Seems there are still misconceptions and myths concerning dust mites. Dust mites do not bite humans, they are not the same critters as bed bugs or itch mites (scabies), the colonies are controllable, and the adverse health effects of dust mite allergens (DMA’s) can be addressed.
Household dust is not necessarily full of (live) dust mites, however, 80% to 90% of the ALLERGENIC composition of household dust, is from dust mite feces, dust mite molts (they go through 6 stages of life and molt each time), exoskeletons, dead dust mites pieces, egg sacs, and other dust mite excretions.
Skin contact for those who are allergic to dust mite allergens (DMA's) routinely results in a bad case of eczema. Inhalation of DMA's routinely results in a multitude of varying symptoms and adverse ill-health effects.
While dust mites are light-weight enough to become airborne, their body weight will keep them from remaining airborne longer that 10 or 15 minutes. Not so for the DMA's, which can easily become airborne by simply fluffing a pillow, rolling over in bed, opening a door, or even walking through a carpeted house, and remain airborne for 2 hours while circulating throughout the entire home. The DMA's finally settle on everything and anything, including your bed linens and dust mite proof mattress and pillows encasings.
Washing bed linens and clothing in hot soapy water does not work well. Most hot water heaters, sold for home use, have factory-set temperatures well below the required temperature to kill dust mites (130 degrees is good, 140 degrees is best). Additionally, the allergic protein in dust mite feces and excretions are not water soluble. Commercial Laundromats will often have water temperatures hot enough to kill dust mites.
Major corporations are taking advantage of the public's awakening to the health problems caused by dust mites. Unfortunately, a person's hard earned money spent on these products is completely wasted on poor solutions. The aggressive “hawking" of these products are akin to Big Business selling you a “magic box" that will turn lead into gold.
The three (3) most cost-effective means of addressing the problem of DMA's and other indoor pollutants are;
- education (knowledge),
- source control, and
- increased ventilation
Increasing ventilation also helps and is certainly cost-effective. . . just be knowledgeable of the outdoor allergens in your area and what time of day those outdoor allergens (pollen for example) are most prevalent.
Energy conservation practices initiated in the late 1970’s have resulted in decreased natural ventilation throughout all structures built since 1980. This has led to an accumulation of indoor pollutants, year after year, and is the cause of increasing cases of asthma, asthma deaths, and other respiratory and skin diseases to near epidemic proportions. U. S. government agencies (EPA) and national health institutes have only just recognized the problem. Hence, the EPA has declared indoor air pollution their new #1 public enemy. (See the EPA’s new website: http://www.noattacks.org )
Mattress covers, air purifiers, air filters (actually the most efficient of these examples), vacuum cleaners, dust magnets, aerosol furniture polishers, all. . . are only passive products that do not attack the primary source of indoor allergens. . . dust mites living, thriving, and breeding, in your mattress, pillows, upholstered furniture, and cushions, and to a lesser degree, in your carpet, drapery, tapestries, or fabric lamp shades.
Be aware, that if you are “itching" the cause could be “itch mites" or scabies. . . altogether different than dust mites. Itch mites burrow into your skin and can cause a serious itching problem not to mention, they are easily passed on (contagious) to other persons.
Tom Hefter, Founder/Owner, SterilMattress http://www.sterilmattress.com
Due to past personal family experiences, the business enterprise “SterilMattress" was formed to assist the millions of American's who suffer adverse health effects due to poor indoor air quality. Working in partnerships with health organizations, SterilMattress is compelled to help educate the U. S. public concerning this increasingly problematic issue. Additionally, SterilMattress offers the necessary specialized equipment available, at the lowest possible cost, and the technical advice needed, to assist entrepreneurs with establishing their own successful and environmentally “green" Home Indoor Allergen Control business.