How to Control Dust Mite Allergy

At least 12 million Britons now suffer from allergies caused by dust mites according to the charity Allergy UK. They carried out a small survey among 1,600 allergy sufferers. According to that, the most popular allergies are house dust mites at 57.6%, followed by pets (45.2%), cleaning products (31.2%) and mould (30.9%).
· 58.9% of indoor allergy sufferers found their symptoms were worse in the bedroom.
· The average bed harbours 2 million dust mites and the average pillow doubles in weight over a period of six months due to dust mites faeces
· 16% of allergy sufferers said they wash bed linen every three weeks or less often, and 58% of those surveyed said they are washing at 30 or 40 degrees.
· 13% of allergy sufferers have had their current mattress for 11 years or more, and 3% kept theirs for 20 years or longer.
Mites are found in bedding, carpets, soft furnishings and clothing. Each mite produces about 20 of these waste droppings every day and the droppings continue to cause allergic symptoms even after the mite has died.
Controlling house dust mite allergens
1. Clean Regularly.
2. Wash Bedding Regularly. Putting your bed sheets through a 140°F (60°C) wash is usually enough to kill them and remove their fecal matter and skin particles.
3. Use an Anti-Allergy Mattress and Mattress Cover. Estimates as to how many dust mites actually live in an average mattress vary wildly from 10,000 to over a million.
4. Don't Make Your Bed in the Morning. This gives the moisture excreted from our bodies time to dry.
5. Get Rid of Feather Pillows and Duvets. Try using hypoallergenic synthetic pillows and duvets instead. They provide a less cosy environment for them and you can blast them through the wash at 140°F (60°C) which is the magic temperature for killing the mites.
6. Replace Carpets with Hard Flooring. Like beds and soft furnishings, carpets are a paradise for these microorganisms. Carpets trap dead skin and pet dander which the mites feed on.
7. Control Temperature and Humidity. Dust mites love living in an environment where the temperature is between 75°F and 80°F (24°C and 27°C) and the relative humidity is around 70% to 80%. Anything outside this range won't necessarily kill them but will push them outside their comfort zone and slow down their breeding. Set the temperature inside your house to no higher than 70°F (21°C). Anything lower than 70% relative humidity reduces their reproductive rate. Try to keep relative humidity in your bedroom and home to less than 50%.
8. Keep Pets Out of the Bedroom. Dust mites love pet dander. Make pets sleep outside or in the garage if possible and limit their indoor freedom to one or two rooms. Make an extra effort to keep pets out of the bedroom.
9. Get Rid of Curtains, Cushions and Soft Furnishings. Curtains and soft furnishings are a dust mites paradise. Fabric traps the dust and moisture which they feed on and shields them from potential threats. Replace curtains with easy-to-clean blinds.
10. Use a Steam Cleaner. Steam cleaners are a great way to clean items and objects that aren't suitable for a washing machine. You can use them on carpets, curtains, cushions, kitchen/bathroom surfaces and a thousand other places. The steam kills bacteria, dissolves dirt and yes, kills dust mites.
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