Are Dust Mites Causing Your Allergies?
Do you know if dust mites are causing your allergies? Many people are unaware that these tiny culprits existence in our homes. Several allergens slowly build up in your home, dust being among the top offenders. What should concern you the most are the dust mites most likely living inside the dust.
What Are Dust Mites?
Dust mites are tiny arachnids (the same family as spiders) that feed on dead human skin. Sounds awful right? However, the good news is that they do not bite humans. Their diet consists of dead skin flakes that accumulate in the dust around your home. They are also mostly found in homes with humid conditions.
An estimated 20 million Americans suffer from allergic reactions to dust mites. When this occurs, you may feel like you’ve suffered from an endless asthma flare-up or have kept a cold or flu.
These invisible critters thrive in high humidity levels, like mold. This makes Southwest Florida the perfect climate for dust mites and mold to live.
Dust Mites and Your Health
It’s surprising to think that something so tiny could cause unwanted allergic reactions! Yet, when dust mites are present, asthma and allergies can flare from the dust or the contents in the mite’s stool. Some reactions to dust mite exposure are wheezing and coughing. Another allergen response is atopic dermatitis which is also known as eczema on the skin. Allergic rhinitis which is also known as hay fever may occur as well. Many people report having itchy or watery eyes, sneezing and other allergy-like symptoms. If you are suffering from any of these issues, you may be living with these tiny culprits!
Where Are They Hiding?
If you happened to have these unwanted guests, it’s good to know where they hide. Dust mites love humid areas. They also decrease in number during winter months or at higher altitudes. However, since Southwest Florida’s humidity lasts year-round, so do dust mites.
Around your home, you will often find dust mites in fabrics and upholstery. Carpeting, bedding, mattresses, box springs, and stuffed animals are their common living quarters. Any upholstery or furniture in your home is at risk of becoming home to dust mites. But, it’s important to note that having dust mites in your home isn’t a reflection of poor housekeeping.
Preventing Dust Mites
In Upholstery and Flooring:
Many homeowners now prefer hardwood floors with accent rugs instead of full-floor carpeting. This came as a solution to those having asthma and allergies from dust mites in their carpets. Upholstery, including furniture and drapery, also attract dust mites. Vacuuming alone will not remove these mites. It’s very costly to remove carpeting from an entire home or all the bedrooms. But, repeatedly washing your upholstery and carpets can become a chore.
If the upkeep is getting you down, consider removing all drapery and only using blinds. Blinds are easier to maintain and keep dust-free. Another option is to remove the carpets from your home and placing your floors with hardwood or tile. Using only small throw rugs that are easily tossed in the washing machine would help as well. You’ll also want to avoid having items in your home that collect dust. Items such as stuffed animals, artificial flowers and books are typical dust collectors.
Look for furniture made from wood, plastic, or leather to keep in the house and bedroom. For the mattress and box spring, try using a vinyl mattress cover to assist with allergens in the fabric.
For the home as a whole, there are several day to day prevention tips that can help control the dust and dust mites:
• Clean, damp-mop, hardwood and tile floors once a day.
• Keep the home aired out and dry, keeping humidity levels between 30%-50% as EPA recommended.
• Wear a mask when dusting or vacuuming. This disrupts dust and causes allergen irritants to worsen in the air until settled.
• Wash your bedding in hot water every 1-2 weeks.
• Vacuuming alone does not affect dust mites. Use a professional carpet cleaning and upholstery cleaning service. Professional cleaning is the only way to kill the dust mites.
How to Treat Dust Mites
Even after taking preventative measures, in humid climates, dust mites are often inevitable. We have your solution! Professional carpet cleaning kills and removes dust mites. In addition, a professional cleaning will remove dirt and any other hidden invaders. iMold offers professional carpet cleaning services and professional upholstery cleaning to our clients. Our services give you cleaner carpets and furniture while removing these tiny creatures! As a bonus, our professional cleaning service will eliminate those unsightly traffic lines.
Our service areas include Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Estero, Bonita Springs, Lehigh Acres. We also serve clients as far south as Naples and Marco Island and as far north as Sarasota! We proudly serve all of Southwest Florida with our professional cleaning services.