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by Wendy Stackhouse · October 20, 2014

Dust Mites 101

Dust Mites

We try not to think about them. But they are everywhere. In the couch, in the mattress, in the pillows, in the carpet. Dust Mites. Here are the basics.

House dust mites are a worldwide phenomenon. Where there are people, there are dust mites. They live on shed human skin cells and thrive in the temperature and humidity in our homes, but they live in all climates. They have ample food, water and perfect living conditions in our residences.

There are three species of house dust mites: European, American and Euroglyphus maynei.

I Have Never Seen Dust Mites. Why?

Dust mites measure only up to 3/10 millimeter and have to be seen under 10x magnification to be identified. They are there, I promise.

Dust Mites Are Everywhere

Like mold spores, dust mites are an inevitable part of human habitations. There are approximately 100-500 dust mites per gram of house dust. They are especially at home in pillows, where they get moisture from sweat.

The Lifecycle of Dust Mites

Male dust mites typically live between 10 and 19 days. Females live much longer: up to 70 days, producing 60 to 100 eggs toward the end of that time. During her life, she will produce over 2000 particles of fecal matter and even more dust particles covered in enzymes.

Dust Mites Cause Asthma and Allergy Attacks

The fecal matter, enzyme-coated dust particles and discarded exoskeletons of dust mites are major asthma and allergy triggers. In fact, scientists have found at least 15 different allergens produced by house dust mites. Are you allergic to one or all of them?

Getting Rid of Dust Mites

You can't get rid of dust mites entirely, but you can get a clean start and then prevent them from getting worse. Heat will kill all dust mites, male and female, eggs and adults, in one treatment, without using the chemical pesticides that can do more harm than good to your health. Once all current dust mites are dead, a HEPA filter vacuum will help to keep them from spreading and taking over again and HEPA air filters in your home's ventilation system will clean them out of your indoor environment throughout the day and night.

A hot dryer will kill dust mites on bedding and washable pillows.

Replace carpets with hardwood flooring. Carpeting is very hard to keep free of dust mites and vacuuming can spread them around, even with a HEPA filter.

If you are suffering because of dust mites, let Alliance Environmental Group's Team Heat give you a clean start to a happier and healthier environment!

Download a free copy of our Asbestos, Lead Paint & Mold eBook to learn how to mitigate the liability risks associated with common environmental threats found in residential properties.

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