House dust includes all kinds of undesirable components.Â The most unsavoury of these is the house dust mite.Â These bugs can only be seen by using a microscope, thankfully otherwise we might notice that the whole place is heaving with the creatures!Â They feed on us and our pets.Â Then their excreta and crushed remains are small enough to float in the air at the slightest movement.Â These remains then get into our lungs.Â Luckily for most of us this causes no harm as they do not spread disease.Â For some unfortunate people, however, they cause dermatitis and rhinitis leading on to asthma attacks.
The numbers of the house dust mites vary according to temperature, humidity and altitude.Â Having said this they seem to be able to exist in most places alongside humans and animals.Â They love centrally heated, air conditioned homes.
The largest number in any home are in the bedrooms as they love the warmth of sleeping bodies and bedding where there is plenty of food for them.Â Human skin scales rub off during the night into the bedding leaving a plentiful food supply.Â A six year old pillow was taken for examination as was shown to have one tenth of its weight made up from dust mites, excreta and the decomposing bodies of the little pests.Â So it stands to reason that any bedding and other soft materials will also contain like amounts.
Let's get something straight here.Â The presence of house dust mites does not show a lack of cleanliness and hygiene.Â They are just a fact of life that we have to learn to cope with.Â If you or someone in your family is affected by allergens then you might like to take greater care in how you dust and clean your home.
Obviously, one way is to get rid of as much soft furnishing and upholstery as is sensible.Â You are going to need beds and bedding so get some allergen proof covers for pillows mattresses, box springs and duvetsÂ Then always launder your bedding on a hot wash - at least 60oC.Â Cool water will wash away dust but the hot water will kill the mites.