What are dangerous dust mites, and how to deal with them?  

Dust mites, having extremely small dimensions, are capable of causing great harm to human health.


Why are dust mites harmful?

Medical statistics show that almost two-thirds of children with bronchial asthma suffer from allergies to ticks and their products. These are home dust mites, also living in places with the animal nap (pillows, mattresses, carpets), in upholstered furniture and paper books.

On the Internet, the identification of dust mites with saprophytes is widespread, which is not true, although one can understand the reason for such a mistake. The fact is that the very word “saprophyte” has two Greek roots: sapros – “rot” and phyton – “plant”.

In biological and medical terminology this means that any microorganism (a plant without chlorophyll, a fungus or a bacterium) that feeds on the organic matter of dead cells of animals or plants or extracts of the latter, and processes it into inorganic compounds: water, ammonia, carbon dioxide and others.

Thus, saprophytes and dust mites are various organisms that feed on dead cells and decomposition products. But saprophytes themselves feed on dead insects and their secretions, as well as dead cells of human skin.

In most cases, saprophytes are harmless to humans, and only some of them are considered opportunistic, in cases when their balance is significantly impaired in the microflora of the human body. And otherwise they trillions inhabit human lungs, intestines, mucous and dermal surfaces, without causing any inconvenience to a person with normal immunity. Dust mite refers to saprophagous (detritophagous).

What is a dust mite

So, what is a dust mite? Firstly, it is a microscopic insect measuring 0.5 to 0.1 millimeters, living up to 80 days and leaving the offspring in the form of a laying of eggs of 60 pieces. The number of their species exceeds 150, which are combined into the general Dermatophagoides and Euroglyphus family Pyroglyphidae, due to which they are also called pyroglyphid and dermatophytid mites, and are classified as Arachnida – arachnids.

The mites of house dust can be divided into three groups: the first is directly pyroglyphid mites, as well as some species of barn mites, the second group is mites-predators, eating the first group, the third group – random parasites that were brought from outside but not forming populations in Apartment and do not reproduce in it.

The dust mite is a synanthropic organism, that is, “living with a man”, who loves heat (22-260C) and air humidity above 55%, the presence of a nutrient base in the form of dead cells of the human skin (and a person loses up to one and a half grams of dead skin scales Daily) and woolen nap plaids, blankets, carpets, furniture upholstery. Unusually comfortable for dust mites are places of dust accumulation: plinths, bookshelves, rugs, home shoes, etc.

Dust mites live in “colonies” from 10 to 10 000 insects per gram of dust, the standard concentration of parasites is 100 mites per gram, while their population can vary throughout the year – usually, the peak of their number in the apartment is the period from August to October. Up to 100 mites per gram of dust – safe for human concentration, 500 insects per gram – can trigger an asthmatic attack, and from 1000 to 2000 – cause allergies and chronic rhinitis in genetically predisposed people.

Then dust mites are dangerous

Actually, for a person, not dangerous mites themselves, not dust, and not even the products of their vital activity, but the substances contained in their excrement. So, they contain the digestive enzymes Der p1 and Der f1, by which they split the particles of the human epidermis. It is these proteins that are strong allergens. Although of course the chitinous membrane of dead insects also irritates the mucosa of the respiratory tract.

In medicine, there are three main types of allergies: respiratory, contact and food. House dust mites and barn mites can cause varieties of all types of allergies

  • Allergic rhinitis;
  • Bronchial asthma;
  • Respiratory allergosis – with periodic inhalation of mites and their excrement;
  • Atopic dermatitis;
  • Conjunctivitis;
  • Rhinoconjunctivitis;
  • Quincks edema;
  • Acarodermatitis – with bites of dust mites;
  • Deep acariases – when mites get into the gastrointestinal tract.

All this is combined with the concept of tick allergy or sensitivity to tick-borne allergens. Obviously, an allergy to dust mites is not only an unpleasant but also a dangerous disease. Therefore, it is so important, before just drinking antihistamines, to regularly clean the apartment.

How to get rid of dust mites

There are some general rules that must be observed before going to an allergist. All of them are aimed at thorough cleaning of premises and deprivation of dust mites of the possibility of a comfortable stay in them. So, your actions:

  • Reduce the amount of upholstered furniture with woven upholstery, replacing it with soft furniture with leather upholstery or its substitute;
  • Ruthlessly get rid of all woolen carpets, as well as carpets and rugs with high and / or natural nap;
  • Get rid of soft toys;
  • Replace down and feather bedding (pillows and blankets) in synthetic;
  • Arrange hot washing of all bedding and then thoroughly dry them in the air (balcony, loggia or kitchen with an open window);
  • Do a wet cleaning of the floor and skirting boards with a saline solution, which is prepared at the rate of 5-10 tablespoons per bucket of water;
  • Wipe all the books on the shelves with a damp napkin and chant all the dishes standing in the sideboard with boiling water;
  • Remove all hard-to-reach places with a vacuum cleaner with an aquafilter and a separator with a HEPA filter;
  • Maintain a dry microclimate in the apartment with air humidity below 40% within a month; you can use air dryers for this;
  • Use air conditioners and air purifiers that can capture particles less than 30 microns
1 Comment
  1. Reply
    Janet July 15, 2018 at 12:15 pm

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