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Dust mites feed on shed skin flakes from pets and people. Since they feed on dead skin, beds, upholstered furniture, carpets, and stuffed animals are the most common homes for dust mites. Dust mites are tiny creatures that thrive in these spots in even the cleanest homes.

Fortunately dust mites have a short life span of 45-90 days but they reproduce quickly making them difficult to completely rid your home of them. The life span of the mite is approximately 4 months in which time it produces about 200 times its own body weight in excrement and lays approximately 300 eggs. Over time they leave concentrations of allergens in areas you most frequent (since they are feeding off shed skin).

They are too small to be seen without a microscope, feeding mainly on shed human skin scales, fungi and bacteria. They leave tiny fecal droppings everywhere and these droppings which contain left-over enzymes the mites use to digest their food, cause itching allergic reactions. Mites are also attributed to be one of the main causes of asthma.

Unlike other flooring, carpet keep these allergens locked and trapped inside the carpet pile fibers. Although tile or hardwood floors are easier to remove the allergens they also allow allergens to become airborne with each footstep. Allergy sufferers should be diligent when cleaning their carpets as to not disturb the allergens and release them into the air, making the situation even worse.

Dust mites are easily removed using a commercial grade carpet cleaning solution made specifically to kill dust mite. If you decide to tackle the job yourself though, you may have trouble locating the right chemicals to use and because of how quickly the mites spread throughout the house.

The big advantage of a commercial grade hot water extractor is that these machines can tackle a large surface area effectively and quickly. If you have a large area of carpet to clean, and want to use a hot water extraction unit, consider a ‘dust mite’ additive in the cleaning solution. There are also special additives for other allergens like pet allergens.

Steam and vapor steam are the best ways to clean carpets for allergy sufferers because they use hot water to kill mold and fungi as well as other allergens effectively.

Using cleaning chemicals or powdered carpet cleaners designed to pull up particles to the surface can settle deep into the carpets and can be difficult to remove. These chemicals can gradually release into the surrounding air, further aggravating allergies.  For this reason health care professionals recommend steam and vapor steam as the best ways to clean carpets.

If you find that you have other allergens besides just the dust mites you can also buy sprays that will inhibit mold, mildew and other allergens that can be applied after cleaning.

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