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Our house, however well we clean it, can’t be totally freed from dirt, dust, and other allergens. We feel itching for unknown reasons just after waking up from our supposedly clean beds. We suddenly find it difficult to breathe, even without having asthma, but only because we’ve stayed sat on our sofas while watching our favorite shows. Furthermore, we find ourselves sneezing right after cleaning our closets, suspecting a sudden onset of colds.
All of these are indicators that our homes are present with constant dirt and dust, that’s why we clean it daily, right? However, there are other things that our naked eyes can’t see but can only be perceived by our other senses or by our adverse bodily reactions. Oooppsss… Let me pause here because I didn’t mean to spook you out; Halloween is still months away! But maybe, what I’m about to tell you can be equally disturbing, if not attended and managed.
What are Dust Mites and Where Do They Come From?
Our homes are bred by eight-legged, translucent, tiny microscopic creatures, known as dust mites. They are the tinier relative of spiders and they cause allergies by the waste they produce. And since there are a lot of them because of their excellent reproductive capacity, they produce tons of allergens along with the dust and dirt at home. Their presence although we didn’t see them physically can manifest through our bodily reactions, like difficulty breathing, stuffy nose and skin itching. This can lead to more serious and chronic health problems. So, it is very important that we know our enemies and locate where they are.
But the question is, where are these dust mites located in our homes? Moreover, what made them thrive despite our regular cleaning? These questions when answered can give us further clues on how to eradicate them.
Locating the Enemies
Let’s start by assuming that they are everywhere in our homes where dust can be seen. They were named ‘dust mites’ after all and that should give us the sell-out clue. They sleep with us and are present in our beds, mattresses, and pillows. They are enjoying our sofas and carpets in the living room as much as we do. They are in our kitchen corners, sneaking through our cabinets. They are living in the beds of our fur pets. And the list goes on to other places, even where we think it would be most unlikely for them to be present. Unfortunately, we literally share our homes with them and we unknowingly, are the primary contributors to their survival and propagation. Why?
Know the Food Source
We humans are the dust mites rich source of food supply and we provide for them abundantly. They feed on the dead skin we shed every day. We don’t realize that and unluckily, we can’t stop our skin from shedding. And since we are their food supplier, they exist wherever we do. As we spend a large part of our day at home, they are there lurking around. Sometimes, we even bring them with us in our clothes to our offices and other places.
Our pets are also good dwelling places for dust mites, too. Animals are constant targets because they shed skin like we do. Their shelters and cages are food supply grounds for dust mites to succeed and reproduce. Dogs’ and cats’ hair, and even bird feathers and nests are carriers of dust and dust mites’ too.
Find the Base
Not just that they feed on us, we also provide them a nice homely setting where they can thrive and propagate actively. Naively, the environment, which we find comfortable for our living are the same ideal place where they prosper. Dust mites thrive in a warm climate and damp environment, as these conditions meet their food supply and temperate climate requirements.
Where do such kind of conditions are met in our homes? Most often, in our bedrooms, as our beds and bedding offer warmer and damper places for them to live. The temperature in our bedrooms tends to be more controlled and the right level of humidity is available for them to comfortably survive. However, we can’t just stop at our bedrooms, as these enemy of ours survive and reproduce easily.
Other home settings which offers the same conditions of our beds, like fabric-covered surfaces are ideal for them, too. Our window curtains and blinds, living room sofas and chairs, cushions and carpets are locations where they often flourish. Table runners and other cloth-made tops, and even our closets are places where they can burrow. Stuffed toys which our kids love to play and cuddle are homes to dust and dust mites, too. That’s why everyone at home, especially our kids are victims to these dust mites.
Now that we know that dust mites are living with us and are causing us trouble to live comfortably and healthily, how do we kick them out from our homes?
Remove their food supply! Ahhh… ehhh…. This option is simply impossible! Unfortunately, we can’t cut their food sources as dead cells just shed off our skin without us knowing. And we want to live the longest we can and so they will too.
But we can manage to make the climate unpleasant for them, can’t we? Yes, we can have our rooms colder with less to zero humidity. On second thought, mission aborted! Such conditions can be unpleasant for us, too.
The question of where do dust mites come from can be another “Chicken-Egg Story”, on which comes first. But the truth is that they have lived, as long as we humans have in our protective shelters. And they continue to thrive inside our homes today.
So, what can we really do to eradicate them? We can’t just accept the fact that they are there and let’s just live with them harmoniously. Nadah! It’s our home and we won’t surrender it to these teeny-weeny enemies.
Now that we know that we have these invading housemates, we must clean our houses thoroughly to eject dust mites from our homes. Getting rid of dust mites is our next mission! If you want to know more than check out our follow on article – How To Get Rid Of Dust Mites In Your Home.