Nurturing your beloved colony of dust mites

Or, finding the positive in your allergy report

I got the results back from allergy testing a couple days ago and it turns out that I’m extremely allergic to dust mites. I hopped online to figure out what to do and it appears the only effective way to “minimize” exposure is:

1. Burn your house down.

2. Move to a brand new house in the dryest spot in the country.

3. It must have only wooden floors, wooden or plastic furniture, and not a single plush object that dust mites may find appealing.

4. Make sure that whatever fabric is present is SO tightly woven that nothing larger than 10 microns can fit through it in order to cut down on dust mites and their “by-products” from infiltrating it (hello, vinyl bedding, curtains, and clothes).

5. Vacuum 5x a day with a HEPA filter vacuum while wearing a special breathing mask, but preferably your hired help can do this instead with all the money you have leftover after relocating and buying all new things.

4. Make sure every environment you’re ever in from now on has the same level of sanitization and sparse comfort.

These are impossible standards, of course. A much more realistic course is to just make friends with your new family.

First you want to learn everything you can about raising and keeping dust mites so you can be good and ready to service your new colony.

Dust mites LOVE humid environments. Anything less than about 45% humidity runs the risk of desiccating them, since they can’t drink water and instead absorb moisture through their bodies. The only way to kill them in the wash is to use the “sanitize” setting of 130-140 degrees F hot water. Bleach might kill them but won’t remove the allergens, necessarily. It doesn’t take much to keep their populations nice and healthy. The average 10-lb mattress is comprised of about 2 pounds of dust mites, according to Dr. Google.

They don’t bite people or cause issues, however, unless you’re allergic. They can be kindof cute, in a tardigrade kindof way.

Meet Jeremy.

His first ultrasound didn’t reveal too many details yet — we couldn’t even see the full front casing where his little buckteeth would develop:

He was an adorable baby, however. Look at that smile!

He didn’t stay put in the crib for long though. He was far too active to sleep all day. He had important work to do, like jumping on the bed. His favorite hobby was flinging his allergens into the air.

Jeremy, like any curious toddler, was not content to stay in one place, however. We recently found him exploring the curtains. Dust mites are very light and can easily be launched across the room when you flop down on your shared bed. They don’t mind. Any fabric will do as a fun playground, curtains, even tapestries hanging on the wall.

We are lucky that Jeremy is a sweet fellow but, like any population, troubled critters ARE out there and you may run the risk of them taking over your home.

IF you are unfortunate enough to have a rogue gang and a killer dust mite allergy the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America has some great advice.

If you aren’t allergic, no biggie. Enjoy life as usual. Jeremy may be looking for a roommate so I can hook you up!