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 What are dust mites?

 House dust mites are microscope bugs that primarily live on dead skin cells regularly shed from humans and their animal pets. Dust mites are harmless to most people. They don't carry diseases, but they can cause allergic reactions in asthmatics and others who are allergic to their feces.

Skin cells and scales, commonly called dander, are often concentrated in lounging areas, mattresses, frequently used furniture and associated carpeted areas, often harbor large numbers of these microscopic mites. Since the average human sloughs off 1/3 ounce (10 grams) of dead skin a week. That gives dust mites a lot to eat. Cats and dogs create far more dander for dust mites to eat.

A typical mattress can contain tens of thousands of dust mites. Sick yet? Nearly 100,000 mites can live in one square yard of carpet. Ready to convince your spouse to start bathing regularly? Did you know a single dust mite produces about 20 waste droppings each day, each containing a protein to which many people are allergic. Yuck! The proteins in that combination of feces and shed skin are what cause allergic reactions in humans. Depending on the person and exposure, reactions can range from itchy eyes to asthma attacks. And finally, unlike other types of mites, house dust mites are not parasites, since they only eat dead tissue. Gross, but true.

*Source for study and statistical information cited in article:Environment, Health and Safety Online

Indoor Air Quality Severely Lacking in 97% of Homes

A recent study shows over 97% of homes were found to have lower than acceptable levels of Indoor Air Quality (IAQ).*  These findings were recorded based upon over 49,000 individual tests performed over a two year period.

Why is this important?
During each minute the nearly 21 hours we spend indoors each day, we take in between one and two gallons of air.  This air contains not only the oxygen we need to survive, but air pollutant levels that are usually 2 to 5 times higher than outdoors, and can get up to 100 times higher.  These air pollutants include the following:

Particle Allergens
Chemical Pollutants
Carbon Dioxide
Excessive Temperatures
Excess Humidity
Carbon Monoxide

What problems can poor IAQ cause?

Poor IAQ is one of the top 5 most urgent environmental risks to public health. Despite this fact, many consumers are unaware that it could even potentially be a problem, much less that it can cause problems associated with the following conditions:

Cardiovascular Disease
Lead Exposure
Birth Defects
Neurobehavioral Disorders

Does this affect me?

Each year 342,000 lives are lost because of lung disease: 20 million people have allergy problems, and spending on allergy and asthma symptoms stands at over $5 billion per year.  Over 97% of the homes surveyed showed unacceptable levels of at least one type of pollutant.  So, chances are, it is affecting you right now.
What can I do?

While poor IAQ is a significant problem, there are actions each homeowner can take to improve it.  For example, limiting smoking indoors, using exhaust fans while cooking, and properly maintaining your air conditioning and heating systems are all simple steps you can take to improve IAQ. 
Two common places where allergens build up in the home is in the duct work of your air/heating systems and your carpets.  In order to properly maintain these systems, the air ducts should be properly cleaned.  Using advanced cleaning techniques and technology like the Rotobrush aiR+® air duct cleaning system and video inspection, we can help reduce pollutants in your home.
*Source for study and statistical information cited in article: AirAdvice State of Our Indoor Air Report 2007

Cecilea K.  asked:

Q: How do the dust mites crawl up onto your bed,  and how do they get into
your home?
A: YOU AND YOUR PETS!  Dust mites feed on dead skin, so the biggest carriers for dust mites are humans and pets.  With all the things you can do to rid yourself and your house of dust mites chances are you will never eliminate all of them.  Here are some steps you can take to greatly reduce the number of dust mites in your home.  Wash clothes and bedding regularly in 130oF water, consistently vacuum your carpets, mattresses, and upholstery using a hepa filter, having your carpets steam-cleaned, keep the humidity in your home below 40 percent, have your air ducts cleaned and sanitized, and use a hepa filter in your furnace or a stand alone air purifier. 


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