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Dust mites: the real facts

Think you know all about dust mites?  Think again: there's a bit of misinformation out there. Here are a few of the myths - and the real truth - about the most common allergen found in Australian homes.

Q. Doesn’t sunlight kill dust mites?

A. It does, but it won’t stop your allergic reaction.
It’s not dust mites themselves that cause allergies, it’s the proteins contained in mites’ faeces, secretions and other body parts. So while leaving your rugs in the sun will kill the mites (for a while, anyway, as they will quickly re-establish themselves), you need to wash them to remove the allergens. For non-washables, Bosisto’s Dust Mite Spray is an excellent mite killer – and it’s natural too.

Dust mite
Q. Most experts just recommend washing in very hot water, why not just do this?

A. It’s not very practical!
The recommended heat to kill dust mites is 55 degrees… this is very hot water. Some systems don’t have water that hot and a lot of fabrics don’t stand up to this kind of heat. It’s better to wash more frequently, and better still to use a specific dust mite wash product, such as Bosisto’s Eucalyptus Dust Mite Wash (which works in any temperature water).

Washing itself, in any detergent will remove 95% of allergens but the dust mites themselves are only killed in very hot water, or with eucalyptus oil.  Leading allergy experts are beginning to acknowlege that eucalyptus can be useful where hot water is not practical - including the National Asthma Council of Australia, the Allergy Unit at Sydney's Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy inc. (ascia).

Q. What about mattress protectors?

A. They’re a waste of money

A recent study has found expensive anti-dust mite bed covers do nothing to help ease asthma or allergies. Previous studies have also showed no difference at all in allergic response while using mattress protectors. And while you can also get plastic covers for chairs and couches, who wants to live in a plastic bubble? Most would say it’s more pleasant (and sociable) to use eucalyptus instead!

Want to read more about Bosisto’s easy, 3-step solution to naturally controlling dust mites in your home? Click here or download a free brochure here.

Bosisto’s products are available to buy online.

Seasonal trends in house dust mite allergen in children’s beds over a 7-year period, Tovey et al; Allergy 2007:62:1394-1400
A simple washing procedure with eucalyptus oil for controlling house dust mites and their allergens in bedding. Tovey et. Al; J. Allergy Clin Immunol 1997:100:464-6