The answer is ‘yes’ and they can be a sneaky, silent cause of all kinds of allergic symptoms that get blamed on many other sources, causing you to spend money and still not solve the problem. Common house dust mites are one of the strongest allergens known to man (causing upwards of 60% of new asthma cases each year) and they can severely irritate the skin and mucous membranes of our furry and feathered friends that spend time with us indoors-and it’s a year round thing.
House dust mites are pretty much everywhere you see dust in a house, and it’s estimated that there are about 200 living animals per gram of dust. That doesn’t account for the equally strong allergy reaction causing dust mite body parts and their waste material. And since most of our pets live and operate where-at floor level-they’re getting actually the biggest dose these critters, which leads to everything increased scratching, ear inflammation, seborrhea, granuloma, even plasma cell pododermatitis or ‘pillow foot’ in cats.
So, if your cat, dog or other pet has allergies, don’t bother spending the money getting them tested for sensitivity to dust mites-there’s such a high chance that they (and you) are very sensitive, it’s one of those tests that will almost always come up ‘positive’ and you might as well go ahead and take some action. Note: Although miticides like Acarosan (benzyl benzoate) will them, they’re poisonous to you and your pet and there is very little evidence that using these permanently gets rid of the dust mites or lessens allergies. Instead, here are some suggestions that should make a difference:
- Wash your pet at least once a week, perhaps a couple of times a week while dust mites are a problem.
- Thoroughly vacuum everything you can, especially any pet bedding or areas where they lay, carpets, rugs, etc, on a weekly basis. Wash their bedding in hot water every 2 weeks if possible until they seem to be under control, then once a month for sure.
- Air out fabrics your pet is exposed to for 12 hours on a hot sunny day then vacuum. Also be sure your vacuum has a HEPA filter-if not, the vacuum will recirculate dust mites and particles back into the air and onto the floor. Don’t forget to wash any cloth toys, too.
- Use bedding and other encasements to keep dust mites away from your pet’s skin-this will help prevent re-infestation as you proceed with your dust mite removal program.
- Consider buying a quality room air purifier with a HEPA filter, and be sure to get one that can cover enough the square footage of where the pet roams. You may need more than one to cover a main living level if the pet has free roam. Austin Air and Aller Air purifiers can handle up to 1500 square feet with one unit.
- Use as few carpets as you can in your home, as dust mites love to live there-and if you must have carpet, steam clean at least once a month. Throw rugs are better because you can more easily keep them cleaner.
- Keep indoor humidity less than 50%–this makes it difficult for house dust mites to survive and helps keep excess moisture from feeding mold spores and bacteria, too.
I hope this article helps those working to get rid of pet allergies. If anyone has questions, please feel free to contact us at the author box below. Thank you!