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Diane Mack: A mighty problem comes to light

Staff Writer
The Examiner
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Date:  7/18/02
Time:   12:52:31
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According to, dust mites have become a serious concern for families.

“Dust mites can be difficult to detect due to their small size. These microscopic arthropods are estimated to be only 1/4 to 1/3 millimeters long.

“You can only see them under a microscope, and even then, they only look like small white spider-like creatures.

“Male dust mites can live over a month, while female dust mites can live up to 90 days.

“The reason why dust mites are so prevalent in people’s homes is that they feed off of dead skin cells.

“On an average day, one person may shed 1.5 grams of dead skin cells, which can feed up to one million dust mites at a time.

“Dust mites make their homes in places where dead skin cells are most likely to accumulate, such as bedding, furniture, and carpeting.

“While you can find dust mites all over the world, these creatures tend to favor hot and humid climates.

“Dust mites themselves are allergenic, meaning they can cause allergies. They also leave behind skin and fecal matter that may also trigger allergies”.

My gosh, I think I am going to throw up. I need some Benadryl.

I’m sure you are wondering what generated my dust mite interest.

Let me explain.

My daughter Kelsey and I were watching the animal channel a few nights ago.

I had never thought about dust mites, at any point in my life.

Now, I’m overwhelmed with the thought of going to bed. And staying in bed.

Did you know that the dust mite has eight hairy legs and are translucent, and that they do not have eyes? Neither do they have antenna.

I can’t bear any more of this talk.

I’d rather birth a ninth child than hear that report again.

But now, I have a bigger problem. I can’t go to bed.

Bedtime is the best part of my day. I lay back, read a book, play games on my cell, or just click the light off and dream away.

Since the dust mite story, I can hardly lay down.

Last night, it was 87 degrees outside with 100% humidity. It was intense.

Therefore, I dressed in my heaviest footed, high-neck pajamas to go to bed.

Josh came in the door, and asked, “Expecting a snowstorm?” I guess I looked like a polar bear with several layers.

Our Pomeranian mocha actually laughed at me.

Seriously, I just didn’t want the dust mites to get me.

Since all of this talk, I can’t even sit on my bed. I think of 2 trillion dust mites having a party on my mattress.

I’ve been thinking of their dead skin and their ... oh, I can’t bear anymore.

So what is the answer?

Forget the 30-year warranty on the mattress.

It’s sound like the longer you have any bed or bedding, the larger attendance at the annual dust mites’ family reunion.

Although, I do have an idea ... I’m going to say longer prayers tonight.

And when I am done, I am going to scream at the top of my lungs, “Dust mites, GET OUT!”

Then, hopefully, the dust bug . . . mite just leave!

Diane Mack is coordinator of Putting Families First, Jackson County's Family Week Foundation. Email her at