It's the middle of summer, winter, spring or fall -- when your inside, you're sneezing, wheezing, and coughing away. You think it might be allergies, maybe some sort of seasonal tree. But, that's not it. It's dust mites.
Dust mites are one of the most common indoor allergens -- and certainly one of the creepiest. Today, let's go over the little critter that crawls in over 3/4ths of our beds, and that 10% of us are allergic too. Here are some creepy facts about dust mites.
#1) They are Arachnids
Dust mites aren't actually insects, they're arachnids. Their closest non-mite family member is the spider. Seriously, go look at some pictures of dust mites up-close; they look almost identical to tiny little spiders.
#2) They Eat Your Skin
Dust mites have two primary sources of nutrition. The first is smaller mites (such as silverfish or pseudoscorpions,) but the second is a bit more terrifying.
The primary food source for dust mites is human skin flakes. In fact, the average human sheds enough skin in a day to feed around 1 million dust mites. Yikes!
#3) They Love to Poop
The average dust mite defecates around 50 times a day. So, all of your skin that they're eating is going straight through them and onto your bedding.
In fact, since 3/4 of houses have a dust mite problem in America, there is a good chance that your bed is literally covered in dust mite feces. Let's put it this way, in a home with dust mites, the average pillow will increase in weight by 10% over the course of 6 months... because of mite feces.
#4) You Might Be Allergic to Their Poop
Not only is dust mite poop possibly everywhere in your home, you could be allergic to it. Around ten percent of the population has a severe allergic reaction to dust mite feces, while most of us have a very mild reaction to it.
#5) There Are a Lot of Them
One square meter of carpet/bedding can contain over 100,000 dust mites. This means that your king size bed could be harboring around 100,000 - 200,000 dust mites (especially if you have layers.)
Kind of hard to sleep tight knowing that you are surrounded by a quarter of a million little skin eating spiders that poop 50 times a day.
#6) They Lay Tons of Eggs
The average female dust mite lays around 50 eggs during her 6-week existence. This, of course, is how you get so many dust mites on your bed in the first place. They populate at a rapid pace.
#7) Their Poop Can Give Your Kids Asthma
Dust mites are particularly harmful to children, especially given lengthy exposure. Kids that are exposed to dust mites are much more likely to develop asthma and even — in rarer cases — eczema.
#8) Their Poop Can Give You Asthma
Dust mites — as well as other indoor allergens — are the number one cause of allergens in the world. So, all of those molds, dust mites and other indoor pollutants could potentially give you or your loved ones asthma.
So, now you know that dust mites are tiny spiders that poop allergies and feed on your dead skin while laying tons of eggs all over your bedding and carpet, which isn't very comforting.
On top of that, chances are that you have them in your home. What's the best way to get rid of dust mites? Changing your air filters and cleaning regularly.
We can't help you clean your house, but we can certainly get some brand new air filters to you every month. In fact, our air filters come with a MERV 8 rating and can hold more 5 times more dust than the leading filter. Check out our air filter service subscriptions to receive replacement air filters when it is time to change your old ones.