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House dust & mite excrement in bed

Around five percent of people living in Germany suffer from a so-called house dust allergy. It is triggered by proteins and secretions of the mite, an arachnid that is found almost everywhere. The allergy itself is harmless, but if left untreated, almost one in three allergy sufferers develop a chronic respiratory disease over a period of five to fifteen years. In addition to sensitization, there are a few tips and tricks to keep the number of mites in the household in check and to alleviate symptoms of the allergy.

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correct ventilation and heating is important in case of dust mite allergy | depositphotos @ monkeybusiness

The habitat of the mites

Mites feel particularly comfortable in our homes because we provide them with good living conditions in our households. Mainly mites, as the name suggests, are found in dust. With a size of only 0.1 millimetres, they adhere to the smallest dust particles and can be carried through the entire apartment by draughts. They can be found in textiles of all kinds. These include curtains, soft toys, upholstered furniture and carpets. They feel particularly comfortable in our beds, as they feed on skin scales that fall off and we offer them an ideal warm and humid climate through our sweat. If the conditions allow it, mites multiply suddenly, as females lay about two eggs a day. Since mites prefer a humid climate, populations multiply especially in the warm months between April and October.

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Symptoms depend on the severity of the infestation

The severity of the symptoms increases proportionally to the population of arachnids, since this means that allergens and mite faeces are also present in the air. Inhaled, the secretions trigger typical health complaints such as a blocked or runny nose, reddened eyes, increased sneezing, itchy skin or even shortness of breath and headaches. Permanent exposure to allergens in the air we breathe not only impairs our general well-being in the long term, but can also cause serious respiratory diseases.

Ways to control a severe mite infestation

1. mite sprays

The use of mite sprays offers effective protection against mites. The effect is often based on purely vegetable ingredients such as neem tree oil. Such sprays do not kill mites in the first place, but destroy the mites’ food base. The substances contained in neem tree oil are repulsive to mites and lay over skin scales. Within a few weeks the arachnids starve to death, the population decreases. Other mite sprays, such as the DFNT mite spray, contain the active ingredients esbiothrin and permethrin. These are weak insecticides that have a deadly effect on the uninvited guests. Such active ingredients provide long-term protection for up to three months and are completely harmless to humans and pets.

2. bed covers

Your own bed is home to the largest population of mites, as it provides mites with food, an optimal climate and protection against dehydration. The use of synthetic fibres and the pure renunciation of organic material is only moderately effective. The decisive factor here is primarily the material of the cover. Special coatings deprive the mites of their food basis and keep the population of arachnids in check. At the same time, the fine-meshed material is not permeable to allergens or mites, so mites cannot reproduce on the bed. In order to provide sufficient protection, pillows and blankets also need a special cover.

3. air purifier

In contrast to contact allergies, it is not direct contact with the mites but mainly the inhaled room air that carries the risk of triggering symptoms of house dust allergy. Through movements or convection currents of the radiators, the dust mixed with allergens is whirled up and gets into the room air. This is remedied by so-called air purifiers with HEPA filters, which are able to filter the finest suspended particles from the air. In this way, the device can also clean the room air of mite excrement, which adheres to the dust particles.

Conclusion – Correct behaviour in case of house dust allergy

A symptom-free life with a house dust allergy is no problem if you follow some rules. Frequent airing transports mites and their excrements outside and can reduce symptoms. Adherence to certain hygiene standards can also help. Frequent changing of bed linen and regular dusting can significantly reduce the mite burden in the household. If these measures are not sufficient to stop the infestation, those affected can resort to effective sprays, such as the DFNT mite spray.

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