Getting Rid of Dust Mites in Autumn

As the leaves change colour and fall, the dust mite population in your home could well be rising. Research from Sydney’s Woolcock Institute of Medical Research shows that dust mite levels can increase 2-3 times during late autumn, compared with summer levels.

According to National Asthma Council Australia director, Dr Janet Rimmer, respiratory physician and allergist, “Around 45 per cent of the population have an allergy and of those people, almost 80 per cent react to house dust mites.”

“Dust mites are the most common trigger for asthma in Australia and the bedroom is the site of the greatest exposure.” Therefore, getting rid of dust mites is crucial.

House dust mites are microscopic creatures that feed off human skin scales. They are mostly found in the home and live in soft furnishings such as beds, bedding, carpets, upholstered furniture, soft toys and clothing.

Dust mites thrive in temperate and humid climates and the research indicates a link between the change of weather and the dust mite population explosion, which appears to occur approximately two months after a damp, humid Autumn spell.

For people with dust mites allergy or asthma, Dr Rimmer recommends a number of dust mite avoidance measures, which may take time, but are potentially helpful and need to be adhered to year round.

Here are some quick tips for getting rid of dust mites:

  • wash sheets and pillow cases weekly in water hotter than 55oC
  • cover mattress, pillow and quilt with resistant dust mite covers specifically developed and tested
  • either throw out the old pillow or cover with dust mite pillow covers
  • cover mattress with a dust mite mattress protector
  • wash allergy free bedding every 2-4 months
  • remove soft toys or hot wash them weekly or freeze them overnight
  • dust hard floors and surfaces with a damp or electrostatic cloth
  • clean carpets weekly using a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter

“Dust mites and the allergen they leave behind are extremely hard to eliminate, but people who are strenuously motivated to remove the allergen from their homes do say that it makes a difference.” Dr Rimmer said.

(Source: Kelly Ward: National Asthma Council Australia: April 2008) and
Reference: Seasonal trends in house dust mite allergen in children’s beds over a 7-year period – D. Crisafulli, C. Almqvist, G. Marks, E. Tovey (2007) Allergy 62 (12) , 1394-1400

Towards healthier living Carol Parr ♥

As a result of working with me, women and their families thrive, work places and their personnel prosper, mouldy and chemical / electrical sensitive occupants heal. They’re healthier, they’re alert, they’re happier, more relaxed, more productive, and enjoying life.

Together we bring about healthy indoor environments and create rooms that provide calmness, healthy sleep, relaxation and restored energy for you and your family, create workplaces that provide ideal personnel attendance and elevated productivity.

By returning indoor spaces to more natural conditions, we strengthen you and your family and your personnel’s mind, body and spirit. It’s nice that it also sustains our planet’s ecology, you’d agree.

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Carol Parr

Author Carol Parr

Carol Parr is a Building Biologist and Healthy Home Wizard. She has worked with asthma and allergy sufferers in their homes and work places for over twenty years, specialising in mould, dust mites, chemicals, EMFs and WiFi. When she’s not turning unhealthy rooms into healthier, relaxing and productive spaces, she’s most likely frightening her husband and their children with numerous “let’s see what this does when …” projects.

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