WHERE ARE DUST MITES FOUND?
Dust mites are the main allergens found in household dust. These tiny insects are not naturally harmful. However, in the confined space of our modern homes, they become pollutant.
2,000 dust mites are contained in one gram of dust in carpets and mats. They like warm and humid environments ideal for their development in mattresses and pillows. Even synthetic mattresses, if they are not covered with a special sheet, can contain 2 million dust mites after a few years.
PRACTICAL TIPS FOR LIMITING EXPOSURE:
In order to minimise dust mite infestation, miticides can be used. However steps can be taken to prevent infestation and to manage their acclimatisation:
- Reducing indoor humidity can be effective
- Measure air humidity and ensure it stays at 45%
- Air all the rooms of the house twice per day (more than quarter of an hour), even in winter
- Do not overheat the house (20° max)
- Air beds and make them every morning. This reduces the heat and humidity confined in a bed.
- Change old bedding: after a few years, bedding, whether synthetic or not, become culture media for dust mites and moulds.
- Prefer synthetic bedding, avoid feather-filled, hair and plant fibre pillows and quilts.
- Use special sheets to cover new mattresses, pillows and the bed base, except if the bed base is slatted or made of metal.
- Avoid carpets and mats and also dust traps full of dust mites: drapes, furs, dried flowers, stuffed animals, especially in the bedroom.
- Choose a hoover with a special filter for collecting small dust particles pushed back by ordinary hoovers.
Agence française de sécurité sanitaire des produits de santé (AFSSAPS), Bien vous soigner avec des médicaments disponibles sans ordonnance, rhinite et conjonctivite allergiques de l’adulte, juin 2008.
(The French Agency for Sanitary Security of Health Products (AFSSAPS). Treating yourself with over-the-counter available medicines, adults’ allergic rhinitis and conjunctivitis, June 2008.)