Mites: The definitive guide and how to eliminate them
Believe it or not, when we go for a walk in the countryside and even when we are at home enjoying a good book, watching a movie or eating a simple snack, we are in the company of a lot of tiny beings like protozoa, fungi, bacteria and the terrible mites. The latter have become a problem for many people, who suffer annoying allergies because of their presence, so ending them is mostly a priority.
That is why this time we will talk a little about these animals, why they appear in our homes and what we can do to solve the enormous problem they can cause.
What are mites?
Mites are small bugs that belong to the family of arachnids, where they also find scorpions and spiders. Today, around 50,000 types of mites have been recorded, although new species continue to appear, with 100,000 still to be classified.
The presence of these animals has been discovered in all types of environments throughout the planet, in mountains and volcanoes, and even in oceanic pits and polar regions. However, they tend to be more abundant in coastal areas and in those places with a lot of vegetation, since they present the perfect conditions for them to survive and proliferate.
Unfortunately, mites are not only present in natural environments, but have also plagued our homes, scurrying on our mattresses, furniture, pillows, stuffed animals and even our clothes and body, which, of course, does not we find it not pleasant at all.
Why do mites appear?
Now that you know what mites are, it is very likely that you are wondering: why do they appear? Well, the first thing you should know is that the mites feed on the remains of human scaling, hair and nails, so they look for ways to sneak into our homes and be near us to give themselves a big feast. These small bugs do not like to be exposed to light, so they hide among the fabric of the bedding, the curtains, the rugs, and even in our favorite clothes.
Also, the fact of having a room full of dust makes the appearance of mites even more likely, since a single gram of dust can contain up to 10,000 of these bugs.
On the other hand, it is possible to find some of them living in barns, stables and storage places, since certain species have to feed on flour, grains and cereals.
Regarding the conditions for their survival and reproduction, the presence of mites is even greater when temperatures and humidity are relatively high, considering about 25° C and 75% humidity.
Types or species of mites
Although there are many species of mites, the most important and problematic are:
They are found in food products that have been poorly preserved, as well as in the dust that accumulates in kitchens and in pantries, and can cause allergies and respiratory diseases in those who handle grains, flours and similar products.
This type of mite feeds on the remains of our skin, nails and hair, and are usually on mattresses, furniture, curtains, carpets, bedding, etc. They are considered the main cause of most allergies and asthma worldwide.
This type of mite is also known as a red spider and attacks mainly plants, crops and fruit trees.
Although they are larger, they are also considered to be within the mite family. This species feeds on the blood of animals and humans, reaching to transmit delicate diseases such as meningoencephalitis and Lyme disease.
It is a hematophagous ectoparasite that feeds on the blood of birds, especially at night, causing a picture of anemia.
Mites stings and bites
There are many types of mite stings or bites, although the species that bite and penetrate the skin are mainly Sarcoptes scabiei, which can transmit scabies , and Demodex mites, which produce dermatitis.
In general, it is the bite of the ectoparasites of birds, rodents or pets that produces dermatitis in humans. Bugs of this type can bite those who handle birds and those who have cats, dogs, rodents or farm animals such as pigs, although they are also present in straw clusters, even biting people who work in stables.
Pantry mites can trigger allergic dermatitis or itching of the shopkeeper. However, they do not do it through a bite or sting; What happens in this case is that some people are sensitive to their allergens or their feces, and this is what causes an allergic dermatitis.
As for dust mites, they do not bite either, they only feed on the remains of the peeling skin on our pillows, mattresses and bedding. Even so, they are a nuisance for many because the allergens in their exoskeleton and their fecal waste also usually produce allergic reactions.
Are mites dangerous?
As to whether the mites are dangerous or not, perhaps we should say that they are, because these little bugs not only can cause allergies, but also can trigger asthma attacks somewhat delicate. In fact, 2 mg of mites per gram of powder can cause an allergic reaction in hypersensitive people, while 10 mg per gram of powder can cause an asthma attack.
While it is thought that mites themselves are harmless to humans, the bite of some of them and their fecal matter can cause some type of damage. It is estimated that a mite is capable of emitting 20 fecal particles per day, which have the power to generate allergic reactions even when the animal has died. These particles can be suspended in the air and, once inhaled, enter our respiratory system and produce physiological and biochemical reactions that end up presenting an allergic reaction.
Fortunately, of the wide variety of mites that have been identified, only 25 species have been considered as potentially allergic to man, although it is these little ones who are responsible for delicate diseases such as asthma becoming increasingly acute.
How to eliminate mites
If these pests have become a problem for you and yours, nothing better than the following tips to end them once and for all.
Weekly wash the bed linen
As you know, these annoying little bugs are hidden in the sheets, pillow cases and on the mattress where you sleep, so we recommend you to wash the bedding, at least once a week. Try to do it with hot water, at a temperature not lower than 60 ° C, to kill dust mites and their allergens.
In case your bedding can not be washed in hot water, you can put it in the dryer for about 15 minutes at high temperature. Also, if you have items that can not be washed, freeze them for a day and there will no longer be mites to bother you.
Control humidity in your home
It is very important to keep the humidity in your home below 50%, since otherwise it is easier for these bichillos to make their undesirable act of appearance. If you have a dehumidifier or an air conditioner you can use them to keep your humidity levels low, which you can measure with the help of a hygrometer.
Eliminates traces of dust
Mites tend to hide in dust particles, so you must take care to eliminate even the slightest trace of it. To do this, take a damp cloth to remove it from the surfaces of your home, instead of using dry materials, this will cause the dust to adhere to the cloth, preventing it from passing into the air and falling back on the surfaces.
Use the vacuum frequently
Aspirate the carpets and the furniture covered will help to clean all the dust that may be on its surface, although it is not an entirely effective method to kill most dust mites and their allergens, so we recommend using a filter of air particles to reduce dust emissions from the vacuum cleaner. Now, if you are very allergic, it is best that someone else do this work and avoid entering the room, at least for the next two hours.
Decrease the decoration as much as you can
Decorative objects tend to accumulate dust in them, giving rise to these annoying creatures. For this reason, try to reduce your decoration as much as you can, eliminating old books, magazines or objects that are not so necessary, it may seem a bit frustrating but it will be worth doing.
Carpets are one of the main refuges of dust mites, because they provide the necessary conditions to survive and proliferate, especially if the carpet is on cement, since it retains enough moisture and is much more attractive for these pests.
If you have the possibility to replace the carpet in your rooms with tiles, wood or linoleum, do not hesitate! And also think about replacing furniture, figurines and non-washable curtains that tend to accumulate dust.
Install a quality heating filter
Try to buy a filter with a MERV (Minimum Efficiency Report Value) of 11 or 12 and turn on the fan so that there is an air filter for your entire home. Of course, do not forget to change it every 2 or 3 months.
Home remedies to eradicate mites
If you are in search of natural solutions to dig with the problem of mites, you can give a chance to the home remedies that we have left you below.
Baking soda and essential oil
An excellent idea to kill them is to make a mixture of baking soda and some essential oil, which can be lavender or mint according to your preference. The only thing you should do is take 1 cup of baking soda, pour it into a jar together with 4 or 5 drops of the essential oil and shake it strongly to dissolve it. Then, with the help of a colander, spread the mixture through the mattresses of the rooms and leave for an hour.
Once the time has passed, take the vacuum cleaner and remove the remaining baking soda on the mattress, put clean bedding and ready, problem solved!
Homemade insecticide with alcohol and essential oil
This homemade insecticide recipe is great to eliminate these bichillos and it is also very easy to do. All you need is a bottle with spray, ½ cup of alcohol, ½ cup of distilled water and 30 drops of the essential oil you want (lavender, eucalyptus, cypress, etc.).
What you should do is mix all the ingredients inside the bottle and spray the liquid on the mattress, the sheets, the pillows, the curtains, the rugs and any other place where there may be dust. Let the mixture evaporate and say goodbye to these annoying bugs.
We recommend not doing this in the presence of small children and pregnant women.
More tricks to kill mites
Not only home remedies are very good at killing mites, there are also some tricks you can put into practice to solve this small issue once and for all.
Mites are not resistant to sunlight, so we recommend hanging clothes, sheets, pillowcases and all bedding items for sunlight to penetrate them. You can also take mattresses, furniture and carpets to your patio or garden to receive direct sunlight.
Use the freezer
It may sound a little crazy but freezing the bedding that can not be washed, plus toys and other decorative items, is a great idea to exterminate these bugs. Do it for 1 or 2 days and your problem will be solved.
Now you have in your hands the necessary tools to deal with these unpleasant animals and get them out of your life and your home once and for all. We hope that our advice will be of great help to you and that allergies and mites are no longer a problem for you.
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