Dust Mite Allergen Reduction
House dust mites are very irritating pest—they are well adapted to human living environments, present in almost all homes, and a source of allergens. In addition, infestations of house dust mites can lead to outbreaks of Cheyletiella mites, which feed on house dust mites and can bite humans, causing itchiness. House dust mites reproduce and grow most rapidly in environments with temperatures above 20°C and at least 60% humidity, feeding on human dandruff, shed skin particles, and food debris, such as biscuit crumbs. Of these three factors—temperature, humidity and food—humidity is known to have an especially pronounced impact on house dust mite reproduction. Taking care to remove excess moisture, such as by hanging futons out to dry in the sun, can help to reduce mite propagation. The dead bodies and feces of mites are sources of allergens. Cleaning with a vacuum cleaner is one of the easiest and most effective ways to remove these allergens. However, vacuuming alone does little to remove living mites, and, depending on the frequency and method of vacuuming, may not always effectively remove allergens, either. As such, diligent cleaning in combination with the appropriate use of insecticides is key.
Lion’s research found that vacuuming once a week did not by itself reduce the concentration of mite-related allergens; however, using a mite insecticide in combination with once-weekly vacuuming did reduce the concentration of such allergens.