Suhaili Zainal Abidin and Ho Tze Ming (2012). Effect of a commercial air ionizer on dust mites Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus and Dermatophagoides farinae (Acari: Pyroglyphidae) in the laboratory. Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine 2(2): 156-158
Objective: To investigate the short and long term efficacy of a commercial air ionizer in killing Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus (D. pteronyssinus) and Dermatophagoides farinae (D. farinae) mites.
Methods: The effect of a commercial ionizer on D. pteronyssinus and D. farinae was evaluated in the laboratory, using a specially designed test. Mortality was assessed after 6, 16 and 24 hours for direct exposure and after 24, 36, 48, 60 and 72 hours for exposure in simulated mattress. New batches of mites were used for each exposure time.
Results: LT50 for direct exposure of ionizer was 10 hours for D. pteronyssinus and 18 hours for D. farinae. The LT50 for exposure in simulated mattress was 132 hours or 5.5 days for D. pteronyssinus and 72 hours or 3 days for D. farinae. LT95 for direct exposure of ionizer was 36 hours for D. pteronyssinus and D. farinae. Meanwhile, the LT95 for exposure in simulated mattress was 956 hours or 39.8 days for D. pteronyssinus and 403 hours or 16.8 days for D. farinae.
Conclusions: This study demonstrates the increasing mite mortalities with increasing exposure time of a commercial ionizer and suggests that negative ions produced by an ionizer kill dust mites and can be used to reduce natural mite populations on exposed surfaces such as floors, clothes, curtains, etc. However, there is reduced efficacy on mites inside stuffed materials as in mattresses and furniture.