ideal breeding grounds for the dust mite.

unseen danger the house dust mite


> It is the house dust mite waste, and not the mites themselves, that triggers asthmatic and allergic attacks. Research has revealed this trigger is a microscopic protein in the mite excrement called Der p1.

> Mites live on carpets, pillows, upholstered furniture, blankets, mattresses, in the air handling system, etc.

> The average dust mite is 0.5 mm in length, not visible to the naked eye. Over 7,000 can fit on a fingernail.

> A dust mite molts several times during its life producing 200 times its weight in waste and will lay 300 eggs. Each mite produces 40 to 100 feces pellets per day. The mites’ droppings are coated in an enzymatic slimy substance, which after drying become mixed with other particles forming household dust.

> To help deactivate the allergen found in dust mite droppings, clean all household textiles on a regular basis.  Wash household linens in hot water and air dried if possible.

> To rid all your carpets, area rugs and upholstery of dust mites, call Reliable Carpet & Upholstery Care for a thorough and professional cleaning.