They look like something out of a science fiction movie, but dust mites are very real and a lot of trouble. They love to sleep in our beds, live in our clothing, carpet, pillows and anywhere it is warm and humid. It is actually their droppings that contribute to allergy and asthma problems. So, if you cough and sneeze a lot, you may be one of millions of Americans who are allergic to these guys and do not even know it.
Here is the worst part, we are a great source of food for dust mites because we shed roughly the equivalent of 16 aspirin tablets a week of dead skin cells. That is according to Dr. Jay Portnoy, an Allergist, who says keeping clean is the first battle plan, but there are other things we can do. "If you use a good quality vacuum cleaner that efficiently filters out the particles, you're most likely to remove them from the environment and therefore you can prevent allergy symptoms from occurring," says Dr. Portnoy.
Dr. Portnoy suggests that we vacuum at least once a week, using one with a Hepa Filter, or the new bagless vacuum cleaners. He says keep your home as dry as possible, with humidity at 50% or less since dust mites thrive in moisture. Wash your sheets in hot water at least once a week and there are special covers you can buy for your pillows, mattresses and comforters that will keep dust mites out.