The Dust Mite War
Like 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 it up.
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 reactions.
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
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?