Mattresses not covered during the day dry out house dust mites

An uncovered bed may look sloppy, but it can be good for your health. Researchers at Kingston University have found that house dust mites do not tolerate undecorated beds. The BBC reports that the arachnids cannot survive in the warm, dry conditions prevailing in untidy beds.

A bed is said to contain an average of more than 1.5 million house dust mites. The not even one millimeter long arachnids feed on human skin scales and produce allergens that humans inhale during sleep. The warm, humid conditions of a covered bed are ideal for the arachnids. mites survive by removing water from the atmosphere. This is done through the body’s own glands. Research scientist Stephen Pretlove: “Something as simple as not covering the bed with a blanket during the day reduces the moisture in sheets and mattresses.. The mites wither and finally die.”

Diseases caused by house dust mitigation cost the UK £700 million (about €1 billion) a year. Pretlove’s study also proves that the appearance of mites has to do with the construction of a house. For example, some materials insulate better than others. His study aims to help architects reduce the risk of mites.

Source: Pressetext Austria of 18.01.2005

 

Info about house dust mite

Small arachnids in the size of 0.1-0.4 mm that live and feed in house dust. They can be found mainly in carpets and mattresses. They absorb oxygen directly through the skin and require relatively high humidity to compensate for the loss of water caused by the thin skin. A correspondingly high level of humidity can only be found in certain microclimatic niches, e.g. in mattresses. The number of mites varies according to the season, depending on the humidity, which is highest indoors in summer and autumn. At this time the largest mite population is also found in the living rooms. House dust mites feed on the skin scales acidified by moulds, among other things. The excrements of house dust mites contain substances that have been identified as triggers of respiratory allergies.

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