Dust mites are microscopic arthropods (from the class Spider-like), sometimes living in household dust by millions. It is rather difficult to see them with the naked eye due to the small size (up to 0.5 mm) and the translucent body. For the same reason, in practice it is difficult to understand that they generally settled in the apartment and whether the measures taken against them were effective.
At the same time, it is necessary to fight with these pests in the house, since they can cause serious allergic reactions, rhinitis (nasal congestion), dermatitis and conjunctivitis in a person. A particularly strong allergen is the excrement of ticks containing digestive enzymes - it is to these enzymes that people with allergies are particularly sensitive.
On a note
Sometimes people live for years in a tick-infected room, suffering from constant nasal congestion or even asthma, and not knowing the source of the problems.
If the house dust mites were detected, the fight against them should begin immediately. Despite the fact that in some cases it is quite difficult to get rid of ticks at home, that is, without the involvement of specialists, today methods and tools have been developed to ensure the complete destruction of these unwanted neighbors with due diligence.
To begin the destruction of pests need to search for places of their greatest concentrations in the room.
Determination of places of dust mites accumulation in the apartment
Before killing ticks, it is helpful to ascertain that they actually inhabit the premises, and allergies and respiratory diseases of unknown etiology are caused by them and not by other factors.
On a note
Largely due to advertising, some people are so scared by the thought that thousands of dust mites live on carpets and cushions that they are ready for total chemical treatment of the entire apartment a couple of times a month - in order to get rid of pests (although they may be completely absent).Meanwhile, an allergy in tenants can not be caused by ticks at all, but by a cat or dog living in a house, or even the same insecticides and acaricides too often sprayed indoors.
Initially, the suspicion of the presence of dust mites should arise precisely in the event of impairment of health for no apparent reason. Such disorders include prolonged nasal congestion, frequent tearing, aggravated at home, drowsiness, headaches, frequent respiratory diseases, and allergic reactions on the skin of unexplained etiology. Moreover, these symptoms can develop only in one family member, and often only in a child.
If at the same time the room is rarely aired and it is rarely carried out in it a wet cleaning, and there are many places of accumulation of household dust - carpets, sofas and beds, massive curtains - then the probability of settling with mites is very high here.
According to statistics, more than half of the apartments around the world are to some extent infected with these arachnids. Human species usually inhabit Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus (European dust mite) and Dermatophagoides farinae (American dust mite).
If the presence of ticks is reliably established, then it is necessary to find out where they accumulate in the largest quantities.
The most common habitat for them is the bed of a person and sleeping places in general (beds, sofas, sometimes armchairs), where a humid and warm microclimate is maintained (under a blanket, coverlet, blanket), and new portions of food are constantly appearing. It is these places are subject to prior inspection.
Let's see how you can conduct such a check on the spot, at home.
The simplest and most obvious way (although not always the most effective) is to inspect the places of possible accumulation of ticks with a magnifying glass. Even the usual school magnifying glass for this should be quite enough, since the accumulations of ticks in it are clearly visible (adults reach 0.5 mm in length). First of all, you should look through it:
- The wooden frame of the bed on which the mattress rests;
- The line of contact of the plinth with the floor and the walls under the bed (just before cleaning, when there is still dust), not far from it, and also under the table, at which people often sit;
- A sheet under the pillow;
- The floor under the rugs, bedding, canine or feline bedding;
For the same purpose, you can use a microscope, and any, even a child.
And in a magnifying glass, and in a simple microscope, mites will look like small whitish grains among the dust or the structure of the material itself - textiles or carpet pile. For example, the photo below demonstrates how dust mites look exactly on a carpet with the magnification created by an ordinary educational microscope:
In addition, to determine the presence of ticks in the room there are specially designed test systems. They help to accurately detect the main foci of infection and determine the approximate number of parasites in these places.
Each set of test system contains a chemical reagent, a test strip, a dust collector, and an indicator color scale. The kit is easy to use, although it requires compliance with certain safety regulations. When working with him it is recommended to use a mask and rubber gloves.
This test system is used as follows:
- Using a small container, the dust sample is mixed with the reagent;
- Lower the test strip into the mixture;
- The color of the strip is compared with the colors on the scale from the set. It is possible to determine the concentration of mite antigens in the place where the dust was taken for analysis.
The number of reagents and test strips is calculated so that one system to conduct research 10 times. This is very convenient, as it helps to determine the most infected place in the house, as well as to monitor the effectiveness of the measures taken to combat ticks. It is enough, for example, to take several samples in different places (including the most dusty) - under the bed, on the bed, near the sofa, in the corner on the baseboards, check where there are a lot of ticks, and where there are none at all, and then destruction activities, check the most contaminated sites again.
Classification methods of struggle
All methods of dealing with dust mites can be divided into several types:
- Chemical assuming the destruction of ticks by toxic substances for them;
- Mechanical, more labor-intensive, but usually safer for humans and domestic animals, rather than using chemical agents;
- Thermal, in the application of which mites die from extreme temperatures for them.
Chemicals are considered the fastest and most reliable. Partly for this reason, they are used by professionals when they remove household pests and parasites.
Chemical preparations may contain organophosphate insecticides, amidines, avermectins, pyrethroids, benzylates, etc. As organophosphorus and pyrethroids are most commonly used — many of these drugs are adapted for home use.
It is interesting
Pyrethroids are synthetic analogues of the known natural insecticides pyrethrins, extracted from some types of chrysanthemums (in particular, from Dalmatian, Caucasian and Persian daisies). The insecticidal properties of pyrethrins were used in ancient times - in the literature there are mentions that the powder of dry Dalmatian daisies was carried on hikes with the soldiers of the troops of Alexander the Great (apparently, from linen lice). And today, for example, Piretrum powder based on crushed dried chamomile flowers is used as a natural remedy for the destruction of bed bugs.
Pyrethroids are more effective against ticks and insects than natural pyrethrins, but also more toxic to humans.
At first glance, mechanical methods of dealing with dust mites are quite simple - everyone can implement them with their own hands,however, in practice, these methods require a certain amount of time and effort. They include:
- Regular removal of dust from its places of accumulation in the room;
- Thorough cleaning in the apartment (manually, plus with a vacuum cleaner, plus wet);
- Washing of bed linen and its frequent replacement.
Thermal methods are based on the sensitivity of ticks to temperature extremes. If the temperature is too high or too low, they quickly die. Therefore, conduct such activities as:
- Wash bed linen and clothes in hot water with a temperature of at least 60 ° C;
- "Calcination" of things in the sun (especially effective in the cabin of the car, left in the sun);
- Treatment of carpets, mattresses, sofas and armchairs with a steam cleaner;
- Freezing things.
To effectively get rid of dust mites in the apartment, it is advisable to combine different methods of exterminating these pests. So the result will be achieved faster and, moreover, will be more complete and long.
It is convenient to divide the process of destruction of ticks into stages with several control points. Periodic monitoring helps to understand how effective the measures taken were, and in some cases will save from unnecessary efforts.The first such control point may be, for example, after general cleaning of a room with an emphasis on getting rid of household dust accumulated for months and years.
On a note
To date, developed various ways to treat allergic reactions. For example, if you are allergic to waste products of dust mites, allergen-specific immunotherapy can help - ASIT, which allows you to save a person from a strong reaction to allergens.
However, it will be all the same to remove ticks in a room, since with their large accumulation even a healthy person with a normal immune system will be subject to gradual sensitization to tick-borne allergens.
The main method of solving the problem is to reduce the concentration of the allergen with which the person is in contact. This can be done directly - by mechanically cleaning the apartment from dust, plus additionally destroying the mites themselves with the help of chemicals or by temperature exposure.
Separately, it should be said about the very strong influence of the relative humidity of the air in the room on the vital activity of dust mites. If the room is not ventilated for a long time, and the air humidity here is constantly maintained at a level well above 40%, then in such conditions the population of ticks can grow rapidly.
And vice versa, regular airing and low air humidity negatively affect the vital activity of dust mites. In winter, when central heating is in operation, the air humidity in apartments of multi-storey buildings can stay below 20% for months, and in such conditions the entire pest population is doomed to death.
Mechanical methods for the destruction of dust mites
The key to tick control is the removal of ordinary house dust. It is the site of the concentration of these arthropods and their livelihoods (primarily the feces and chitinous integuments remaining after molting).
Vacuum cleaners greatly facilitate this process. Particular attention when cleaning should be paid to carpets, upholstery of upholstered furniture, baseboards and corners of the room.
It should be remembered that in some vacuum cleaners the most fine dust is blown back into the room. Therefore, it is recommended to use devices with special filters that hold even the fine dust inside.
On the market there are also specialized vacuum cleaners designed specifically for the extermination of dust mites. For example, this is Philips FC6230 / 02 Mite Cleaner. It effectively cleans soft surfaces thanks to special vibrating nozzles, and also effectively collects dust from the floor. The ultraviolet lamp is built into it, although its efficiency is not entirely unambiguous: UV rays actually kill ticks and various microorganisms, but for the desired result, sufficient exposure time is necessary. Therefore, it is doubtful that during short-term treatment of the surface with a vacuum cleaner, UV rays will have time to act on pests. However, the option is useful, and it will not be worse.
It should be borne in mind that even with a powerful vacuum cleaner, it is sometimes difficult to completely get rid of dust and mites present on soft surfaces. They can be located deep between the fibers of carpets and carpets, as well as inside the same pillows, blankets, blankets. Therefore, regular shaking out and “knocking out” of carpet tracks, as well as washing bedding is recommended.
Regular wet cleaning and mopping are also very important, because during dry cleaning some of the dust with allergens simply gets into the air and the person inhales it later.
On a note
It is known that the use of sufficiently concentrated salt solution during the cleaning has a detrimental effect on dust mites. This method is accessible to everyone and at the same time is completely safe for people and pets. It is enough just to add about 500 grams of salt to a bucket of water (10 liters) in the water to wash the floors or clean the carpets.
However, it should be borne in mind that such a saline solution, although it allows a certain extent to get rid of ticks, is able to leave stains both on the floor and on carpets.
Thermal ways to fight
Dust mites are very sensitive to changes in air temperature. When it rises to 60 ° C or decreases below 0 ° C, they die. In this regard, it is recommended to wash bed linen, bedspreads, blankets and curtains in hot water.
Do not forget about soft toys. Ticks can also accumulate in them, and children are more sensitive to allergens than adults.
In addition to washing, the handling of things with a steam cleaner or steam generator is convenient and effective. The same devices can be used for steaming carpets, mattresses, blankets, pillows, upholstery of sofas, armchairs, beds.Steam with a temperature of about 100 ° C easily falls into the pores of the fabric, warming it to a considerable depth, and is also able to penetrate into the cracks of furniture - this makes it easier to destroy ticks in hard-to-reach places.
A simple way is also to “roast” things in the sun for a few hours. It is useful to simply put things in the car with the windows closed, left in the summer in the sun.
For things that do not tolerate washing and steam treatment, freezing is possible at a low temperature (preferably below -20 ° C). This can be done in the winter in many regions of Russia.
Use of chemicals
Chemical treatment of the premises is the most reliable way to kill dust mites. - if it is carried out correctly, the poisonous substance penetrates practically all the places where pests accumulate and destroys them even where they cannot be destroyed mechanically and where the temperature cannot be changed.
It is impossible to make the TOP of the best drugs against ticks. The choice of means depends on whether there are children and pets in the house, on the degree of contamination of the room, on the size and purpose of the room.However, some products are generally used more often than others.
Allergoff acaricides based on benzyl benzoate are among the most popular dust mite remedies today. Their main advantage is the relative safety for humans (in comparison, for example, with more powerful chemistry, which is used to kill cockroaches and bedbugs).
Allergoff is produced in two forms: in the form of an aerosol, which can be used to treat various surfaces in the apartment, and in the form of a dry acaricide additive to eliminate allergens during washing. The spray acts on ticks at all stages of their development, that is, it will help to destroy both adult individuals and larvae and nymphs.
The drug is quite simple to use. Places where mites live (for example, carpets) need to be cleaned of dust and simply treated by spraying a can from a can. After processing, things are not recommended to be used for an hour until the surface is completely dry.
Also, as an example of an interesting acaricidal agent based on natural raw materials, the Milbiol dust mite spray can be noted.The active ingredient in it is azadirachtin, which is extracted from the seeds of the plants of the Meliyev family. It is used to handle things that can not be washed. The drug can be purchased at online stores.
On a note
Among the aerosol preparations used in the fight against dust mites, Easy air is also known. It is not an acaricidal agent, but is used precisely in addition to drugs that destroy ticks. Its main active ingredients deactivate tick-borne allergens - this can significantly reduce the severity of allergy symptoms during the period until it is possible to completely get rid of ticks in the house.
Non-specific drugs used to control any arthropods indoors can also be used. For example, Karbofos, Hangman, Delta Zone, Get Total, Agran, Xulsat C25, Xulsat Micro, FAS (in tablets), Sinuzan, etc. are popular today. All of them are similar in their principle of action (they have a nerve-paralytic effect on contact with arthropods) and are different only the composition and degree of toxicity for humans.
Organophosphorus-based preparations include, for example, Malathion, Hangman, Get Total.The active ingredients in them are malathion, fenthion and chlorpyrifos, respectively, highly effective against ticks and moderate toxic to humans and animals. When used correctly, these drugs kill all ticks, for example, in the carpet, literally within a few minutes after processing.
The preparations of Delta Zone, Lambda Zone, Medilis Ziper, Zifox contain pyrethroids as active substances, which also give a quick and well-pronounced result.
On a note
It should be noted that often the cost of the drug does not correlate with its effectiveness. For example, inexpensive Karbofos is no less effective than the expensive Hangman or Get. Another thing is that Get and Hangman are more adapted for use at home, while the smell of Karbofos can stay indoors for weeks or even months.
It is important to remember that when working with acaricides and insecticides, it is necessary to strictly adhere to the instructions and safety regulations. The room before the start of the procedure must be freed from people and animals. It is necessary to work in protective gloves and in clothes with long sleeves, a respirator is worn on the face.After treatment, the room needs to be ventilated and wet-cleaned.
On a note
People sometimes try to get rid of ticks with the help of essential oils - cumin, clove, wormwood, tea tree or lavender. Many arthropods really avoid these odors, but dust mites are physically unable to leave the house, and therefore the use of such repellent folk remedies will in no way save the room from pests.
Quartzization of the room as a way to combat dust mites
Separately, a few words should be said about quartz treatment - it is based on disinfecting a room with ultraviolet and ozone using UV lamps.
Under the action of ultraviolet radiation from a quartz lamp, the oxygen of the air is converted into ozone, a substance that is the strongest oxidizer. It is ozone and has the main disinfecting effect on the room, penetrating even where UV rays can not penetrate (on the surface in the shade, UV radiation has almost no effect).
Although quartzing is an effective way to help get rid of dust mites in an apartment, however, this method of struggle is rarely used in practice - few have a quartz lamp.In addition, the method requires great care when using - it should be borne in mind that when exposed to the retina, UV rays can damage it. The color of fabrics and various interior elements may change.
Step-by-step plan for dealing with dust mites
When destroying dust mites, it is advisable to adhere to the following step-by-step plan of struggle:
- Indoors are identified places with the highest concentration of ticks. Most likely, it will be carpets and upholstered furniture, as well as sleeping places, floor and baseboards around them;
- A thorough wet cleaning is carried out (so as not to raise dust), then upholstered furniture and carpets are vacuumed. The room is ventilated;
- All textiles (bedding, pillowcases, blankets, duvet covers, blankets) are washed in hot water, and mattresses, pillows and carpets are treated with hot steam from a steam generator or exposed to frost. If the room was heavily infected, and the mattress and pillows are old, then it is recommended to replace them with new ones;
- Carpets and similar “dust collectors” are treated with a chemical agent (for example, spray Allergoff). All the places in the room where the mites were found in the highest concentration and where they are supposed to be located are also processed;
- A week later, an intermediate control of the mite concentration is carried out using a test system. If the mites remain in the room, then the procedures should be repeated. If there are already no pests, then in the future we can only maintain a good sanitary condition of the room in order to prevent the ticks from reestablishing their population in the apartment.
It is important not to stop halfway there, when most of the ticks have already been destroyed, and all that remains is to either exterminate the rest or create unfavorable conditions for them. If the struggle at this stage is stopped, the surviving individuals will quickly multiply, and in a few months the situation will become the same as before the start of the struggle.
On a note
During its life, the dust mite female lays up to 60 eggs, and after 3-4 weeks the larvae that have emerged become sexually mature individuals and begin to reproduce themselves. Therefore, a pause in their destruction of only 1-2 months may lead to the restoration of the population size to the initial level.
If there are a lot of ticks in the room, and there is no certainty that you can get rid of them yourself, then you can contact a professional pest control service,who have experience in this business and use proven drugs. Processing one-room apartment today will cost about 2000 rubles.
How to protect the apartment from reproduction of ticks in the future?
After a long and laborious struggle with dust mites, it is important to prevent their reappearance and reproduction, otherwise all efforts may be in vain.
The house has special zones in which the most favorable conditions for the development of these pests are created. In addition to the person’s sleeping area, these also include surfaces that usually accumulate the most dust: furniture, bookshelves, carpets, curtains, and more. Therefore, it is recommended to keep books and small decorative objects in glazed cabinets - this will greatly facilitate the cleaning of dust.
It is also desirable to get rid of excess carpet in the room - they are the hubs of dust, particles of peeling skin and the mites themselves that feed on them.
Bedding, curtains, curtains and bedspreads should be periodically washed in hot water, or treated with a steam generator.
Upholstered furniture helps to protect the special impermeable coverings - covers and mattress covers.You should also prefer polyurethane mattresses and pillows with synthetic filling (instead of natural fluff). All bed linen should be washed regularly at the maximum temperature allowed for it.
It is important to ventilate the room well, at least once a week to carry out a thorough wet cleaning, vacuuming carpets and carpets, do not forget about cleaning the air filters of air conditioners.
If any of the tenants of the premises in the future again develop signs of allergies or respiratory diseases for no apparent reason, then you need to re-conduct the apartment survey using the test system. However, with the observance of the rules of prevention, the probability of repeated mass reproduction of dust mites in the room as a whole is insignificant.
Interesting video: mattress under the microscope (a lot of dust mites)
What is important to know about tick-borne allergies