Problematic with mites

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Monday, August 25, 2014

DEAR Dr. Fritz,

Last Tuesday, July 29, 2014, an article titled: "Parasites: How they affect health" appeared in your newspaper, in it an ectoparasite "mite" was mentioned. I have this perennial problem in my room where no sunlight can reach and my body would itch all-over. Every time, I scratch, the itchier they become and the area in the vicinity keeps spreading until the skin punctured and blood oozes out. Is there a solution where in I can eradicate the mites in my body and the surroundings of the room once for all?

Thank you in advance for your prompt reply, I remain.


Sincerely yours,

Richard, the desperate


Dear Richard, the desperate

Your problem was forwarded to me by our editor. It looks like you have a real problem - since you are becoming desperate in your situation now.

Let's get to know first your mite. Studies at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) in the United States suggest that more than 45 percent of U.S. homes have bedding with dust mite concentrations that exceed a level equated with allergic sensitization. I don't have much statistics here. But, I believe they're a real pain in the head.

Dust mites are microscopic creatures. You can't see them in your naked eyes as they are much smaller than 1/70 of an inch. They live well in warm, dark, moist places where the temperatures are of 68° to 84°F and the humidity levels are at 75 to 80 percent. That's why your room where the sunlight can't reach is such a luxury for these mites. They also like to live in beddings because that is where they find their biggest meals: they find your sloughed-off human skin so yummy. Moreover, if your bedding is made of polyester, it is a haven for them because it traps moisture from perspiration.

If you look at them under the microscope, they appear as sightless and look like spiders. And while they're resting, they are resistant to poisons, so your insecticides are worthless if you hurl them to these "mity" creatures.

Now, let's get head on with your mite problem. Remember that it's the feces and the body parts of the dust mites that give you the allergies. So, if you simply kill them, this won't remove the allergens. Of course, if you reduce their number, that will be a great help. In order for you to reduce them, you have to make changes in your daily life and cleaning routines. I understand that you cannot do all of the things I'll be listing here - but, even if you just apply a few of the techniques, that will help a lot in shrinking their number in your bedroom and your 'mity' problem.

Whoo...we run out of space now and as there are still a lot of things to talk about your issue, then, let me handle this in my next column. Until then!

Dr. Fritz


(For your questions, you may send them to Dear Dr. Fritz, c/o Sun.Star-Davao Publishing Inc., Ebro-Pelayo Building, Jacinto St., Davao City, (former Department of Foreign Affairs office), across Ateneo de Davao University and beside Holy Child School of Davao, or you e-mail them to Sorry if we cannot answer all your questions. Thank you for your understanding.)

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on August 26, 2014.


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