Dust mites may seem like tiny, innocuous creatures unless you are one of the thousands of unlucky Americans that are allergic to them. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, dust mites may be the most common trigger of year round allergies and asthma. They live in homes throughout the world and are on every continent except Antarctica.
WHAT EXACTLY IS A DUST MITE?
Dust mites are so small that they cannot be seen with the naked eye. Under a microscope, they look like white bugs with eight legs. Not a nice thought that these little visitors love to hang out where we sleep – in the mattress! That’s because there is an ample food supply of flakes of human skin. An average adult can shed up to 1.5 grams of skin per day. That’s enough fodder for one million dust mites. Eeeoo! This is starting to sound like a creepy horror movie! Dust mites thrive in warmth and humidity.
SYMPTOMS OF A DUST MITE ALLERGY
If you wake up in the mornings feeling groggy and congested instead of refreshed, you may be reacting to the mites. Symptoms can include cold like features such as a stuffy or runny nose, itchy, watery eyes, post nasal drip and wheezing, difficulties breathing and chest tightness.
HOW CAN OILS HELP?
In 2006, a study was carried out at Zhejiang University to test the effects of 14 essential oils on the common dust mite. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1661675/. It is a detailed study and the results suggest that essential oils are an eco friendly, biodegradable agent for the control of dust mites. The most commonly available essential oils that have the most promising results are clove, eucalyptus and rosemary.
HOW TO USE THE OILS?
You can use one of these oils, or a mixture of all three. Add 10 drops of essential oil to about half a cup of baking soda. The mixture should be fairly dry. Sprinkle the mixture on the mattress, particularly on the decorative seams. Leave for a couple of hours, then vacuum up. Do this regularly and hopefully your allergy symptoms will subside.