Dust mites are tiny creatures — but their presence can have big effects. A dust mite allergy can cause coughing, sneezing, asthma, stuffy or runny noses, itchy eyes, and even eczema.
These mites are also different from other pests you may find in your home.
Most people are not directly allergic to dust mites, but to their waste. Their droppings collect in furniture, clothes, beds, carpets, and other dusty areas. This causes what is commonly known as a “dust mite allergy”.
This reaction is particularly bad at certain times, like the autumn.
If you have such an allergy, you will want to rid your home of dust mites as much as you can. This article will break down how to get rid of dust mites in your home.
How to Get Rid of Dust Mites? 5 ways
1. Dust Mite-Proof Your Home
If you want to get rid of dust mites, you will want make your home uninhabitable to them. This involves physically changing what’s in your home, including your:
Large-sized carpets can not be cleaned adequately to prevent dust mites from breeding. So replace them with a laminate, tile, hardwood, concrete, or vinyl floor. The reason behind this is that you can wash hard floors regularly.
The fewer cushions you have, the fewer places dust mites will be able to live. The same goes for curtains: replace cloth ones with blinds that are easy to clean.
Your bed can be adapted to prevent dust mites, too (see below). Finally, instead of fabric or upholstered furniture, use wooden, synthetic leather, or leather sofas and chairs.
2. Change Their Environment
Dust mites thrive in high humidity (70 to 80 percent relative humidity) and higher temperatures (around 75 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit). To slow their breeding, set your thermostat to no higher than 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
For humidity control, use dehumidifiers, AC units, or electric humid monitors. It is recommended to keep relative humidity levels less than 50%.
3. Get New Mattresses and Covers
Hypoallergenic pillows and mattresses are specifically designed to ward off dust mites. Their make is of an extremely fine weave — one that dust mites can not easily inhabit.
Hypoallergenic materials also prevent skin flakes from gathering in the fabric, and keep your mattress or pillow dry. This can further prevent dust mites from feeding or living in your bed.
Anti-allergenic protective covers can also be used to prevent dust mites. Just make sure you buy one that is worth the trouble — cheaper covers will wear out in a couple of years.
4. Wipe And Vacuum
If you know where dust tends to accumulate in your home, you know where the dust mites likely are. Make sure you dust these areas — but not with a dry cloth or brush.
Use an old t-shirt or microfiber cloth moistened with some anti-allergen dust spray or water. Start by wiping off the higher areas of your rooms, going down to the lower areas. This will prevent dust from re-settling on already-cleaned surfaces.
Dust at least two hours before sleeping in the same room. Even a thorough dusting job leaves some dust particles in the air. Give them enough time to settle before sleeping in any rooms you may have cleaned.
You will also want to vacuum known dusty areas and furniture. A sealed, clean, HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter is necessary for this type of vacuuming. As HEPA bags are designed to catch fine particulates, use them and do not use a bag-less vacuum.
For safety, you will want to open your windows and wear a dust mask before you wipe down, clean, or vacuum your home.
5. Wash Weekly
If you still have clothes, bedding, or other items made of fabric around, it is a good idea to wash them weekly. This will prevent dust from collecting and dust mites from inhabiting those items.
Use a washing machine with high temperatures from 130 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. If possible, add anti-dust mite or anti-allergen additives to the wash. Then, dry thoroughly with a dryer set at similar temperatures.
You can also hang your items in the sun to kill stray mites — but avoid this if pollen, grass, or other plant allergens are an issue.
How to Get Rid of Dust Mites — Conclusion
By following these methods, you can significantly reduce the your home’s dust mite population. Remember, combating dust mites is an ongoing process — but definitely one you can control.