Smite the Mite
If your nose constantly begs for a tissue, your eyes tear and burn, and you hear the word Gesundheit several times a day, you might be suffering from a dust mite allergy. But even this microscopic nuisance isn’t the real culprit of your itchy, watery lenses and chafed snout. Protein from their waste tricks your immune system into thinking it’s pathogenic — stimulating the production of antibodies. And because they feed and drink off moisture-rich skin cells, an environment like your bedroom invites the pests to put down roots.
You can get a handle on these squatters with a few simple housekeeping remedies.
Starve them out. These pesky critters live off your dead skin cells and that of other creatures in the house. Vacuum carpets and upholstery to clear out the food supply. Washing linens, stuffed animals, and other dust-collecting fabrics in hot water will not only wipe out the feeding ground, it will kill off any live mites and cleanse the materials of dead ones. De-clutter your home and consider replacing your carpets with hard floors to minimize colonization opportunities.
Change their locks. Wool and down bedding attracts mites due to their dust-trapping nature. Switch to synthetics like polar fleece to make the habitat less welcoming. For severe allergies, consider encasing mattresses and pillows with allergen-proof vinyl covers.