If you think our modern, well insulated house is a safe haven from all allergenic alarms, think again. That average six room house accumulates an average of 40 pounds of dust per year. That dust is home to millions of unseen, but troublesome Dust Mites.
The North American and European House Dust Mite is a little known and rarely mentioned group of mites. Wherever humans and their pets live Dust Mites will be present. These Dust Mites will feed on skin dander deposited in beds, furniture, and carpeting. When there are large populations of Mites in a home, skin fragments and Mite fecal material become airborne causing allergic reactions like asthma and rashes. Research has shown that the most prevalent allergen in a home is dust produced from Dust Mites.
Dust Mites are extremely small, .04 millimeters, making identification by sight impossible without the use of a microscope. You can fit as many as 7000 on a fingernail. They are globular in shape, and creamy white in color. Mites have 6 legs as larva and 8 legs as nymphs and adults. The adult female Dust Mite lays about 25 to 50 eggs a day for 30 days. The eggs hatch and develop to adults in about one month.
People shed about 1/5 of an ounce of dander (dead skin) per week. One gram of skin will feed thousands of mites for months. Actually, 80 % of what you see floating in a sunbeam through a window is skin flakes. To Dust Mites this is a Thanksgiving dinner. Dust Mites eat skin flakes both human and animal. Skin flakes have a fungus growing on them which is especially attractive to Dust Mites.
Dust Mites bite you and cause you to itch. They also produce allergens to which some people are very sensitive. The Dust Mite feces contain 15 different proteins, and many people are allergic to the combination of these different proteins.
House Dust Mites inhabit damp places that are occupied by people and pets. The House Dust Mite thrives in high humidity of 70 to 80% and warm temperatures from 68 to 84 degrees. They are found in mattresses, pillows, in stuffed furniture, rugs, draperies, and any crack or crevice.
Dust Mites produce an allergic reaction that causes symptoms similar to asthma. Headaches, respiratory problems, eye irritation, fatigue, and depression are other allergic reaction which can be linked to Dust Mite feces. A 15 year old pillow could have a third of its weight in Dust Mite feces. One ounce of dust can hold as many as 42,000 Dust Mites.
Unfortunately, studies have shown that Dust Mites can never be completely eliminated from an area, but can be suppressed for a short time. Dust Mite populations can be reduced with a little personal effort by washing bedding and other items in hot (130 degree) water weekly, putting your pillows in the dryer on high for 15 to 30 minutes, and doing thorough household cleaning regularly. This may mean that you vacuum your furniture, draperies, and mattresses weekly and spray them with disinfectant. Vacuuming with most conventional air bag vacuum cleaners can work against you in Dust Mite elimination, as they vent dust out the exhaust and into the air again. The use of a water trap vacuum will collect the dust in the water where it stays. Don’t use dusters, mops, or brooms because they all merely rearrange the dust and the Dust Mites. In extreme cases wrap your mattress and pillows in plastic and remove the draperies from the bedroom area. Wash and clean window blinds weekly, professionally clean the carpet regularly or remove it all together, then wash the hard surface floors weekly, and cleaning the heating and air conditioning ducts will give added benefit.
You can help reduce House Dust Mites with a higher rated heating and air conditioning filter. Drain treatment systems are available for your air conditioner to help stop bacteria, molds, and fungus growing from the drain pan. The use of dehumidifiers to keep the humidity less than 50% will kill off most molds and fungus and starve the Dust Mites. Ozone producing machines are available to kill off the fungus on skin flakes and dust to starve out Dust Mites, also.
Collier Pest Control can help you control Dust Mites with our Dust Mite Service specially designed for Southwest Florida. We can thoroughly broadcast spray all of your flooring, furniture, draperies, mattresses, and air conditioning ducts. This treatment will kill all existing Dust Mites in your home and keep them from re-infesting your home for up to 60 days. This specialized treatment for Dust Mites kills the fungus on all treated areas and keeps killing fungus to keep the Dust Mites from re-infesting our home.
Don’t suffer another day with annoying Dust Mites. Call Collier Pest Control today for a free estimate and a complete explanation of any of our services. Don’t let unwanted guests spoil your beautiful Southwest Florida lifestyle. Remember, Florida does not have to be shared with insects.