Dust Mites Think Your Home Is Great
Dust mites reside mostly in your carpets, rugs, drapes and central air ducts. Their basic diet consists of pet dander, pollen, fungi and your skin. Don't worry about the skin thing, it is only your dead skin that has fallen off of you and onto the floor. You lose about an ounce of skin per month and dust mites just love it. Since you can't change this, you have to find a different way to get rid of them. If you or a family member have a dust mite allergy, you know they are everywhere. If you don't have allergies then you really shouldn't be too worried about them.
Pets and Dust Mites
Pets leave dandruff for dust mites to eat, and they leave a lot of it. The longer they are in an area, the more dandruff they will leave. It is best to have them sleep in a room other than a bed room, especially one with carpet. The best place for them to sleep would be a room with wood, concrete or tile floors. Create a comfortable location on the floor with a washable pet bed so they will leave most of their dandruff there and not on your furniture, which you will have more trouble washing.
Best Practices for Dust Mites
Use your vacuum on carpets, upholstered furniture, mattresses and curtains regularly. Wash and rugs, sheets and blankets routinely. If you have a dog, be sure to keep him on a regular schedule for cleaning. Doing these things will remove some of the dust mites, but the real goal is to reduce their food supply. This will reduce the number of dust mites.
Dust Mites Cannot Take the Cold
Turn on your air conditioner, yes even in the winter, for a day or two, during the day while you are gone. Lower your humidity to 50% if you have the option on your central air unit. The combination of cold air an low humidity will both freeze and dehydrate them dust mites. The reason this happens is dust mites absorb water through their skin from the air instead of drinking it.
During the few cold winter months we have, we usually rush to get from warm building to warm car without even thinking about the landscaping. Its not as if we aren't interested in the exteriors of our homes and offices this time of year. The time, effort and expense of Christmas decorations every year are a testament to it. The added color brings with it a bit of happiness to both you and others. With a little knowledge and landscaping, you can bring a smile to the faces of those who visit your home all winter long, year after year.
Camellias are a staple of a traditional landscape in south Louisiana. They provide excellent color in the winter and are generally an attractive looking shrub all year. They come in different heights and flowering periods, though they all flower in the winter. Camellia sasanqua and Camellia japonica are sure fire bets for great performing plants.
These Bottlebrush shrubs can give your home both some added color and a slightly exotic feel as the flowers are unique in this area. They are easy to maintain and can be planted in a hedge row or by they selves. There are also varieties of Bottlebrush trees that could really stand out in your landscaping.
Pyracantha is usually planted along a structure and climbs up it. They produce the red berries shown above to provide an accent of color to your home. Sometimes described a climbing holly, they can be a great addition to a barren exterior wall or fence of your home.
There are more varieties of roses than I can keep up with. Your best bet is to go to your local nursery and ask the horticulturist which variety is best for both the area you intend to plant the shrub, the care you are able to give the it and the time of year you want it to bloom.
Loropetalums have both colorful foliage and a flowering period. Many people keep these plants pruned to the size of a small shrub which is unfortunate. These plants naturally expand and should be planted to grow more like a small tree than a shrub. This will allow the plant to really show off its color and you won't be driven mad by all the extra pruning you would have to do otherwise.
Holly bushes produce showy red berries. They are usually a sign that the holidays are near. Holly bushes are hardy plants that are fairly easy to maintain. They require pruning only a few times a year and any pest they attract are easy to both identify and get remove.
Most varieties of Azaleas bloom in late winter or early spring. They usually flower all at once in a large display of color. Generally their blooms are pink, red or white. There are varieties, such as the encore, that bloom throughout the year, although their number of blooms aren't as full. Azaleas are some of the easiest plants to grow and maintain in south Louisiana.