Posts Tagged ‘allergy triggers’

It’s war and the dust bunnies are winning

Monday, January 11th, 2010

7404663_thbIf you’re like me and have indoor allergies, it’s important to know that triggers can lurk all over — often in unexpected places, too. I’m sneezing my head off lately and I’m convinced there’s something in the house that I’m overlooking. I’m bound and determined to find to the source. I do the best I can to keep this place clean, especially now that my newly crawling daughter actively hunts for dust bunnies. She can spot a tiny spec of it from across the room then darts for it. She thinks its finger food! If you’re in the same dusty boat, the following tips may help to get your home in tip top shape. Warning – if you’re easily skeeved out by things, proceed with caution.

Houseplants – mold spores can grow in the pots and spread to the floor. To minimize this, remove dead leaves, use saucers, and avoid over-watering. (This is a likely culprit in my house. All of our plants need to be dusted and repotted with fresh loose soil.)

Pet dander – it’s not the fur, but dead skin flakes. It floats, settles on carpets, furniture, and bedding. Clean and vacuum often.

Carpeting – lots of dust accumulates here and it becomes a feeding ground for microscopic dust mites. Body parts and feces from dust mites are common indoor allergy triggers. (I wanted to cry when I read this one…body part and feces! I’m moving.) Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter or get rid of the carpet all together.

Books – dust can harbor mites, mold spores, and tiny critters called booklice. (Booklice! I’ll do all of my reading online from now, thanks.) Vacuum their surfaces regularly or store the books in a closed container.

Stuffed animals – If your child has a dust mite allergy, look for plush toys that are machine washable and wash them in hot water once a week. Dry them thoroughly. If your child has a favorite one that can’t be washed, place it in the dryer once a week instead.

Happy Monday!