House dust mites – where do they come from, how do you get rid of them?

Thousands of house dust mites live in one gram of house dust, feeding on dander and mold. The arachnids are not a sign of poor hygiene, they are found in every household and are difficult to fight. However, there are a few methods to counter the allergy-causing small animals. House dust mites love it moist and warm. If the room is heated frequently, the animals multiply explosively – this can become a real burden for allergy sufferers and asthmatics.

Where are house dust mites located?

The tiny little arachnids live mainly in the dust of the house. The favorite territory of the mites is the bedroom and especially the bed. Because in the microclimate between the pillow, mattress and blanket, mites find what they feed on: keratin. The substance is part of our hair and dander. Both of these not only fall off of us every night, but also accumulate where we spend the night. Pollen, bacteria or fibers from textiles, primarily clothing, are also on the menu for mites. The little animals also nest in upholstered furniture or cuddly toys.

How does a mite allergy manifest itself?

The symptoms are very similar to those of hay fever: the nose itches, the eyes water. Many people who suffer from a dust mite allergy also find it difficult to breathe at night. Doctors call this “allergic rhinitis”. Ultimately, over time, the allergic reaction can trigger asthma.

Do the mites trigger allergic reactions?

Not quite. It is not the animals themselves that trigger allergies, but their excretion products. And the amount of feces is enormous. Researchers found that one gram of dust can contain up to 250,000 crumbs of mite feces . It sounds scary, but there is no reason to panic. Because in itself the droppings of the tiny animals are not harmful to humans. However, the immune system of allergy sufferers recognizes mite excrement as a foreign substance. As a result, the described defense reactions occur.

3 tips against house dust mites

It is difficult to get rid of the uninvited roommates completely. To reduce the population of house dust mites, you should make them uncomfortable. For example, by regularly airing and dusting.

1. Forced airing

The experts say that low room temperatures and low humidity slow down the reproduction of mites. This is where periodic airing can help. Even in winter, the temperature in the bedroom should be below 20 degrees. You should also not overheat the entire apartment.

2. Wipe dust

Regular cleaning is also important, even in hard-to-reach places such as under the bed. In addition, the filters of the vacuum cleaner should be checked regularly so that allergens are not unnecessarily swirled into the air.

3. Clean bedding and upholstery

The bed linen should be washed more frequently at 60 degrees. There are also mattress covers on the market especially for allergy sufferers, the so-called encasings . The material consists of particularly dense microfibers. The protective covers should be cleaned at longer intervals, often a period of six months is sufficient. However, when changing bedding and sheets, the cover should be wiped clean. In order to kill the little animals, the mattress should also be cleaned regularly. If you own upholstered furniture, you should vacuum it regularly, because these are real dust collectors.

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