Common questions about the house dust mite
Below are some frequently asked questions. As you can imaging we receive hundreds of questions about the house dust mite and while we are happy to help where possible, you should find most answers in this site for both home and academic purposes.
How can I get rid of house dust mites?
There are five different ways to kill house dust mites. You can freeze them, boil them, poison them, dry them up like a raisins, or put them in a hot tumble dryer for 10 minutes, but the best way is to prevent them from finding a hiding place. Uncluttered rooms and micro-porous covers help. For details look further into our site.
Can you see the house dust mite?
No, they are so small (0.3mm) that you need a magnifying glass to see them. If you do see mites without any magnification, they could be a different kind of mite!
What is the best way to be sure that house dust mites will not come into my bed?
First is to understand how the mite lives and then take measures to make sure a mite is not welcomed in your bed. Cover your mattress, pillows and duvets with micro-porous material. Remove carpets and clutter. Do not make your bed in the morning, simply air it all day long to reduce moisture from sleep.
How old is an old mattress?
Over 2 years old. However if the mattress has not been in humid conditions it may not be a home for house dust mites. A simple dust test will give you an answer.
If I put micro-porous covers on a pillow, does it have to be new?
It is best to have new pillows for new micro-porous covers. Or have expensive pillows dry cleaned before covering.
Why isn't just vacuuming my mattress good enough to get rid of house dust mites?
House dust mites hide away from the light and burrow into the mattress clinging on with powerful hooks and suckers on each legs. However, vacuuming the mattress will reduce some of the dust that mites live on.
Can mites live on top of covers?
Yes, if left undisturbed with moisture and plenty of food mites will multiply on the top of a micro porous cover. It is important to dust the covers regularly to prevent this from happening.
Do I have to treat all of the beds in my home?
Doctors recommend that all beds be made anti-mite beds.
Do I have to cover all the bed and bedding? It's very expensive!
If cost is an issue or more than one bed in a home needs anti-mite treatment consider replacing old bedding by shopping around on line looking for a quality mattress
at reasonable prices. Clinically proven anti-mite sprays are available to help keep new mattresses mite free.
How do house dust mites get into my bed in the first place?
Mites are able to travel about by clinging to material, fur, feathers or anything that will give them a place to hide and a ride to a new home. Socks, soft toys or night clothes can transport mites to a bed.
What diseases can dust mites cause?
House dust mites are known to cause rhinitis (hay fever), sinusitis, asthma, conjunctivitis, eczema, urticaria, dermatitis, anaphylaxis, hypersensitive pneumonia, angioedema, extrinsic allergic alveolitis, allergic and migraine headache, and certain gut disorders in which IgE is involved. Allergy testing is always recommended to confirm a clinical diagnosis of health problems caused by mite exposure.
What is skin prick testing?
A skin prick test is a safe method of introducing a small amount of allergen into the body in order to measure the strength of any allergic reaction. Timing for reactions can start 5 minutes after the test and peak about 30 minutes later. Any red mark or 'wheal' is then measured and recorded as an allergy trigger if the patient has accompanying allergy symptoms. It is important to have this diagnostic tool administered by a doctor or allergy nurse.
Why are house dust mites so harmful?
House dust mites produce powerful enzymes that are strong enough to break down delicate cells, then go on to enter the body, a bit like an invasion. For some people this invasion causes a reaction, for others it’s just unwanted dirt that gets cleaned up. Interestingly, doctors have found that some aggressive pollen seems to work in the same destructive way, but these are seasonal pollens, whereas house dust mites can be year-round pests in allergy.
By taking steps to cover the mattress, pillow and duvet how soon will I notice a difference in my child?s health?
This will depend upon your allergies. What you are doing is practicing good sleep hygiene, or sleeping in a safe environment - a recommended step forward to healthy living.
How can I tell if there are mites in my bed?
There is a dust sampling kit that can be purchased for this job.
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