You can’t know with certainty what’s lurking around you on the microscopic level. Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean that you can’t be affected by microscopic organisms – we’ve all had a nasty cold every once in a while, after all. That’s why this lack of visibility is so frustrating.
You may not be able to see them, but dust mites are crawling all around you. These tiny arachnids are found worldwide, including in your Long Beach home. You can’t stop them completely, although you can learn about their patterns and build a strategy for dealing with them.
So what exactly are dust mites, and what can you do to prevent them? As it turns out, there are a few strategies you can take for dust mite mitigation.
What Are Dust Mites?
Dust mites aren’t bugs or insects but rather a species of arachnid. They’re about 0.2 – 0.3 mm in length. For reference, ants range from 2 – 25 mm, or around 6 ⅔ to even 125 times bigger.
They create allergic reactions in many people. Dust mite allergies are the most common allergy for people with asthma, affecting around 45% of young people with asthma. Specifically, feces, urine, and dead bodies of dust mites are inhaled and cause irritation. Studies have found that they can even trigger asthma in children predisposed to developing it.
Dust Mites live around 65-100 days. However, the females lay approximately 50 eggs before dying, so don’t let those short lifespans fool you. In short, every dust mite has the potential to create 25 more dust mites in its place. They survive and multiply well until you get a Long Beach professional to clean.
Where Do Dust Mites Live?
You may automatically assume that dust mites must live in dust, but this isn’t strictly true. They live on surfaces that contain the right environment for them to thrive. Generally, this means soft fabric furniture.
Your mattress is the biggest host of dust mites. A majority of dust mite exposure occurs while you’re sleeping. Anything soft on beds, like pillows and stuffed animals, tend to be full of dust mites as well. If you have a dust mite allergy, it’s best to reduce these items.
You’ll also find them living on your carpet. Carpets are a popular spot for dust mites to thrive. You can also find them on couches and other fabric upholstery. Which means you could always benefit from a Long Beach upholstery cleaning service.
You often won’t find them on hard surfaces, as they don’t provide optimal conditions for dust mites to survive. Hardwood floors are much safer than carpets, as are tiled floors and walls.
What Attracts Dust Mites?
Like all animals, dust mites need two things – food and water.
The “food” part of that is where dust comes in. Dust is made of skin cells, hair, bacteria, pollen, mold spores, clothing fibers, and many other things. Some of these make great meals for dust mites – particularly skin cells and certain types of mold spores.
Your skin will shed when you sleep, sit on a couch, or walk on a carpet. This shedding creates a consistent food source for dust mites. They start to nest around this food source, creating a self-sustaining dust mite problem.
They also live on pets. If you have a cat or dog wandering around your home, they’re spreading dust mites from room to room.
The second part, “water,” mostly comes from humidity. Mites don’t need to drink water droplets, instead absorbing liquid through their skin. They benefit both from moisture in the air and sweat from your body.
How Do You Get Rid Of Dust Mites?
Eliminating dust mites requires hard work and reorganizing. You’ll never fully eradicate them, but you can help reduce their numbers.
The best measure you can take against dust mites is lowering the humidity. Get a dehumidifier for your Long Beach home and keep your humidity under 50%.
Get a dust-proof cover for your mattress. Hypoallergenic sheets also help a lot.
Be sure to vacuum your mattress monthly and vacuum everything else weekly. Use solid HEPA filters for your vacuum. Wash your pillows and linen covers weekly, preferably with allergen-reducing detergent. Be sure to dust while you’re cleaning.
Steam cleaners produce enough heat to kill dust mites quite effectively, so hire a Long Beach steam cleaner. And for anything you can throw in the laundry, wash on a cycle of 130 degrees Fahrenheit or 60 degrees Celsius to kill the dust mites. Dry at a similar temperature.
Speaking of temperature, keeping your house as low as 68 degrees Fahrenheit or 20 degrees Celsius slows their breeding cycle. And placing things you can’t wash or throw in the laundry in the freezer should also help eliminate these mites.
Many chemical allergen sprays may affect dust mites. Ensure no pets or children consume these sprays or put items in their mouths that have been sprayed.
Unfortunately, getting a Long Beach cleaning appointment and killing mites doesn’t necessarily help indefinitely. In the end, you need to reduce access to comfortable environments. Consider replacing some materials. Foam mattresses and pillows contain fewer dust mites, and latex is better than cotton. Replace your carpeting with hardwood floors or tiles. If you need carpet, get a low-pile carpet. Get smooth furniture when you can. Remove your drapes and curtains.
Where do dust mites live most commonly?
Dust mites live in carpets, drapes, and upholstery, but you’ll mostly find them in your bed. Our Long Beach technicians can clean your mattress for you.
What do dust mites look like on a bed?
You can’t see dust mites on your bed as they’re too small and translucent. You know you have them if you test for them or are experiencing allergic reactions.
What is worse, dust mites or bed bugs?
Bed bugs are much worse than dust mites. Dust mites are a common part of a bed’s ecosystem and are impossible to eliminate fully. Meanwhile, bed bugs are a severe infestation that you must eliminate immediately. A Long Beach steam cleaner could eradicate both of them for you.
Dust mites are inevitable, but that doesn’t mean you have to just deal with them. There are strategies to reduce their numbers and relieve your allergy symptoms or the symptoms of someone in your household.