One of the most common allergens found in our homes are dust mites. These tiny microscopic creatures live in your beddings, carpets and similar environments, and feed off on the dead skin that you shed every day. They breed and multiply very fast and produce tons of waste. A single dust mite can produce waste that is 200 times its body weight, during its lifetime. Unfortunately for us, this waste can trigger allergies and similar health complications. So, take a look at 10 different ways you can get rid of dust mites:
Dust mites thrive in highly humid conditions. So, you can control dust mite to some extent by controlling the humidity level in your home. Install and run a dehumidifier or an air conditioner, and adjust the relative humidity level to less than 50%. Lower humidity will lead to lower propagation of dust mites. Concentrate the dehumidifier mainly in the bedrooms, but dehumidify other rooms as well.
A slightly lower than average temperature (less than 70°F, or 21°C ) can also help control the dust mite population.
Vacuum with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter
To remove dust mites from your carpets and upholstery, get a vacuum with a High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter. If you have a vacuum without HEPA filter, replace it as soon as possible. The HEPA filter will, unlike other vacuums, pick up dust mite waste and eggs and help reduce dust mite infestation. Vacuum your carpets, upholsteries, beddings and draperies several times a week to reduce dust mite.
Wash with hot water
Dust mites are mainly concentrated in your beddings. So, to get rid of dust mites, remove your bedding (including pillow covers, mattress pads and comforters, if possible) and wash them in hot water. The water needs to be around 130°F, or 54°C. After washing, dry the beddings in a hot dryer, which will kill the dust mites that survived your washing machine.
Freeze the beddings and covers
Things like pillows, stuffed animals, and few types of beddings cannot be washed to remove dust mites. In such cases, place these things (pillows, stuffed animals etc) in a large plastic bag and freeze them. The bags need to stay inside the freezer for at least 48 hours in order for most of the dust mites to get killed.
Another tip on reducing dust mite would be not to make your bed every morning. When you make your bed soon after waking up, you can lock some of the moisture from your body into the bedding, creating an ideal environment for dust mites. Instead, air the mattress thoroughly and let your body moisture dry out from the beddings before making your bed.
Anti Allergy Covers
If possible, buy hypoallergenic mattress for your bed. If not, you can use an anti-allergen mattress protector. It will create a barrier between your skin and the dust mites. It prevents your body moisture and skin particles to drop into the mite zone and prevents the dust mites from infiltrating your domain.
Change pillows and comforters
Pillows (especially feather pillows) and comforters attract a lot of dust mite. More over, they cannot be cleaned conventionally to remove the infestation. Studies have shown that after 2 years, 10-15% of a pillows weight consists of dust mite remains. So, consider replacing your pillows and comforters every 6 months to 2 years to protect your skin. While replacing, you might also want to look into pillows that can be washed and dried in a conventional washing machine.
Keep pets away from the bedroom
Dust mites love pet dander, so take steps to reduce the amount of pet dander in your house. Brush your pet everyday outside the house to get rid of excessive pet hair. Limit your pet’s access inside your house to a certain number of rooms, and make sure that you clean these room and vacuum regularly to dispose off pet hair. If possible, try to keep your pets out of your bedroom.
Steam cleaning is a great way of cleaning household items that are not washable, like carpets, upholstery, cushions etc. A steam cleaner can easily dissolve dirt and kill all kinds of microbes hidden in your home, including dust mites. Steam clean every 6 month to 2 years to avoid a dust mite build up.
Get rid of soft furnishing
Soft furnishing like curtains and fabric upholstery are breeding grounds for dust mites. The fabric traps dust and moisture that they absorb or feed on. So, to reduce the chances of dust mite allergies, you can replace soft furnishings with other options that aren’t favorable for dust mites. Curtains can be replaced with easy to clean blinds; fabric upholstery can be replaced with leather upholstery and so on.
An obvious yet important advice; you need to keep your home clean to reduce dust mite growth. Make a note of all the places where dust tends to accumulate in your home and clean them thoroughly every now and then. Keeping your home dust free is the key to getting rid of dust mites.
Follow these 10 tips to keep your home clean and free of dust mites.