Dust Mites: House Allergen Facts
Okay, get ready to be grossed out, my apologies in advance…
If you have allergies, dust mites may be to blame. Dust mites are microscopic bugs that live on dead skin cells shed from humans and household pets. While they aren't parasites, they can cause allergic reactions in humans who are allergic to a protein in their feces. Skin cells are concentrated in mattresses and frequently used furniture. This is where the dust mites come to eat.
Some fun facts about these critters:
- A typical mattress can have up to 10 million mites inside
- 10% of the weight of a two year old pillow can be composed of dead mites and their droppings.
- A single dust mite produces about 20 waste droppings every day.
- Mites prefer warm, moist surroundings, like the bed you sleep in.
While there is a genetic predisposition to dust mite allergies, it can also develop over time. The director of The National Institute of Environmental Health Services has stated that between 18-30% of Americans are allergic to dust mites' waste products. Additionally, almost half of American homes have allergen levels that are high enough to cause sensitivity in people who were not previously allergic to dust mites.
With all of that said, what can you do to reduce the amount of dust mites in your home?
Cover both your mattress and pillow with protectors that can be zipped close. This will keep the mites out of the mattress and the pillow completely.
Use steam to clean items that cannot be washed, such as drapery and carpets. The steam will sanitize the surface and kill the mites. Our linen products made from Tencel+Plus Lyocell, fiber from eucalyptus, will also help to eliminate the dust mites on your sheets. The eucalyptus fibers not only kill dust mites that are present, but repel new ones from invading your sleep environment.
I hope I didn't cause anyone to lose their appetite.