Did you know that over 40 lbs of dust materializes in our homes over a year? Learning more about dust and dust mites can make you feel icky but consider reading more to learn about dust and dust mites and how to minimize their existence.
Dust collects over time and consists of particles from dead skin sells, plant pollen, human and animal hair, textile fibers and minerals from outdoor soil. With the accumulation of dust, comes the presence of dust mites – microscopic (0.3mm) pests who feed off dust, particularly the dead skin cell particles in the dust. Do dust mites bite, you ask? Although dust mites are disgusting little creatures, they do not bite nor do they carry any diseases. Since we can’t see them, we tend to forget they exist – but they do!
Positive tests for dust mite allergies are extremely common among people with asthma. If you are allergic to dust mites try to decrease the amount of dust in your home by cleaning regularly. You may also want to consider removing carpet if possible and use hypoallergenic pillow and mattress covers.
To ensure you’re not creating a breading ground for dust mites, make sure you’re cleaning your home regularly. Dusting, vacuuming, sweeping and washing bed sheets and clothing are very important in this process. While it’s impossible to rid your home completely of fluffy dust, here are some tips on keeping it at bay.
- Top to Bottom: When you’re dusting, move from the top downwards to ensure you get every bit that falls as you move closer to the ground
- Paintbrush: Using a wide paintbrush will help you while you’re cleaning because it will allow you to reach into smaller nooks and crannies trapping the particles in its bristles
- Vacuum First: Vacuuming before you sweep is a crucial step to take to help diminish dust. Sweeping first will kick up dust and dirt into the air, settling in other places
- Feather Dusters: Avoid feather dusters when dusting as they will cause the dirt to go airborne
- Bedding: Change your bedding once a week to prevent dust mites from entering your bed. The moisture left in your sheets is a breeding ground for the little bugs
- Clutter: Remove clutter from the floor and shelves to reduce the amount of spaces for dust to settle
- Carpeting: Say “no” to carpeting and “yes” to hardwood as hardwood is far easier to clean and dust can settle and stick to carpet fibers
- Invest in an Air Purifier: If you or someone in your family has severe allergies or asthma symptoms, an air purifier can be very beneficial. While they filter dust particles, they don’t take care of dust mites (since they stick to objects). Note: for an air purifier to be effective, you’ll need one for each room