Dr Hilda Ganesen

Female Family Physician

header photo

Allergies and the home

According to the Allergy society of SA, dust mite excrement in the most common household allergen in SA.  

  • More than 30% of people who have allergies react to housedust mite excrement. 
  • Pet allergies are a common household allergy. Cats or dogs can be a source of allergens through their saliva, urine, dander or dur.  The fur itself is not an allergen but hte fur can pick up other forms of household airborne allergens.  
  • Mould grows easily in damp conditions. Bathrooms are a common source of mildew and mould growth.  Durban with its subtropical climate is especially susupetible to mould growth.  

Dust mites live of the dead skin cells regularly shed by humans. House dust mites can be found in bedding

How to manage house dust mite in the home?

1  Remove carpets if possible.  If you do have carpets, vacuum  carpets regularly.

2. Remove fluffy toys, books and thick curtains.

3.  Cover pillows and mattresses with plastic or polyurethane covers.

4.  Wash bedding, pillows and mattress cover regularly in hot water and allow to dry in the sun.  Consider replacing pillows every 6 months.

5.  Ideally pets should be kept outside.  If pets are brought into the house, ensure the upholstery and carpets are regularly vacuumed.  Consider steam cleaning carpets and upholstery regularly.

6.  Treat mould by applying white vinegar to the walls of the bathrooms, leave it to dry for an hour then wipe off with hot water and dry the surfaces. Endure the bathroom is well ventilated.  Keep bathroom windows open and if possible allow direct sunlight into the bathroom.

Go Back