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Why Dust Mites Are Bad for Allergies

Find out how keeping your home clean and clutter-free can help alleviate dust mite allergies.

1. What it is

These tiny creatures are perhaps the most common cause of recurrent allergies, and can trigger symptoms similar to pollen allergies. The proteins in the dust mite’s droppings cause the allergic reaction.

2. When it is in season

You can get dust mite allergies all year round but may be more affected during the winter months when you spend more time indoors and are more exposed to them.

3. What to watch out for

Dust mites can be found in in mattresses, bedding, upholstered furniture, carpeting and any other household fabrics, such as curtains and drapes.

4. What to know

Dust mites prefer temperatures at or above 70 degrees Fahrenheit with humidity of 75 to 80 percent.

5. What to do

  • Reduce clutter and dust with a damp cloth each week
  • Use high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters for vacuuming and air filtration
  • Use synthetic mattress pads and pillows
  • Use zippered dust-proof covers on mattresses and pillows
  • Wash sheets and blankets in hot water each week
  • Avoid wool and feather-filled comforters
  • Avoid upholstered furniture and blinds
  • Minimize carpeting if possible
  • Choose washable curtains, rugs and blankets

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