PROCESS OF ATTACHING HEPA SOCK TO VACUUM CLEANER
3. Attach vacuum hose to vacuum cleaner
4. Measure out a 1 metre squared quadrat of the flooring, adjacent to the bed. If there are rugs and carpet, or rugs and hard flooring try to get of each flooring type in the grid.
5. Plug in the vacuum cleaner.
6. Set the timer to 2 minutes
7. Vacuum the metre squared area for two minutes. Overlap each vacuum stroke so that no areas are missed, go backwards and forwards along the metre squared until the time is up.
8. When you’ve finished vacuuming turn off the vacuum. Carefully remove the masking tape from the tube/sock.
9. Put the sock back into the jar and replace the lid.
10. Use a tissue to clean the upholstery attachment foot from any remaining dust.
11. Remove as much of the bedding as you can, so you can see the mattress
12. Place the mattress sample nylon sock on to the marked end of the vacuum tube. Secure with a piece of masking tape. Place the upholstery attachment over the end of the sock/filter/tube and secure with another piece of masking tape.
13. If it’s a double/queen/king bed use the 1 metre squared quadrat used for the floor sample. If it’s a single bed measure out an area approx. 90 cm x 110 cm in area.
14. Set the timer to 2 minutes.
15. Vacuum the measured area for two minutes.
16. When you’ve finished vacuuming turn off the vacuum. Carefully remove the masking tape from the tube/sock.
17. Put the sock back into the jar and replace the lid.
18. Clean the upholstery attachment foot with a clean tissue to remove any dust.
Preventive Strategies for Dust Mites
Use a dehumidifier or air conditioner to maintain relative humidity at about 50% or below.
Encase your mattress and pillows in dust-proof or allergen impermeable covers (available from specialty supply mail order companies, bedding and some department stores).
Wash all bedding and blankets once a week in hot water (at least 130 - 140°F) to kill dust mites. Non-washable bedding can be frozen overnight to kill dust mites.
Replace wool or feathered bedding with synthetic materials and traditional stuffed animals with washable ones.
If possible, replace wall-to-wall carpets in bedrooms with bare floors (linoleum, tile or wood) and remove fabric curtains and upholstered furniture.
Use a damp mop or rag to remove dust. Never use a dry cloth since this just stirs up mite allergens.
Use a vacuum cleaner with either a double-layered microfilter bag or a HEPA filter to trap allergens that pass through a vacuum's exhaust.
Wear a mask while vacuuming to avoid inhaling allergens, and stay out of the vacuumed area for 20 minutes to allow any dust and allergens to settle after vacuuming.
Evaluation of results
- Students successfully achieved representative sampling dust contained house dust mites and their allergens
- Other sources of allergens contained in dust were mould spores (which we identified dust also contained yeast cells, some of which may be associated with human disease.
- Dust can also contain other invertebrates including Nematodes and Nematode eggs
This Dust Mites project was carried out by Manurewa High School students - https://www.manurewa.school.nz and
Rongomai Primary students - http://www.rongomai.school.nz
with the aid of Landcare Research - http://www.landcareresearch.co.nz