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Natural, eco-friendly handy tips to guard against dust mites and allergens at home
Natural, eco-friendly and handy tips to guard against dust mites and allergens at home
The recent news report that a popular dust mite-proof and anti-allergen laundry detergent contained pesticide ingredients shocked many parents. As expressed by Taipei City Department of Environmental Protection, the humid climate in Taiwan fosters growth of dust mites at home, creating a hard time for people with allergies. According to findings from medical researches, more than 90% of allergens for children come from dust mites at home. Prevention of dust mites can be accomplished without the use of dust mite-proof laundry detergent or pesticides. Remember the rule of thumb that “dryness” and “cleanliness” are the natural ways to keep dust mites away from home.
As explained by the Department, the dust mite is an eight-legged arthropod only 0.3 mm in size. They like to live in an environment with a temperature of about 25℃and humidity of 70-80%. Most dust mites adhere to products made of cotton or wool, such as carpet and stuffed toys made of fur or fluffy materials. Their sources of food come from fur and hairs from humans and animals. As long as these food sources exist in the environment, along with high humidity environment, dust mites are able to reproduce their offspring in 30 days. As advised by the Department, the following 7 tips for guarding against mites come in handy for families in their efforts to get rid of and prevent dust mites.
1.Regularly dehumidify the home living area with a dehumidifier to keep the relative level of in-door humidity lower than 50%, so that it would be hard for dust mites to survive.
2.Frequently wipe or vacuum-clean fur and hairs on the floor and carpet to eradicate the source of food for the mites.
3.Dust mites hate high temperature. Bed covers, sheets, pillow covers, or stuffed toys should be regularly soaked in 50~60℃ hot water for about 10 minutes and washed with detergents.
4.Pillows and stuffed toys should be regularly placed under hot sunlight. If there is no big space available, they could be placed under the sunlight while wrapped inside a black plastic bag in order to raise the temperature inside to 60℃. On rainy days, they could be heated by hair dryer or ironing to effectively get rid of dust mites.
5.Carpets are often where dust mites like to dwell in. If any family member has allergies, it is recommended to replace carpet with wooden floors.
6.The dust mite-proof bedding in stores employs a physical method: the surface holes are minimized in size to eradicate the hidden food source for mites. However, they have to be washed at least once per month.
7.Window curtains made of cloth tend to catch dust mites and are not as easy to wash and clean. Should there be a need to guard against dust mites, it is recommended to use blinds to replace regular curtains.