Dust Mites

Were you aware that dust mites can cause allergies in humans that are identical to mold-related allergies? At least 10% of the human population and approximately 80% of allergy sufferers are allergic to proteins that are found in the waste and decomposed body parts of dust mites. During its 80-day lifespan, the average dust mite produces about 1,000 allergen waste particles. These particles can be found in your pillows, furniture, upholstery in alarming amounts!

Dust mites were first discovered in house dust in 1964. Dust mites belong to the Family Arachnids similar to spiders and ticks and therefore they have 8 legs. Much smaller than a grain of sand, dust mites are too tiny to be seen with the human eye. Dust mites live mainly off dead human skin flakes (dander) found in household dust. They live in carpet, upholstered furniture, pillows, mattresses and stuffed animals. Dust mites can only survive in environments that are warm and humid (at or above 50% relative humidity and 77 – 86 °F). The humidity allows the dust mites to absorb water into their bodies for survival through glands on their front legs. Dust mite population is at its greatest during the hot humid months of July & August.

Your bed is the perfect environment for dust mites. They love to burrow into fabric and feast on your dead skin cells. Humans shed one to three pounds of skin a year, plenty of food for millions of dust mites. If bedding, pillows, furniture, stuffed animals are possessed for a long period of time, the dust mite population may increase in these goods. Depending on its age, your mattress may house between one million and ten million dust mites. The weight of the average mattress doubles after ten years due to dust mite infestation, and the weight of the average pillow increases 10% after just one year!

Health Effects

Dust mite allergen is the number one cause of perennial allergic rhinitis. Humans may be allergic to the enzymes used to create dust mite waste particles. If you often wake up with congestion, a runny nose, watery eyes, itching, or sneezing, then you are probably allergic to dust mites. The waste produced by mites contains a variety of allergens that can trigger sneezing, wheezing, inflamed skin, runny nose, red eyes, and itchiness. If your immune system is sensitive to these allergens, it “misreads” them as disease-causing germs and starts producing antibodies to fight them off. If you suffer from asthma, the health effects may be much worse.

Dust Mite Testing

In addition to mold spores and nuisance dust, you may want to have Rarefied Air Environmental also test for these unwanted house guests. San Diego County has the type of tropical weather that allows for dust mites to thrive in. We can collect vacuum samples of your pillows, mattresses, couches, etc. to determine the level of dust mites present. If detected in elevated levels, we can then develop a plan for you to rid of these allergy-causing pests! Let the professionals help. You don’t have to suffer with these allergy problems anymore! Call us today!