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Dust Mites And Your Health

A magnified view of a dust mite

Dust Mites Allergens

Waste products created by dust mites, including feces, moltings, and leavings can be allergenic to humans.

Dust mite waste makes up 80%-90% of the allergic component of house dust.

High levels of this allergy and prolonged exposure can cause sensitivity in individuals who were not previously allergic to dust mite waste.

Dust mites (Dermatophagoides farinae) are microscopic arachnids that feed primarily on human and animal dander and prefer warm, humid environments.

The waste created by dust mites during their lifespan (their feces, moltings, and dead bodies) is perhaps the most allergenic material found in the home.

Common Dust Mite Allergy Symptoms

  • Sneezing/Coughing
  • Runny Nose/Nasal Congestion
  • Asthma Or Difficulty Breathing
  • Itchy/Red/Watering Eyes
  • Itchy Nose, Roof Of Mouth, Or Throat
  • Headaches
  • Difficulty Sleeping
  • Swollen, Blue-Colored Skin Under Eyes

Beds, sheets, and pillows are the most common habitat for dust mites. In fact, ten percent of the weight of a two-year old pillow can be composed of dead mites and their droppings.

Dust mites can also thrive in damp crawl spaces and basements, where their waste can make its way into your home though a phenomenon known as the "stack effect".

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The most effective way to control dust mites in your basement or crawl space is to maintain a dry, sanitary environment in the space. This includes dehumidifying the space and cleaning the air.

Your local Basement Systems Dealer can help you learn how to create a healthier below-grade space in your home! To sign up for a free, no-obligation healthy basement or crawl space estimate, contact us by phone or e-mail today!

Our network of more than 300 certified dealers serves throughout Canada and the United States! We've provided warrantied systems for hundreds of thousands of basements and crawl spaces over the past decades. Contact us today to get started!

Footprints showing up in the dust on a floor

What Do Dust Mites Need To Survive?

Dust mites prefer temperatures above 70°F, Relative Humidity (RH) conditions above 60%, and organic material to eat.

The average human being sheds enough skin daily to feed roughly one million dust mites under normal conditions.

Dust Mite Reproduction

No matter how clean the home is, dust mites will grow and spread in a household at an alarming rate. They can develop from eggs to adults in a single month, reaching reproductive age in only ten days.

Dust mites live between 30 and 100 days, with females laying 2-3 eggs per days. In a single lifetime, a female dust mite can lay 270 eggs!

Dust Mite Waste

A single dust mite will defecate about 20 times a day. Within two months, it will have created 200 times its body weight in waste material -- or about 2,000 dust mite fecal particles.

Dust mite waste contains more than 15 potent allergens that sensitize and trigger allergic reactions in those who are predisposed. Unlike pollen, dust mites will be present year-round, and will be found in nearly every part of the home.

Roughly 10% of the general population and 90% of asthmatic patients are sensitive to dust mite feces.

A cat laying down next to a HEPA vacuum cleaner

Cleaning Up Dust Mite Waste

You can help to eliminate day-to-day dust mite waste by cleaning sheets, blankets, and pet bedding approximately every two weeks. Pillowcases should be washed every week, and pillows should be replaced every year.

Surprisingly, you can do more damage than good by vacuuming! Using a non-HEPA vacuum can actually make an allergen problem worse by tending to kick up more dust and allergens than they remove.

A HEPA vacuum should be used on carpets daily to pick up dust mite waste, pet dander, and other allergens.

Indoor Air Quality Issues

As homes become sealed and more energy efficient, and homeowners tend to spend more time indoors, issues related to indoor air quality are becoming increasingly prevalent.

In fact, ICS Cleaning Specialist Magazine reported a 75% increase in asthma-related health issues from 1980-2001 alone!

Consider These Facts:

  • The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) shows that many airborne pollutants are 2-5 times higher than the same levels outdoors.
  • The EPA also reports that indoor air pollution is one of the top five environmental risks to public health.
  • The American College Of Allergy, Asthma, And Immunology reports that 50% of all respiratory illnesses are caused or aggravated by polluted indoor air.
  • American Family Physician Journal states that "controlling dust mites is the most important thing you can do in your house to make your asthma and allergies better"

As Glenn Fellman, executive director of the Indoor Air Quality Association says it best:

If you are reacting to a problem because
somebody's been sick, you've waited way too
long to address indoor air quality.

The best way to protect yourself is to prevent the dust mite problem before it begins!

Eliminating Dust Mites

To help control dust mites and other allergen sources, the American Academy of Family Physicians recommends that carpet laid over concrete be removed, and that homeowners lower indoor humidity in the home -- and especially in the basement.

If the space is maintained below 60%, RH, dust mites will no longer be able to absorb moisture from the air into their bodies, and they will eventually dehydrate, grow dormant, and die.

Our Sanidry™ XP Basement Dehumidifier and our SaniDry™ CX Crawl Space Dehumidifier are powerful tools to help you create a drier, healthier space. A properly installed system will also help you to control mold, rot and mildew. Moisture and humidity loving pests such as termites, carpenter ants, and cockroaches will also be deterred.

Seven Great Reasons To Choose The SaniDry™

  1. A Powerful System: Our crawl space dehumidifier is rated to remove 90 pints per day, while our basement dehumidifier can remove up to 110 pints per day. This is powerful enough to squeeze all the moisture out of the space, and really keep it dry!

  2. An Air System & Dehumidifier In One: Both SaniDry™ systems are equipped with a MERV-11 air filter that is capable of removing particles from the air as small as 2 microns. That's smaller than dust mites and their waste.

  3. Self-Draining & Low Maintenance: There's no collection trays to empty! Both SaniDry™ systems are self-draining, eliminating the need to continually access the space. An annual service inspection and replacement of the air filter is all that's needed.

  4. A Powerful Blower Motor: Many box store dehumidifiers are not equipped with a blowing motor that can properly circulate air throughout the space. If the system can't reach the air, how can it dry it?

    Both SaniDry™ systems are equipped with a powerful blowing motor that's designed to keep the air flowing! Our SaniDry™ XP model is also compatible with ductwork for finished basements. This allows you to store your system in a closet or utility area, where it's out of sight, and out of mind.

  5. Made For Cool Below-Grade Environments: Home dehumidifiers are designed for the main area of the home, which is about 70°F, cooling the air and removing moisture as it condensates on its cold coil.

    Because it's much harder to cool air in a 55°F basement or crawl space, it becomes much less effective and removes much less moisture. Additionally, the cold coil can freeze in this environment, causing the system to shut down.

    Our systems are designed to operate in the cooler environment, creating a drier space without shutting down!

  6. Energy Efficient: One of the secrets to its energy efficiency is its huge cold coil -- which is 10 times larger than competing box store models. More time in contact with the cold coil means more moisture removed -- and a drier basement!

  7. Helps To Control Mold, Dust Mites, & More: Our powerful SaniDry™ unit will bring your humidity down to the desired level then shut off automatically. Bring the humidity level down below 60%, and mold and dust mites will no longer be able to thrive in the space.

    If your current dehumidifier is running nonstop and the space is still damp, then it's not doing its job! It's time for an upgrade!

We Can Help You Achieve A Healthier Basement Or Crawl Space!

At Basement Systems, our dealers have helped hundreds of thousands of homeowners to transform their below-grade spaces into drier, healthier, and more useful parts of their home. A typical upgrade can be accomplished in as little as one, perhaps two days.

It costs you nothing to meet with us to learn how we can help you! To sign up for a a free, no-obligation crawl space repair estimate, contact us by phone or e-mail today!

Our locally owned and operated dealers proudly serve throughout Canada and the United States -- including in your local neighborhood!

Looking for a price? Get a no cost, no obligation free estimate.

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Our innovative and forward-thinking approach to designing products has solved wet basement problems that the basement waterproofing and crawl space industry has faced for decades, and our patented sump pump systems are the smartest and most reliable. Plus we listen to our customers and respond accordingly! Basement Systems Inc. has been awarded 24 Patents and 19 Innovation Prizes on waterproofing products we use every day, including a battery back up sump pump system. This approach ensures the best waterproofing systems and solutions available.