Allergy to house dust is provoked by tiny organisms, known as mites, that cause unpleasant symptoms – stuffy nose, frequent sneezing, runny nose, cough, itchy nose and eyes. In worst cases they can even cause asthma attacks.
Mites belong to a diverse group of arachnids. They are distant relatives of spiders and scorpions. They can be found in every corner of the house, ie you are literally surrounded by them at any moment.
All these considerations should not scare you. Nature is arranged so that the person is exposed to direct contact with a huge amount of microorganisms. Mites are a small part of this set. They are not necessarily harmful to the health; actually most of them are harmless, and are not visible to the naked eye.
Mites that inhabit the homes and provoke allergies and respiratory problems are called domestic mites. To fight them, you must first know them better.
Where can we find mites?
Mites are invisible organisms (about 0.3 mm. in size), which feed on dead skin cells. They leave behind a small sewage waste that is responsible for allergies to dust mites. Each mite can produce about 20 exhaust particles per day, and for his whole life, which lasts 10 weeks, about 2 000. It is estimated that in an average bed mattress thrive thousands or even millions of mites. Imagine about how much exhaust particles we are talking about?
Male mites live about 10 days, but females have a lifespan of 70 days and in that time they can lay 60 to 100 eggs. Seen from this angle, the number of mites in the home is growing exponentially.
Mites avoid light and therefore often hide in the fibers of the fabric. Their favorite places are mattresses, carpets and toys. In addition we will mention their favorite breeding sites – these are areas where temperatures and humidity are higher, such as attics and basements.
Dust allergies and their consequences on the health
It is estimated that domestic mites are responsible for 50% of allergic symptoms. If inhaled, it leads to respiratory problems such as rhinitis – a disorder that affects the nasal mucosa and provokes sneezing, itching, nasal secretion and even loss of smell. And the risk of developing asthma is not small.
Mites also provoke allergic conjunctivitis – inflammation of the eye that is accompanied by itching, redness, tearing and feeling that “you have something in the eye.”
Long-term contact of mites with the skin leads to irritation. This condition is known as atopic dermatitis and is characterized by itching and inflammation.
Home remedies with lasting effects
To avoid all ailments associated with allergy to dust mites you should avoid contact with mites. Keep your home clean. No need to call the cleaning company – you can achieve this by using the proven tools that are prepared at home. Nature has given the mankind powerful weapons to combat mites!
Spray against mites
In home conditions you can prepare insecticide that eliminates harmful organisms in the household fabrics and in the corners of the rooms. Such products are sold in stores.
To prepare a spray against mites, you will need:
• Spray Bottle
• ½ cup of rubbing alcohol
• ½ cup distilled water
• 30 drops of essential oil (lemon, eucalyptus, lavender, cypress, cinnamon, etc.).
Mix all ingredients in a bottle. You are ready to fight off mites in your home! Spray wherever you think they thrive undisturbed – the bed sheets, pillow covers, curtains, etc. Not a good idea to use this spray if you have children under the age of 3 or if you are pregnant. If this is the case, you need to take a different approach. Again spray the stuff you think it might contain mites, but before you make contact with them, make sure that the mixture has evaporated.
Just one spraying of this mixture will significantly reduce the population of mites in the next two months. To keep your home clean from microorganisms you have to spray regularly – every 2-3 months.
Another way to eliminate unpleasant mites is to spray every day your home with essential oils – lavender, mint, peppermint or pine. Thus contribute to the pleasant scent of the rooms.
You can use a mixture of anise, cloves, fennel, thyme and lavender to kill maximum number of mites in the bed and carpet. This combination also acts like an air freshener.
When using essential oils, it is desirable to take into consideration the fact that they contain very potent substances which can cause negative effects in some people. Use them sparingly and make sure that no member of the family is allergic to them.
Eliminate the risk of mites
When it comes to mites, hygiene at home is the key. Keep the rooms clean and you will avoid the emergence of new mites. For this purpose an excellent idea is to introduce some changes in the way you clean the house and create conditions that are favorable to reproduction and survival of mites. Here are some tips:
- Keep the humidity low, less than 50%. Use devices for drying the air in the bedroom, which will significantly reduce the risk of dust mite allergy. In addition, you can obtain a hygrometer, which shows the level of humidity in the home.
- Keep the rooms well ventilated. Open the windows and turn on the fan to eliminate the accumulation of dust particles and mites. Ventilate your home every day for at least 15 minutes.
- Use sunlight to fight off mites. Room in which sunshine enters is the opposite of the ideal place for mites.
- Wash the sheets and curtains with hot water. This will eliminate mites that live in them.
- Keep your mattress clean. This is a key condition for tackling the risk of developing respiratory problems. The bedroom is where people spend a considerable part of their time – about eight hours a day. Make sure the bed is clean and regularly spray it with the homemade spray – it will remove dust particles. Apply this method regularly and avoid unhealthy buildup of mites in the mattress.
- During summer it is good if you can take the time and expose all the fabrics from the closet to sunlight. Mites cannot survive at high temperatures, nor low, i.e. in winter.
- You can also remove the carpets from your home, and other materials which are an excellent living environment for mites. Carpets are a favorite living place to those microorganisms – especially if under the carpet the flooring is cement. The latter favors the survival of mites, as retains moisture and provides excellent living environment. If possible, replace the carpet with tiles, wood flooring or other hard surface. Pick furniture that you easily clean it.
We hope that the mission “removing mites from the home” now seems like an easy task. As long as you’re persistent, you have no reason to doubt it. Take care regularly for the most important areas in the home: mattress, sheets and carpets in particular, because these are the most favorite places of mites. Pay special attention to the cleanliness of the house in spring and autumn. Why? Since these are the seasons in which microorganisms feel most comfortable and their population is most active.