By Carolyn Gorman
YOU HAVEN'T ACTUALLY SEEN HIM (HE'S MICROSCOPIC) BUT YOU PROBABLY
HAVE FELT THE EFFECT OF DUST MITES IN YOUR HOME OR WORKPLACE.
Where Are Dust Mites?
Dust mites are microscopic members of the Arachnid family and are second
cousins to ticks and chiggers. The most common dust mites in the home and
office of North American are D. farinae and D. pteronyssinus.
Where Do Dust Mites Live?
Dust mites live in our homes and offices. They are found primarily in
our carpets, draperies, bedding, mattresses, pillows, upholstered furniture,
books, and in dust.
What Do Dust Mites Eat?
Dust mites eat microscopic fungi and are especially fond of human and
animal skin scales which they find in abundance in our upholstery, carpet
What Do Dust Mites Like?
Dust mites thrive in an environment that includes high humidity and
What Is The Dust Mite's Secret Weapon?
Dust mites' secret weapon is their abundant population and alarming
reproductive rate. Although they live only three weeks, during that time
each produces 25-50 babies and each mite releases 10-20 fecal particles
What Do Dust Mites Do To You?
Dust mites and their waste particles can produce severe allergic reactions
in individuals. Symptoms can include runny noses, itchy eyes, wheezing,
HOW CAN WE CONTROL DUST MITES?
Filtration & Purification Controls
Create a healthy inside environment for yourself and an unhealthy environment for dust mites by using:
HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Arresting) filtration
Electrostatic air filters
Portable air purifiers
Temperature & Humidity Control
Dust mites can best be controlled if the humidity in your office or
home is kept below 50 percent with a temperature around 70 to 75 degrees.
They can be killed if the humidity is below 35 percent. Dust mites can
be destroyed in bedding by heating to a temperature exceeding 140 degrees
for 20 minutes.
Wear a Mask
A filtration mask made with cotton or silk material can help reduce
exposure when vacuuming, dusting and cleaning. If tolerated, a 3-M high
efficiency mask will remove 99.97% of the particulate matter down to .3
A regularly cleaned vacuum with a water and/or HEPA filtration system removes dust mites and particulate from floor, air and furnishings. Several good systems are available including:
An Organized Plan of Attack
The bedroom is one area of the home where dust mites proliferate. As many as 500 can be found in 1 gram of dust. The following will help destroy the mites' happy home:
Allergy skin testing (scratch or intradermal) or blood (RAST) testing
can aid in the diagnostic of dust and dust mite allergies.
Several medications are now available to the allergic patient. These include:
Nasalcrom ~ Sodium Chromolyn
Seldane ~ Hismanal
Sudafed ~ Vitamins
Immunotherapy provides the most effective, long-term relief for the
WE CAN WIN & DEFEAT THIS MIGHTY OPPONENT WITH ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROLS
& ALLERGY TREATMENT
Where Does All The Dust Come From?
Feathers & Bedding
Molds, Fungus, etc. on Firewood
Mold on Food
Minerals & Soil
Paint & Varnish Flakes
Brooms & Mops
Clothing & Textiles
Sawdust & Wood Shavings