Dust is everywhere. In our homes, at our places of work and in the atmosphere all around us, but can it be harmful to our health? The answer is a definitive yes, it can be harmful to our health in the form of an allergy known as ‘dust mite allergy’, and can cause a number of irritating and harmful reactions in sufferers.
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What are dust mites?
Dust mites, or more specifically, house dust mites, are found in homes all over the country and are so tiny that they can only be seen through a microscope. They love warm, humid homes where plenty of human and animal skin and mould spores are present.
What is a dust mite allergy?
To be more specific, a dust or house mite allergy, is a hypersensitive reaction to proteins found in the faeces of common dust mites, and in similar ways to symptoms induced by hay fever, the poop proteins can cause an allergic reaction
How can we clean our homes to prevent dust mite allergies?
There are several ways of avoiding house dust mites in the first place, such as reducing the number of decorative items and ornaments that will attract them, or by having flooring that isn’t covered with rugs or carpets, but if you already have a dust mite problem, here are some tips to help clean them away and prevent them from returning:
It may sound like common sense, but it’s always worth a gentle reminder; cleaning the highest surfaces first and working your way down, will avoid you having to go back and dust again, and dusting isn’t that much fun!
Don’t use a feather duster
They may certainly work well at dislodging dust from difficult to reach areas of your home, but they will only shift it elsewhere and cause twice as much work. Your job will be made much easier if you use a damp cloth, moist towelette or microfibre duster, and yes, you may have to use a stepladder, so be careful!
Heavy mats placed at every doorway that easily stay in place when people are wiping their feet on them, will help to reduce the amount of dirt and dust that enters your home.
Replace drapes with blinds
Wherever possible, have wooden, plastic or metal blinds at your windows as these are so much easier to keep clean and dust free than drapes. Simply run a microfiber cloth or duster over them regularly, but if you do have drapes, a vacuum cleaner is the most effective way of eliminating dust.
As with drapes, carpets are so much harder to keep clean and dust free than other types of flooring, such as hardwood, vinyl or tiles. However, if you do have carpets, try to vacuum them every day and if dust is a big problem in your home, you can purchase a vacuum cleaner with a double layered microfilter bag or HEPA filter, which will help to reduce the amount of dust that re-enters the air.
Rugs, pillows, throws and cushions…
If you do have any of these items in your home and you want to get rid of the dust by shaking or beating them vigorously, never do this inside your home as it will simply uplift the dust mites and encourage them to settle elsewhere.
If dust mites have invaded your home and are aggravating your allergies, it might be wise to use a professional home cleaning company who will ensure that the microscopic critters are eliminated properly.
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