Dust mites are tiny, microscopic bugs, that are commonly found in human habitats, such as your house, couch, bed or carpet. They are able thrive in our living environment, because they live off of our dead skin cells, and the dander from our pets.
Unfortunately, even if you do your best to keep your house clean, we are still vulnerable to dust mites. Cleaning alone will not counteract the problem due to the fact that the average human gives off 5-10 grams of dead skin cells each week and about 3lbs per year.
In this sense, despite the most regimented of cleaning schedules, the dust mites in your home will have plenty to sustain them. Furthermore, the average house dust mite reproduces at an astonishingly rapid rate. The effects of this plethora of dust mites in our homes can have a significant role in causing health problems.
Dust mites excrete an average of 20 droppings of waste each day. Many people are highly allergic to these droppings, and scientists are beginning to correlate dust mites to asthma, as well as other allergic symptoms.
How Am I Exposed to Dust Mites?
Remember, dust mites thrive off of dead skin. Dust mites live in our sheets, clothing, stuffed animals, carpet, upholstery, towels and furniture. While your dryer will most likely kill the dust mites (from clothing, sheets and towels), many things like furniture and carpet are more difficult to control for mites and their excrement.
Their droppings are composed of protein compounds. When we breathe in these protein substances, or when they come into contact with our skin, our body tries to protect us by producing antibodies. In turn, our antibodies release histamine which is a chemical that causes the typical swelling and red color associated with allergies.
Dust Mites: Symptoms of Exposure
Dust mites can pose a serious threat to our health as an allergen, and have been proven to trigger asthma, especially in children and the elderly. Clinical trials conducted by Cytos Biotechnology, showed a direct correlation between dust mites in your home and triggered allergies.
Symptoms of dust-mite triggered allergies include itchiness, infected/inflamed eczema, watering eyes, runny nose, clogged lungs, hay fever, watery eyes, coughing, sneezing, and even breathing problems.
Very sensitive people even report getting red, itchy bumps on their skin after lying on a dust-mite infested rug or bed. It’s easy to see why eliminating dust mites from your home could seriously improve your overall health.
Shocking Facts About Dust Mites
- The average bed is home to anywhere from 100,000 to 10 million dust mites.
- Pets with large amounts of fur can greatly increase the number of dust mites in your home.
- We inhale their droppings from our pillows as we sleep, lay on carpet, or breathe in airborne dust particles.
- Common household dust is often heavily composed of, and contaminated with the fecal pellets and cast skins of dust mites.
- Estimates state that 80% of the material you can see floating in a sunbeam is actually human skin flakes (dust-mite food!)
- Studies show that an estimated 50-80% of asthmatics are affected by dust mites. Other allergic reactions to dust mites may even include headaches, fatigue and depression.
- Dust mites are considered arachnids, which is the same class that includes spiders, ticks, and even scorpions!