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Unfortunately, it's true. Most dust found in households, offices and other spaces also harbors dust mites, so yes, your dust is very much ALIVE, with thousands of creatures like the one pictured here.
What are dust mites? Of the same family as mites and ticks, dust mites feed on things like flakes of human skin and flourish in the in our comfortable homes and offices. A mated female house dust mite can last up to 70 days, laying 60 to 100 eggs in the last 5 weeks of her life. In a 10-week life span, a house dust mite will produce approximately 2,000 fecal particles and an even larger number of partially digested enzyme-covered dust particles.
Did you know that dust mites are a common cause of asthma and allergic symptoms worldwide? In fact, it has been shown in studies that 60% or more of all asthma and allergy conditions are related to dust mite exposure. Dust mites, their waste products, and body parts are among the strongest allergens known, and they are known to cause such allergic reactions as wheezing and coughing, and skin irritation. Their saliva is even an allergen so when they bite / chew on your skin cells, they leave that saliva there, causing a reaction in most cases.
Even when the dust mites die, the remains can even trigger allergic reaction in the skin as well as in the eye, nose, throat, lungs, etc. Studies have shown that as many as 1.2 billion people could have some form of chronic allergy to dust mites. 1.2 Billion people. That's a lot.
The house dust mite survives in all climates, even at high altitude. House dust mites thrive in the indoor environment provided by homes, specifically in bedrooms and kitchens. Dust mites survive well in mattresses, carpets, furniture and bedding, with roughly 200 animals per gram of dust! And when we walk on these carpets, plop down on the mattress, that sends these dust mites right up into the air--right up where we can breathe them in!
So now you have the answer to 'what are dust mites". What's the solution? Obviously, weekly vacuuming of bedding, carpets, and furniture is helpful for getting rid of some dust mites, but to truly address the more serious issue--breathing them in--we need a strong HEPA air filtration system, with UV light to make sure that any microscopic eggs are killed, as well. Here are a few top notch air purifiers that we sell and highly recommend (the 6000 AH Exec below is a whole house filter, usually combined with another air purifier in main rooms for maximum protection):
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