March 25, 2006

Sneezing? Allergies? Consider Dust Mites.

80% of those folk seeing a doctor about their allergies or asthma issues tested positive to dust mites. Yes, that is eighty percent, so odds are high that this info impacts you and your family.

Stephen King probably finds this entertaining, but most don't like the idea of these microscopic bugs and their (ahem) fecal material prospering in warm, humid environments. Like carpets, beds, and upholstery.

They are called "dust mites" because their food is the skin cells that both people and pets shed. Ewww.

How to fight back?

1. Vacuum often with a machine that has a HEPA filter. (HEPA = High Efficiency Particulate Arresting.) Don't forget to vacuum the upholstery, and the professors at the University of Nebraska suggest you also vacuum the mattresses.

2. Wash all the bedclothes every week in hot water, and dry on high heat, too. The hot temperature will kill them.

3. Use those anti-allergen coverings for the bed: box springs, mattresses, even the pillows.

4. Dust throughly weekly. Try those new "vaccuumy" wands, that hold the dust as opposed to moving it around.

5. Use one of the new Allergen Reducer sprays on the bed, pillows, spreads, etc. These work very well, I've found.

6. Use a dehumidifier that lowers humidity to under 50 percent, because these pesty dust mites love humidity levels above 50 percent.

7. Make sure the kids' stuffed animals can handle washing in hot water and drying in high heat. Then, wash them along with the sheets.

Sources: Care2.com, FamilyDoctor.org, UniversityofNebraskaatLincoln.com

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