The Dust Mite War


Like nearly every woman, I’ve been fighting the dust mite war my whole life, but recently it became more serious when the doctor told me that I was allergic to house dust.

It is not plain, old, run-of-the mill, outdoor-type dust that causes the problem. It is dust that collects in the home that is infested with dust mite varmints. These pesky mites are microscopic in size but cause all sorts of problems and allergic reactions.

Dust mites are tiny but nasty looking critters, looking not unlike an ocean crab. Of course, in the microscopic world, everything looks pretty ominous. In our world, they are invisible because of their tiny, minute size.

It seems these little critters feed on dead human flesh. Gross, huh? The dead cells that our bodies naturally shed are “steak and potatoes” to these guys. They hang around places where the food is plentiful, especially in the bedroom and mattress. When a flake drops off, they slurp it up.

Actually, all this slurping is what causes most of the problems. They eat so much that they use the restroom a lot, and they don’t bother with flushing. One dust mite can go as many as 20 times a day. I don’t know who counted, but apparently someone with a powerful microscope either had nothing else to do or received a government grant to count dust mite poo. Anyhow, it’s the dust mite excrement that causes the allergic reactions.

Now all of this is really quite disgusting. Makes you want to grab the disinfectant and start spraying for dear life. Catch 22: Dust mites are not killed like germs!

Forget the Lysol and grab the vacuum cleaner. There are some special powders and sprays that help, but the only really effective weapon against dust is an old one –- HOT WATER. Yep, hot water, says the doc, is the best way to kill these varmints. Of course, plastic dust covers on the mattress and pillows, frequent laundering in hot water, and electrostatic air filters help.

It’s a war against an invisible enemy. How can you eliminate dust from the environment? Dust collectors like books, plants, stuffed toys, carpets and mini-blinds are “home sweet home” for the mite.

Depressing. What’s the point of living without any of the things we love, like books, plants and beanie babies? It’s enough to make a person obsessive-compulsive. There has to be some compromise some place. Who wants to stay awake all night listening for dust mites with the munchies?

My vacuum cleaner is the only friend that understands me any more. Its just the two of us against an invisible dust mite army. I may make a trip to the local allergy store for a tannic acid spray. Seems this spray can “denature” mites. Trouble is it can also stain everything it touches.

I’m wondering if the guy who coined the phrase “war is hell” could have been allergic to house dust?

 ©2009 Sheila Moss

About Sheila Moss

My stories are about daily life and the funny things that happen to all of us. My columns have been published in numerous newspapers, magazines, anthologies, and websites.
This entry was posted in Health, Home, Humor and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to The Dust Mite War

  1. kathydoremus says:

    Pretty sure I am forever paranoid now!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. energywriter says:

    You said it! sd


  3. stomperdad says:

    UGH. Dust. It’s not really a protective coating, is it? I’ll read more later. I have a sudden urge to go watch all the bed stuff. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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