How do I get my flat tested for allergens?

Recently had a bad episode that was a combination of hayfever, a cold and air pollution (I live in London). However I want to make sure that there is no other factor involved, so get my flat tested for things like dust mites. How do I go about this, anyone know? Will my local authority do it although I own my flat? I haven't got carpets but I have got a clothes moth infestation which is not proving easy to deal with because I can't use spray . . . cos I've got asthma.

Any advice or suggestions appreciated, thanks.

5 Replies

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  • Not sure about the testing, but there are a number of natural things that will dissuade clothes moths from hanging around. I use lavender bags in my wardrobe and linen cupboard, but they also dislike dried orange peel - even better oranges pomanders (whole oranges studded with cloves, popped in a brown paper bag and left to dry out somewhere dark and warm before being used). This all depends, of course, on whether you are allergic to lavender, oranges and cloves. You could google natural remedies for keeping away clothes moths and see if there is something you can cope with.

    Dust mites are more of a problem. They are everywhere; all you can do is to regularly dust and hoover (every week in my house) and keep your bedroom - and bed - cool and well aired (I open the windows every morning for a while - even half an hour is better than nothing), and towel down any condensation on windows to prevent mould from forming.

    Another one to check for is damp and the resultant mould that can form if it is not dealt with. Are you sure you have no damp in the flat?

  • Hi I doubt whether anyone will do it for free but there might be a company you can pay to do it.

    Make sure that you wash all your bedding and towels in at least 60 degrees otherwise it won't kill mites. Vacuum frequently and don't forget to clean carpets and curtains as well. This should keep dust mites to a minimum. Oh and change your pillows at least every 6 months as they can harbour millions of them! (Or wash them).

    Blinds and wood floors collect a lot less dust mites than carpets and curtains so if possible try and change these.

  • I have greatly reduced the cloths moth population in my house by religiously killing everyone I see . No spray needed - just determination , hunt them out !

  • Thanks everyone.

    I hate killing things but I got four moths yesterday (a personal best). I also discovered that they have infested my only rug, which I brought back from Tunisia 25 years ago. They've damaged a big patch of it (under a table where I couldn't see it), so it's going out as soon as I can arrange for the council to collect it. Fortunately I've got hard floors everywhere else. There's a little bit of mould by the front door, will scrape that down and wash it with bleach tomorrow. Vacuuming gets done very frequently because I have a robot, dusting not so much - I will have to up my game. Will ask my GP about allergy testing when I next see her.

  • I don't think there's any point testing your home for allergens, because they are person-specific. It is you who needs to be tested, and that could be arranged through your GP and then have some hospital tests. you will then know what you're allergic to and can concentrate on alleviating those allergens. Otherwise, you could be wasting effort destroying everything in the house to no avail!

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