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Dust Mites

Dust mites are difficult to see with the naked eye and they measure 0.5mm in length. Dust mites live in the fine layer of dust particles that settles on household items. North Queensland is an excellent breeding ground for Dust Mites as they prefer homes that have high humidity and warm temperatures. 

They prefer to live in homes on beds, upholstered lounge suites and chairs and carpets with long fibres. They are attracted to these areas for their food source as they feed on shed human skin scales and secretions, house dust, fungal spores, pollen grains, plant fibres and insect scales. 

House dust mites have been known to be associated with allergies since the 1960’s, and also a trigger for asthma. They do not bite, sting or transmit diseases, but harbour strong allergens in their bodies as well as their excretions, excreta and shed skins. Constant contact with dust mites can trigger respiratory and dermatological complaints, such as allergic rhinitis, eczema, various other allergies, as well as asthma.    

The key to reducing dust mites is good housekeeping along with encasing pillows and mattresses with manufactured encasement's that exclude mites. Bedding and curtains should be laundered frequently. Thorough vacuuming with a high-quality HEPA filtration vacuum cleaner on mattresses, lounge suites etc. , will help reduce dust mite populations.  Also, a reduction in humidity levels by increased ventilation throughout the house and the use of air-conditioning will assist in keeping the mites at a lower level. 

Steam cleaning of carpets, mattresses, fabric upholstered lounge suites and dining chairs will kill the mites and reduce the allergens. 

 Ann-Maree Gallagher; Peter & Paul's Carpet Cleaning 

Source:- Stephen L Doggett & Merilyn J Geary, Department of medical entomology. ICPMR., Westmead hospital.