Dust Mite Bites
How Are Dust Mite Bites Contracted, Spread and Treated?
Dust mites are microscopic creatures that look like small bugs. They are known to trigger asthma and allergic reactions.
However, dust mites do not leave skin bites on your skin although they are capable of causing skin rashes and trigger allergic reactions like postnasal drip and sneezing.
In case you have been having continuous allergic symptoms throughout the year, there is a high chance that you have dust mites in your home.
Dust mites are allergenic and the skin or fecal matter they leave behind is also allergenic and it can trigger allergic reactions. Therefore, you should seek help from professional eradicators to reduce the dust mite population in your home.
What are Dust Mites?
Dust mites are microscopic arthropods that measure between ¼ to 1/3 millimeters.
Therefore, you cannot see dust mites using your naked eyes and even under a microscope, these creatures are very small.
The male dust mite has a lifespan of about 1 month while female dust mites can live up to 3 months depending on weather conditions and availability of food among other factors.
Since these creatures feed off from the dead skin cells of man, it is hard to control their population.
According to statistics, one person can shed up to 1.5 grams of dead cells in a day (which can feed up to a million dust mites!).
Secondly, dust mites lay numerous eggs, hatch fast and hence controlling their population is quite hard.
If you suspect to have dust mites in your home, you should start looking or treating areas where dead skin cells can accumulate.
Therefore, you should regularly check or treat your beddings, carpet flooring, rugs, furniture, and stuffed animals.
Dust mites prefer hot and humid climates because they can reproduce and find food in such conditions with ease.
How Do Dust Mite Bites Look Like?
Although dust mites do not bite your skin, they are allergic and hence they can induce skin rashes.
The rashes are mainly red and itchy although they can vary from one person to another or depending on the severity of infestation.
These allergic reactions become apparent when you inhale the skin of dust mites or their fecal materials.
If you have been experiencing severe allergic reactions year-round or these reactions get serious during hot and humid months, you need to treat your house because you have dust mites infestation.
The common signs related to dust mite allergy include:
- A runny or stuffy nose
- Itchy or watery eyes
- Postnasal drip
- Itchy or red skin
- An itchy throat
If your dust mites’ allergy severity is high, you may end up having asthma or chest pain due to severe coughing, sneezing or wheezing.
Your symptoms might get worse when you are lying down or on your couch.
Also, remember that the more you stay indoors the higher the exposure to dust mites and hence the severe the complications.
Ergo, if you suspect you have a dust mite bite, allergies or asthma triggered by dust mites, you should seek help from an experienced doctor.
How Do You Treat Dust Mite Allergy?
Some of the treatment options you can rely on are:
- Over the counter antihistamines – depending on the severity of your allergic symptoms, you might need immediate treatment and OTC antihistamines are the best choice. These drugs block histamine to prevent an allergic reaction in your body when your immune system is exposed to allergens. Common OTC antihistamines you can rely on include Benadryl, Claritin, Allegra, and Zyrtec.
- Allergy shots – if you are not responding to normal medications, the doctor recommends allergy shots instead of OTC antihistamines. You will have to inject yourself (or get injected by the doctor) with a specific amount of allergen into your system to aid you in building immunity. These shots can be administered for several weeks or months depending on the severity of your symptoms. However, before these shots are prescribed or given, you will have to undergo a series of tests.
- Decongestants – decongestants are recommended to individuals whose allergic reactions cause continuous postnasal drip, stuffy nose or sinus headaches. To break the mucus and alleviate the symptoms, you can use decongestants or OTC antihistamines.
- Prescription medications – finally, you can use nasal corticosteroids or the oral leukotriene receptor antagonist to block the allergens from causing severe allergic reactions in your body.
How Do You Get Rid of Dust Mites?
Eradicating dust mites for good is a daunting task especially if you are not experienced or equipped.
Getting rid of dust mites can take a while but you can start by targeting the areas they thrive in your home to reduce their numbers.
Whether you will rely on a professional or DIY, these are some of the areas you should target and treat regularly:
- Blinds & curtains
- Pet bedding & furniture
- Toys & stuffed animals
Dust mites treatment does not entail a lot of things although you will have to dedicate some time and effort.
Wet mopping, washing, frequent vacuuming and washing can help in dust mite treatment.
You do not need to use specialized products or equipment although using a wet cloth when dusting (to trap and remove dust) and washing your bedding using hot water is highly recommended.
The main objective is to kill dust mites and destroy their niche in your home.
How Can You Prevent Dust Mites From Coming Back?
To control dust mites population in your home, these tips can help you:
- Wash all beddings every week using hot water
- Dust regularly – pay close attention to crevices, furniture, and blinds where dust mites can hide
- Avoid carpeting your home (especially if you will not hire a professional carpet cleaner regularly)
- Vacuum & deep clean your rugs and carpets regularly
- Maintain humidity in your home under 50% to create the unfavorable living conditions for dust mites
- To prevent dust mites from entering into your bedding, use zippered pillow cases/covers and mattresses
- Your air conditioning unit should have certified allergen capturing filters. The filters trap fecal matter and other substances which can trigger allergic reactions
Although dust mites do not bite, they can cause uncomfortable allergic symptoms which can further lead to serious health problems like chest pains and asthma.
Therefore, regular cleaning and the use of preventive measures can improve the living conditions in your home and keep your family safe.
Finally, if you are still experiencing allergic symptoms despite treating and preventing dust mites in your home, you should seek help from an allergist or an experienced doctor.