Dust Mites, Just How Bad Are They?
There are lots of articles out there about dust mites and how bad they are. Some say they can lay up to 300 eggs and can live for a year without food. Some say they live for 10 weeks and lay 100 eggs. The important thing to know is that they are the second highest cause of allergies, second only to pollen itself. You do not want these things living in your house.
The most common place to find them is in your bed. There could be up to 6,000,000,000 dust mites living in your bed! So if you’re having trouble sleeping at night, it might be because you’re not sleeping alone. This is why experts recommend that you change your pillow, sheets, duvet and mattress every ten years.
Some studies have shown that your carpet can weigh up to 250kgs more after 10 years than when it was laid. Most of this is human skin and as human skin is a favourite food of dust mites, they like to party in your carpet. Dust mites love moist, humid environments – hence both your bed and inside the house (specifically carpet) are perfect breeding grounds for them. We suggest keeping your house as dry as possible – using a dehumidifier or air conditioning, as well as keeping it well ventilated helps control their multiplication.
While regular vacuuming (using a vacuum with a built in beater bar) can remove most dust mites, the eggs that they lay get stuck to the fibres of the carpet, like head lice. They live in the bottom half of the carpet pile, and even under the carpet and cheap vacuums or vacuums without a proper beater bar just don’t get down that far. The mites can only be removed through thorough scrubbing of the carpets with hot water. Hence the fact that I personally love the Big Green machine by Bissell. It scrubs down deep into the fibres of the carpet with hot, soapy water and then removes everything. Problem solved.
So rather than waiting to wash your carpets once a year, or when you’re about to move out, we suggest taking a proactive approach. I recommend washing your carpet on a regular basis, four times per year with the change of season, to minimise the infestation at your house.