Today we're fighting a war! No, we don't mean Star Wars or The Lord of the Rings. We're talking about dust mites, a microscopic group of arachnids known for their tenacity, and who are responsible for allergies. According to the Swiss Allergy Centre, 6% of children and adults suffer from a dust mite allergy.
Mites are fond of dead skin, hair, nails and other scabs. They like to relax in dark places where temperatures are hot (20-25°) and humidity is high (70-85%). Under such conditions, they reproduce at high speed.
Where are they you wonder? Well... In your mattresses, pillows, sofas, carpets, etc. A little bit of everywhere, actually. It is estimated that one teaspoon of dust would contain up to 1,000 mites. Yes, they are numerically superior and invisible. But let’s not give up.
We aren't really allergic to the mite itself but rather to its excrement, microscopic balls that dry and turn into dust. In order to stop teary eyes and congestion all the time, follow Batmaid's advice.
First, it's a matter of turning the battlefield to your advantage. Keep your home at an ambient temperature of 19-21° and humidity below 50%. Also remember to aerate several times a day -- 5 to 10 minutes should be enough.
In case of allergy, avoid potted plants, furry animals and carpets. The devil is in the details, wrote Nietzsche.
Cleaning and maintenance
Ahhhh... Sleeping! Every night, we enjoy the comfort of our mattress to get a good night's sleep. So how do you keep these animals from disturbing you?
First of all, favor synthetic mattresses with anti-dust mite covers to feather mattresses. Same for pillows and sheets. For the bed frame, it is better to use a metal or wooden slatted bed frame than a tapestry bed frame where the dust mites could concentrate.
Once a week, i's recommended to vacuum with a powerful HEPA filter (a very effective filter that blocks more than 99% of the micro-particles), a simple process that allows the elimination of most mites.
Then, remember to wash your bedding at 60°C once a week too, since the parasites can't resists you at such high temperatures! Space permitting, you can also wash your pyjamas and nightclothes with it.
Dust mites are fond of dust nests
As you now know, dust mites like dry, dark, hot and dusty places. The ideal solution is to regularly clean your floors, especially the corners. Remember to clean behind furniture with a mop as well as chest drawers and under the sofa and armchairs. If you have open furniture, chances are you will find the favorite dust mite pantry on your library, decorations and/or frames. In this case, wipe them once a week with a damp or microfibre wipe.
Mites are elusive little monsters that cause allergies. Tenacious and solid, it is impossible to eradicate them for good. Apply these tips once a week to limit their development, and you will sleep soundly once again.