Yes, there are Dust Mites in Phoenix. However, since it’s dry here most of the year, there are less dust mites than in more humid areas. But during rainy weather like our monsoons, the relative humidity increases as does the dust mite population.
They’ve made the national and international news! Phoenix dust storms! Did you know that dust storms can cause valley fever?
It seems that we’re seeing them more often and we are because of the droughts in various areas. They are more prevalent in the Phoenix Valley just because of how the monsoonal flow into the area.
You can watch it on the radar – the thunderstorms will start down in Tucson or south of the Valley and slowly increase and move northward. Winds blowing ahead of the storms pick up the dry dust and sand and a huge dust cloud forms.
Also known by the Middle-eastern name, “haboob”, dust storms can be dangerous if you’re driving on the highway and visibility diminishes.
If you’re on the highway, the best thing to do is to get off the nearest exit and wait it out. If you can’t make it to an exit, pull over, turn your lights off and remove your foot off the break. You don’t want any vehicles behind you thinking you’re traveling on the road when you’re stopped.
You don’t want what’s blowing to get in your eyes and you definitely don’t want to inhale it!
Phoenix Dust Storms and Valley Fever
Besides dust and sand, the wind carries bacteria, toxic materials, viruses, fungal spores that cause valley fever. Valley fever is caused by fungus spores, Coccidioides immitis, when inhaled, start infections in the lungs.
Once inside the lungs, it grows and becomes severe with pneumonia-like symptoms and become fatal in certain cases.
Valley Fever doesn’t get its name from the Phoenix Valley, but the San Joaquin Valley in California. But it is prevalent in the Phoenix and Tucson metropolitan areas.
Since we’re experiencing more frequent dust storms, it’s important to have your home’s indoor air quality checked if you’ve opened your doors or windows during a sand storm. You may not even have noticed the miniscule particles, but they’re there.
If you or any of your family members suffer from asthma, allergies or other respiratory illnesses like COPD, you must have your home inspected for allergens.
AZ Healthy Home
You moved to Phoenix for the climate or you’ve lived here all your life. The air didn’t used to be so bad. In fact, Arizona was once the place to move to if you suffered from allergies and asthma. Not any more.