Dust Mites & Allergens

Sleeping With The Enemy

Many people blame pollen or animal dander for their asthma and allergy problems, when in reality, dust mites are recognized to be the main cause for asthma, chronic rhinitis (hay fever) and other allergies.
You cannot see them with the naked eye … but they are there! They are so small six of them will fit on the end of a pin. They thrive in warm humid conditions. Their favorite spot is your mattress, your pillow, and your bedding … where they feed on dead skin cells and body fluids you excrete when you sleep. They are DUST MITES, tiny relatives of ticks and spiders. Your mattress may contain as many as two million of the tiny scavengers at one time!

All About Dust Mites

Dust mites are about 1/4-1/3 mm long. Male dust mites are slightly smaller than females. They are whitish in color and thus can only be seen in dust samples when they are moving on a dark background, or when suspended in the air in a ray of light. They have 8 legs, no eyes, no developed respiratory structures and by volume are mainly a walking stomach and respiratory system (Mites and Allergens, MADD 1, 1993).

There are three types of dust mites commonly found in American homes. These include Storage Mites (Tyrophagus putrescentiae) which are found in food products, grain, and old books, and the Predatory Mites (Cheyletidae) which are larger and predate on domestic mites. The house dust mites found in bedding, carpets, upholstery, stuffed toys, and clothes are called the American house dust mite (Dermatophagoides farinae) and also the European house dust mite (D. pteronyssinus), their names literally mean “skin-eating mites.”

Mites are found in places in houses which provide a source of food and shelter with adequate humidity. Traditional innerspring mattresses are perfect for their needs! The fibrous and cellular structure of these environments allows mites to cluster and reduce water loss. Dust mites live around three to four months each, and females lay 25 to 50 eggs every three weeks.

Dust Mites Cause Major Health Problems

Many people blame pollen or animal dander for their asthma and allergy problems, when in reality, dust mites are recognized to be the main cause for asthma, chronic rhinitis (“hay fever”) and other allergies. When dust mites grow, they shed their skin. The shed skin and feces are small enough to be easily breathed in by humans, and are what cause the allergic reactions.

Allergic reactions range from itchy noses and eyes to severe asthma attacks. The droppings of these mites are the most common trigger of reoccurring allergy and asthma symptoms, especially in humid regions where dust mites tend to thrive. Each mite produces approximately 20 fecal pellets each day, which means approximately 2000 during its lifetime. The dust mite can get nourishment from its own droppings and may eat them up to three times over.

Besides asthma, rhinitis, and other respiratory ailments, dust mites can be the cause of other serious health problems such as eczema, rashes, itchy skin or eyes, “glue ear” (a condition which often causes hearing loss), bronchitis, and chronic dermatitis.

Facts About Dust Mites

The average mattress has 2 million dust mites and 25% of the weight of your pillow is dead and living dust mites. Research states that 44 million homes in the U.S. (45% of all homes) have a very serious dust mite problem. At best, vacuuming removes only 5 – 10% of dust mite populations. You should dispose of all vacuum bags after use since dust mites can escape from the bag!
Your body sheds millions of dead skin flakes and you perspire 75 ml of fluid while sleeping. A perfect diet for the hungry dust mite! Dust mites love the humidity, warmth, and safety of a traditional mattress. Memory foam beds and latex foam beds like ours are highly dust mite resistant and provide the optimum mattress material for people with allergies!

Don’t Let the Bed Bugs Bite! For even more info on house dust mites, visit www.housedustmite.org.

This website is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other health care professional. Classic Brands is not responsible or liable for any diagnosis made by a user based on the content of this website. Always consult your own GP if you’re in any way concerned about your health.