The Dust Mite War
nearly every woman, Iíve been fighting the dust mite war my
whole life, but recently it became more serious when the doctor
told me that I was allergic to house dust.
It is not plain, old, run-of-the mill,
outdoor-type dust that causes the problem. It is dust that
collects in the home that is infested with the dust mite
varmints. These pesky mites are microscopic in size, but cause
all sorts of problems and allergic reactions.
Dust mites are tiny, but nasty looking critters,
looking not unlike an ocean crab. Of course, in the microscopic
world, everything looks pretty ominous. In our world, they are
invisible because of their tiny, minute size.
It seems these little critters feed on dead
human flesh. Gross, huh? The dead cells that our bodies
naturally shed are "steak and potatoes" to these guys.
They hang around places where the food is plentiful, especially
in the bedroom and mattress. When a flake drops off, they slurp
Actually, all this slurping is what causes most
of the problems. They eat so much that they use the restroom a
lot, and they donít bother with flushing. One dust mite can go
as many as 20 times a day. I donít know who counted, but
apparently someone with a powerful microscope either had nothing
else to do or received a government grant to count dust mite poo.
Anyhow, itís the dust mite excrement that causes the allergic
Now all of this is really quite disgusting.
Makes you want to grab the disinfectant and start spraying for
dear life. Catch 22: Dust mites are not killed like germs!
Forget the Lysol and grab the vacuum cleaner!
There are some special powders and sprays that help, but the
only really effective weapon against dust is an old one Ė- HOT
WATER. Yep, hot water, says the doc, is the best way to kill
these varmints. Of course, plastic dust covers on the mattress
and pillows, frequent laundering in hot water, and electrostatic
air filters help.
Itís a war against an invisible enemy. How can
you eliminate dust from the environment? Dust collectors like
books, plants, stuffed toys, carpets and mini-blinds are
"home sweet home" for the mite.
Depressing. Whatís the point of living without
any of the things we love, like books, plants and beanie babies?
Itís enough to make a person obsessive-compulsive. There has
to be some compromise some place. Who wants to stay awake all
night listening for dust mites with the munchies?
My vacuum cleaner is the only friend that
understands me any more. Its just the two of us against an
invisible dust mite army! I may make a trip to the local allergy
store for a tannic acid spray. Seems this spray can
"denature" mites. Trouble is it can also stain
everything it touches.
Iím wondering if the guy who coined the phrase
"war is hell" could have been allergic to house dust?
Copyright 2009 Sheila Moss