I’ve been cleaning a lot recently, as I’m sure you have.  Summer time seems like a time where it’s nice and warm, you get up earlier, go to bed later.  It generally just feels like I’ve got more time to get things done, instead of curling up in a ball trying to stay warm like I do throughout the winter months.

That’s great for dust allergy sufferers as it gives me more time to clean and get things organised that might usually be collecting dust.

So anyway, as I was rooting through some draws recently, I stumbled across this useful leaflet.  I must have picked it up from the doctors a while ago on one of my many visits complaining about my allergy symptoms.  So I thought I’d share it with you.

I must confess, I don’t actually know who wrote it.  It’s just a blank information sheet that the doctor handed me, although it does have addresses for the British Allergy Foundation and Action Against Allergy on the back, so perhaps they have something to do with it.  Anyway, here it is:

House Dust Mite: How do I Control it?

“The House Dust Mite loves warmth, moisture and a nice place to live.

House dust mites are small and whitish in colour, and are barely visible to the naked eye.  The mite is completely harmless unless you are allergic to it.

Minute fragments of mites easily become airborne when house dust is disturbed, and are thus inhaled by everyone.  When protein from these fragments come into contact with the immune system of an allergic person, they have a reaction to it.

Mites thrive in dark, humid places at temperatures of around 25 degrees Celsius.  Mattresses  and pillows are an ideal place for them as they feed on dead skin cells shed from our bodies.  They are also found in many other places such as clothing, carpets, upholstery and soft toys.

The aim of controlling the House Dust Mite is to make it unwelcome in the house and eliminate as much of it as possible.  The idea is to reduce the humidity within the house and minimise the places it can live.

How do I control House Dust Mite?

As we spend most time in contact with House Dust Mite whilst we are sleepinhg it makes sense to tackle the bedroom first, then if possible, move on to other areas of the house.

  • Encase mattresses, duvet and pillows with mite proof covers
  • Avoid divan beds and blankets
  • Wash bedding at 60 degrees Celsius and above
  • Replace curtains and soft furnishings with blinds or hot wash fabrics
  • Open windows more frequently and turn the heating down a few degrees
  • Keep soft toys to a minimum and wash regularly at 60 degrees or freeze for 12 hours to kill the House Dust Mites
  • Generally reduce surfaces where dust can collect
  • Damp dust
  • Replace carpets with floorboards, lino or short pile carpeting
  • Regularly vacuum floors, carpets and soft furnishings
  • When replacing sofas and chairs, consider wipeable or washable fabrics.

It is not always practical or possible to follow all of these guidelines.  Initially concentrate on the bedroom, most importantly he bed itself.  There are various organisations that may be able to provide further support and information.  Ask your hospital or GP practice”

So there it is.  Pretty basic stuff, but very useful nonetheless, and definitely helped me get to grips with this debilitating condition.