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About Dust Mites

What are Dust Mites?

Closely related to spiders and ticks, dust mites measure about 1/100th of an inch and invisible to the naked eye. Most often found in bedding, couches, carpet, stuffed toys and old clothing, dust mites live on skin flakes from humans and pets and whatever other organic material they can find.

While unpleasant to consider, dust mites are mostly harmless, except for the allergic reactions their cast skins and feces, a major part of household dust, can cause to those sensitive to such material.

How do Dust Mites Affect People?

For those people, the inhalation of dust with dust mite droppings – one of the most allergenic indoor material – can trigger bronchial asthma. The symptoms associated with this condition include sneezing, itching, watery eyes, and wheezing. Some have also reacted to this allergen with a red rash around the neck, along with headaches, fatigue and depression. In can also aggravate eczema, hay fever.

Dust mite presence is suspected when somebody in the household experiences any of the above symptoms. This can be confirmed by collecting samples from mattresses, couches or carpets and looking at a sample under a microscope and comparing what is seen with a magnified image of a dust mite like the one on the AllergyBeGone website. If a microscope is not available, diagnostic test kits can also be purchased. Simply collect dust samples and mix a portion of the sample with reagents packed with the test. A dipstick is placed into the mixture and the color change is compared to a chart packed with the test to determine whether or not dust mites have moved into your home. A variety of sprays can be used to eliminate them and measures taken to protect your possessions from infestation.

Page last modified: 10/24/14
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