Invisible to human eye, mites are always present around us. They are everywhere in the house: in carpets, curtains, clothing, and most of all, in mattresses. These microscopic creatures can become a real problem for those suffering from allergies. They can cause some serious respiratory conditions.
But what exactly are mites? Where do they exist? How do they reproduce? How can we reduce their presence? To know everything about mites, please read the following…
Knowing more about mites…
They are present and around us all year long. It is however in the fall that we see a larger quantity of mites. During this time of year, they are especially active. They love our heating system. It provides a perfect breeding ground for them. These little creatures, merely 20 micrometre in size, are not insects as many of us would believe. Mites belong to the Arachnids family, just like ticks, scorpions and spiders. They have 8 legs, fur and claws on the back segment of their body. Human or animal squams (dead skin) hair and nails are their main source of nutrition.
Mites are found everywhere in the house, sofas, beds and curtain…these little creatures establish their nest in fabrics, carpets, rugs. Their favourite place to breed is in the mattress. It is a warm and quiet place where they can reproduce easily. Their life span does not go over 3 months. They however can reproduce rapidly. A female can lay up to 900 eggs during her lifetime. This insures a constant proliferation.
If this doesn’t give you the chills: A mattress can count up to 2 million mites!
Are they responsible for allergies?
Mites are responsible for many allergic reactions. If you sneeze a lot, have a blocked or running nose, if you have a tickling throat, itchy eyes or feeling fatigue, it may not be a simple cold! Mites could be responsible.
For asthma sufferers, these little creatures are a real nightmare. They can amplify the breathing difficulties associated with this allergy, drastically.
Tips and suggestions to diminish the presence of mites.
To eliminate the presence of mites completely, is impossible. There is however some suggestions you can follow to limit their multiplication.
It is very important to air out your home at least 30 minutes per day. Our little friends do not appreciate fresh air. We also suggest for you to reduce the temperature inside your house, as much as possible. Mites are in their element in a warm environment. Making the air cooler does not agree with them.
A daily house cleaning is the principal ingredient to fight their invasion, here are some other suggestions:
- Dust all surfaces with a damp cloth. It will prevent dust to travel elsewhere in the room.
- Pass a vacuum cleaner daily even under furniture.
- Sheets should be washed once a week at 60o temperature. Pillows, blankets, comforters and children’s stuffed animals must be clean on a regular basis.
- It is strongly recommended to professionally clean your mattresses, carpets and rugs as they provide a breeding ground for mites.
- Humidity is an important factor to the multiplication of mites. For this reason, if anyone in the household suffers from allergies, it is strongly suggested to limit the amount of green plants inside your home. Maintaining of plants is a source of humidity.
- And a last suggestion that concerns mainly children… their favoured stuffed animal. It is also a breathing ground for mites and should be washed often, even without the child’s approval.
Granted, these measures imply, unfortunately, a daily routine and scheduled actions, but they work. It is our best chance to reduce the proliferation of mites.