Dust Mites: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

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Do you have someone in your life who is curious to know every last detail when you mention something about your personal affairs, especially when you’ve met someone new? One who probes, “Well, who is she? How did you meet her? What is she like? Where does she live? How does she make you feel whenever you’re around her?” and hangs on every word.

While you may not suffer from allergies and asthma and feel like crud around dust mites, you should be mighty curious about them. These microscopic arthropods have some interesting but creepy pastimes that you will want to take note of, especially if you’re concerned at all about your health. If nothing else, you’ll understand the rising concern about indoor air quality these days.

1. Dust mites don’t live only in the dust on the floor.

We are surrounded and greatly outnumbered by dust mites. While they are gross to think about, they are useful in breaking down waste materials for the next leg of their journey. They are a part of the Circle of Life regardless of whether we esteem them.

2. You may be allergic to dust mite body parts and fecal pellets, not dust.

Sorry if this news arrives during mealtime, but plain old dust is made up of many things including the above and also other allergens like chemical pollution, pollen, pet dander, and feather fragments.

3. Food supplies for dust mites are virtually unlimited.

Humans shed a lot of dead skin each day, and dust mites are no match for all of it even though they eat it at the rate we’d love to be able to eat M&Ms each day and get away with it. This is just one reason, aside from protecting your carpet, that regular vacuuming and dusting is highly recommended. Less food, fewer mites.

4. You can manage microscopic dust mites, even if you can’t see them.

Managing health and dust mites arouses a different level of concern in each of us. You can’t beat them, but you can give them a good fight by cleaning your house regularly from top-to-bottom and controlling humidity levels. If the idea of them teeming around your head in your pillow as you sleep bothers you as much as it does us, invest in allergen-control pillow encasings. (As an aside, we urge you never to pick up or purchase a used mattress, which may contain 100,000 to 10 million mites depending on its age and other factors.)

5. Dust mites love hot tub parties, too.

Unless the thought of dead dust mites and their by-products swirling around you sounds like a good time, keep that vinyl hot tub cover clear of mildew, mold, and dust. Dust mites not only love to hang out in the dust, they hydrate themselves by absorbing moisture from the air. The humidity in a hot tub and surrounding area is like a free pass to Monte Carlo, providing the grandest of times for dust mites when their beach, in the form of dust, is present, too. These are party guests you want to broom to the curb.

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