If humans or animals live in your house — you have dust mites. No special test is needed to check, it is a fact. Even if you are not sensitive to dust, keep reading.
I found all of this information on the web via Environmental Health and Safety Online and The Allergy Store.
House dust mites are microscopic bugs that primarily live on dead skin cells regularly shed from humans and their pets. Dust mites are harmless to most people. They don't carry diseases, but they can cause allergic reactions in asthmatics and others who are allergic to their feces. Since the average human sloughs off 10 grams of dead skin a week, dust mites have a lot to eat in most homes. Cats and dogs create even more dander for dust mites to eat.
Since fiber-filled surfaces collect the most dust mite food, they have the highest concentrations of dust mites and their waste products. Dust mites are most at homes in mattresses (it doesn’t matter if it is a conventional or some special foam mattress), pillows, box springs, blankets, sheets, upholstered furniture, rugs, carpets, draperies, curtains, sheets, decorative fabric panels and tapestries hung on walls, pet beds, as well as the interiors of automobiles. They like it dark, warm and moist.
Ohio State University reports that a typical used mattress may contain 100,000 to 10 million mites inside. Ten percent of the weight of a two year old pillow can be composed of dead mites and their droppings!
So what can you do to live dust mite free?
I found this nice list we posted back in Feb 2008.
• If possible, remove carpeting.
• If you can't remove carpeting, clean it with a good vacuum.
• Clean the bedroom once a week.
• Clean floors, furniture, tops of doors, window frames and sills, etc., with a damp cloth.
• Wash curtains often at 130 degrees Fahrenheit.
• Keep clothing off the floor and shoes out of the room.
• Air out the room regularly.
• Use a dust-proof or allergen-proof cover on your mattress and box springs and pillows.
• Use only washable materials on the bed.
• Wash sheets, blankets, and other bedclothes frequently at 130 degrees Fahrenheit.
• Keep furniture and surfaces to a minimum.
• If you can, avoid upholstered furniture in the bedroom.
• Use a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate absorption) air filter.
• A dehumidifier can help some people. Make sure to clean it regularly to prevent mold growth.
• People with severe allergies should keep pets out of the bedroom.
• Dust mites thrive in warm, humid spaces. (Good news for winter, bad news for summer.)