You can't see them, but if you have skin or a pet with dander, you can be almost certain they are there...dust mites. |
Simple household chores such as frequent vacuuming and dusting can help reduce the amount of dust and surface allergen, but these activities can sometimes be MORE aggravating for allergy sufferers if not done properly.
And regardless of how well you clean, dust mites are simply a part of the environment and therefore extremely prevalent in almost all homes. Household areas with the highest levels of dust mite infestation include the following: carpets, pillows, mattresses, drapes, stuffed animals, clothing, and upholstered furniture."
Reduce the relative humidity below 50%; repair all plumbing/moisture problems; install a dehumidifier and/or air filtration system. Hot air vents should be covered with HEPA filters. 2.
Avoid wet mopping and dusting Carefully and slowly vacuum beds, pillows, drapes, carpet, upholstered furniture, floors etc. Steam clean everything. Don't allow smoking in the building. 3.
Shampoo or steam clean or dry clean (off premises and air out thoroughly before returning) or better yet, simply put in to the sun all non-washable carpets at least one a year. 4.
Weekly washing sheets, pillows, rugs and carpets in soapy water or borax at least 122o F. for 5 - 8 minutes will kill all mites. 5.
Direct sunlight also kills mites and bedding is the prime harborage for dust mites, with stuffed furniture a close second. So put furniture, bedding, drapes, clothing, etc. out in the sun and/or line dry your washing. Replace heavy drapes with washable shades, mini-blinds or lightweight curtains. 6.
Put plush toys in a plastic bag, tie the bag and freeze for 24 hours. Repeat as needed, e.g.. once a week or wash them weekly. It is best to only purchase washable stuffed toys and wash them weekly with detergent in water (100o - 120o F.). 7.
To control dust and dust mite allergens take a (square box) window fan, using duct tape attach two (charcoal) furnace filters (cut to size) to the fan grills on both the intake and exhaust sides. Turn on the fan to filter the air. Activated charcoal will increase the filtration results and help remove odors and some toxic gases. Change filters as needed. You can also use a high-efficiency HEPA air cleaner. 8.
Over 25% of an old pillow might be dust and dust mites - so get a new one every 6 months. Remove carpeting, rugs, stuffed animal toys and drapes if needed.
9. Reduce the relative humidity with properly installed dehumidifiers, fans and/or air conditioners. Routinely remove (if possible) any dander, dead skin and/or dust and/or dust catching materials, e.g., books, magazines, clutter, stuffed animals, rugs, textiles, furs, feathers, woolens, drapes, carpets, etc. and/or enclose mattresses, pillows, and box springs in plastic and clean and/or wash or spray all surfaces and air filters Install allergen trapping filters in air conditioning/heating systems. Keep all clothing in closets with the doors closed. Keep windows closed in the spring. Clean the air with HEPA air filtration
10. Avoid sleeping with or keeping pets - especially cats and dogs or wash often. It is best to keep your pets outside; if you can not, HEPA vacuum daily and wash your hands after petting your pet. Dander stays around long after the pet has gone.
11. Keep windows and doors closed and as weather-tight as much as possible to avoid the entry of pollen and insects. Clean window coverings every two weeks or replace with shades or mini-blinds
12. Keep food products in glass containers and control all insect pes
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