The subject of allergies and all the associated health problems are becoming increasingly important, especially in industrialised countries: one of the reasons for this is the high demands placed on the quality of life. People insulate their houses and apartments, electrically controlled heating systems ensure an even room temperature, air conditioning systems take care of the appropriate room climate and comfortable upholstered furniture creates the ideal conditions for feeling good. But most people forget that these ideal conditions also create a cosy home for less welcome permanent guests: House dust mites. People with allergic asthma in particular are increasingly struggling with respiratory diseases in their cosy living environment with high humidity and well-heated rooms. The reason for this is their co-inhabitants, who really appreciate the warm and humid room climate.
For example, house dust mites live in every household that is located at an altitude of up to 1,500 m above sea level. Contrary to the assumption that the microscopically small animals are the direct triggers of a house dust mite allergy, the tiny protein-containing excrement balls of the mites are the actual cause of the allergy. They mix with the house dust and get into the mucous membranes of the eyes and the respiratory tract or come into direct contact with the skin - some people react to the proteins in these excrement balls with hypersensitivity.
Optimal living conditions for house dust mites are temperatures of 25 to 30 degrees as well as a high air humidity between 65 and 80 percent. For this reason, house dust mites particularly like to populate bed mattresses: Enough food in the form of human skin flakes as well as fungi and a humid warmth are guaranteed here. Thousands of mites can live in a bed per gram of dust. Since humans spend about a third of the day in bed, there are plenty of opportunities to come into contact with the mites' allergens.