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Dust mites - getting rid of themFeatured science projectScience project video

Abstract

This science fair project was performed to find out the best method of getting rid of dust mites. The science experiments were done using dust mite-infected pillow cases and employing various methods to remove the dust mites from them.

Hypothesis

Washing pillow cases in hot water and drying them in the hot sun, is the best method to eradicate dust mites.

Scientific Terms

Dust mites, diseases, allergic, asthmatic

Background

Dust mites

Dust mites are tiny microscopic bugs that live by consuming dead skin cells that are regularly shed by human beings. Dust mites do not carry any diseases and are quite harmless to humans. However, they do trigger asthma attacks and allergic reactions in those who are allergic to dust mite feces.

A typical dust mite is only about 0.4mm long. They have 8 legs and are a creamy blue color. A male dust mite can live up to 19 days while a female dust mite lives up to 70 day and can lay up to 100 eggs. A dust mite can survive in any climate but they thrive best in our homes! Dust mites are normally found in pillows, mattresses, carpets and furniture.

Most of a dust mites’ waste can be removed by washing. Dust mites can be killed by exposing them to temperatures above 55 °C or at temperatures below 0 °C. A relative humidity falling below 50% can also be fatal to dust mites.

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Complexity level:
5
Project cost ($):
5
Time required:
2 hours to prepare, 2 days for the science project experiment
Material availability:
Easily found
Safety concerns:

None