We probably shouldn’t be telling you this, but there are many products sold for dust mite allergy sufferers that don’t work. They are based on junk science or developed by people more interested in selling a product than solving your problem.
What is an Allergy?
All allergies are caused by a defect in the immune system. The immune system in an allergic person has a problem determining what constitutes a danger and what is safe.
Allergy is simply a defect in the immune system where harmless, benign proteins are misidentified as germs. All of your allergy symptoms are a result of your body trying to fight phantom germs.
What are Dust Mites?
Dust mites are gross, tiny little insects that are related to spiders. They are so small you cannot see them. They feed on shed skin cells and like to collect in fiber surfaces. This is because fibers collect skin, and skin is their food.
Dust mites are the most common household allergen. Their bodies and feces contain the proteins that cause allergic reactions. The little allergen bits also collect in fiber surfaces and can be difficult to remove.
Effective Dust Mite Allergy Products
To be effective, products used to treat dust mite allergies should either completely protect against the protein causing allergen or it should remove or neutralize the protein.
Dust mite killing products are not effective because while the dust mite is dead, the allergen is still present. Let’s say that again so you get it: Dust mite killing products are not effective allergy control products.
Dust Mite Proof Bedding
The one product that everyone agrees is effective is dust mite proof bedding. These zippered covers for the mattress, box spring, pillow, duvet, and toppers and mattress pads put a barrier between the allergic person and the allergens.
Dust mites and their allergens are trapped under the zipped cover. No allergens come out and no go in. It is the number one and most effective step to take in controlling a dust mite allergy. Cover your bed in zippered mite-proof covers as your very first step to allergy-proofing the bedroom.
Dust Mite Sprays
Denaturing agents are available in spray and powder form. We recommend sprays in most situations. Anti-allergen sprays are easy to use and when used properly are very effective.
Look for tannic-acid based products or products that use alkaline substances or enzymes that break down the problem causing proteins. Vacuum first before spraying, and if using for the first time test for colorfastness. Tannic acid-based solutions can cause staining.
Personally we recommend the Allersearch ADMS Anti Dust Mite Spray most of the time because it is highly effective and can be used on most fiber surfaces.
Dust Mite Products for Laundry
Bedding must be washed weekly to remove dust mites and their allergens. Weekly washing also keeps allergens from building up on your dust mite proof bedding covers. While 140°F water will kill dust mites in the wash, it is difficult to get water that hot safely at home. Laundry products for washing linens fall into two categories:
Anti Allergen Detergents. These products contain super heavy-duty surfactants. Surfactants increase the surface tension of the water and allow soil and allergens to be more easily dislodged from the fabric and then rinsed away. Use of these surfactants such as Allersearch Allergen Wash will allow you to wash in cooler temperatures and still remove allergens.
These super surfactants may or may not also contain denaturing agents. Be sure to select a product that does not contain dyes, fragrance, or masking fragrance as these can irritate sensitive respiratory systems.
Laundry Additives. Laundry additives, such as De-Mite or Allersearch Acaril, combine denaturing agents and other dust mite control ingredients. These products are added to your regular laundry detergent. They increase the ability of your regular laundry detergent to remove dust mites and their allergens.
These additives generally contain tea tree oil or oil of wintergreen that some people find “medicinal” smelling.
Avoid These Product
Stay away from lights and wands that purport to use ultraviolet light to “kill” dust mites. Just running a UV light over your mattress for a minute or two does not help.
According to a study, Asian Pac J Trop Biomed. 2012 Sep; 2(9): 679–683., it takes at least 60 minutes to effectively kill dust mites "Highest immediate mortality of 100% occurred with direct irradiation at 10 cm distance from UV-C lamp and for 60 mins, for both species of mites." Are you really going to stand over your mattress for an hour?
Besides that, the UV lights can’t penetrate the depths of your mattress; and even if it could remember it is not effective to just kill dust mites as their allergens are left behind.
Avoid boric acid and boron-based solutions. These products are desiccants that are designed to dry out an area making it inhospitable to mites. They work by killing mites, leaving behind the allergens. This is not effective dust mite control.
Ozone is a potent oxidizer. It will break down allergy-causing proteins. It is also harmful to the respiratory system and can trigger asthma attacks.
The Allergy Store constantly tests and reviews new products as they come on the market. If you see a questionable product in another store, feel free to give us a call and get the truth. We only sell products that will effectively treat your dust mite allergies.
Wishing you the best of health
The Allergy Store
P.S. Allergy elimination is about eliminating the allergy-causing substance in your home the best you can. To learn more please click here to download your free copy of" You Can Do It! Allergy Free Living.