Dust Mites and How They Affect You

Dust MitesDust mites are microscopic insects that can travel through the air and are too small to be seen by the naked eye. Mostly living in carpeting, upholstery, and bedding, they contribute to poor indoor air quality and can trigger allergies making you sneeze, get watery eyes, itchy skin, cough, breathing difficulties, and have energy and digestive problems.

Dust mites feed off dead skin cells from humans and animals as well as mold pores, and thrive in evnironments with warmer temperatures and humidity levels above 60% - so they are almost everywhere. Their populations in the home often peak in the summer in humid climates and are lowest in the winter months.

Getting Rid of Dust Mites

Dust MiteSeveral studies have taken place recently examining the effectiveness allergen removal through routine carpet cleaning and quantifying airborne dust mite allergen content above carpeted surfaces. Each of these studies has demonstrated the effectiveness of carpet cleaning in removing dust mite allergen and carpets effectiveness in trapping allergen and preventing its release into the breathing zone.

In a two-year, south Florida school study, examining the effectiveness of routine maintenance in lowering dust mite allergen levels, dust mite allergen levels were reduced by an average of 92% with each routine carpet cleaning. An additional 12 month south Florida school study reinforced these findings. In the two-year carpet cleaning study, allergen levels were tracked throughout the study period with a regular carpet care program in effect. Allergen levels, which were considered quite high at the beginning of the study continued to decline throughout the study period and gradually increased only after regular carpet care had been discontinued.

Professional extraction steam cleaning is recommended, as the heat and cleaning agents help to kill mites and their eggs, interrupting the dust mite reproduction cycle.

SOURCES:
- http://www.aerias.org/desktopmodules/articledetail.aspx?articleid=36
- http://www.carpetbuyershandbook.com/carpet-basics/allergies/dust-mites.php