Dust mites affect people with allergies everywhere around the world. The microscopic insects feed on animal and human skin shedding. They multiply fast and maybe living in your home. The most effective places for them to hide include the bed, clothes, carpets, and furniture. The insects flourish where dust accumulates.
A dust mite can produce waste that is 200 times its weight in its lifetime. The destruction triggers complications and allergies like nasal congestion, coughing, and itching. The issues may be detrimental to your sleep, leading to fatigue. You can’t get rid of dust mites completely.
However, there are ways of drastically reducing the numbers and neutralizing their complications.
Here are Effective Means of How to Get Rid of Dust Mites
- Lowering humidity and temperature levels
- Vacuuming, wiping, and removing dust
- Washing fabrics with hot water
- Steaming furniture and carpets
- Freezing stuffed animals
- Sprinkling DE on carpets and beds
- Using eucalyptus spray
- Using an anti-allergy protector on your beddings
- Replacing carpets with hard floor
- Avoiding making the bed in the morning
- Getting rid of cushions and curtains
- Keeping pets away from the bedroom
Dust mites thrive in areas where the humidity is between 70 and 80 percent, and the temperature is between 24°C and 27°C. Although keeping the moisture and weather will not kill them, it makes them uncomfortable and slows their multiplying speed.
You should, therefore, keep the temperature of your house not higher than 21°C. This temperature is considered healthy for humans but not for dust mites. If you can live in temperatures below 20°C, it would be a double win as you would be saving money on heating expenses and making life challenging for the dust mites.
Although dust mites like living at the same temperature as humans, the case does not apply to humidity as they do not prefer humidity lower than 70 percent – it reduces their reproduction rate. It is, therefore, advisable to keep your bedroom’s humidity below 50 percent. You can measure your room’s humidity with a humidity monitor.
If the humidity is beyond 50 percent, ensure air circulation by using fans, vents and frequently opening the windows. If that does not work, install dehumidifiers and air conditioners in your house.
As previously noted, dust mites feed on the dust that comes from dead skin cells. One person can shed enough dead skin to provide a million dust miles in a single day. That said, you should ensure that you maintain a regular cleaning schedule for your house. Moreover, you should note all the edges of your home where dust seems to accumulate and wipe them a few times a week with a wet rag. Ensure you pick up the dust instead of sweeping it off in the air. After brushing, dispose of the dust by washing the rag.
It would be best to use a vacuum cleaner with a high-frequency particulate air filter to capture dust. The cleaner works by trapping particles as small as dust, pollen, and tobacco smoke in a mesh. You should not use regular vacuum cleaners as they will suck up big dust particles only.
They may also make microscopic particles fly into the air. However, if you suffer from allergies, you should wear a dust mask or ask someone else to help you vacuum, even if you are using a HEPA vacuum cleaner.
Dust mites do not do well in high temperatures. As such, you should wash your drapes, pillowcases, sheets, clothes, and curtains with water whose temperature is between 54° and 60°C.
The temperature kills the dust miles and their fecal matter. It would help if you also used the same temperature when drying the garments to kill any mites that may have survived when washing. Repeat this every week to keep the dust population low.
A washing machine cannot wash everything in your house, which is why you should have a steam cleaner as it may come in handy. Some steam cleaners may reach temperatures of between 93° to 121° C, something that no washing machine can do. As such, you should use a steam cleaner to wash items and objects such as carpets, the couch, the surface, and curtains.
The steam kills dust mites and also disinfects the areas by killing mold spores and bacteria. However, you should know that the steam cleaner only kills the dust mites but does not eliminate their fecal matter or dead bodies. Therefore, you should vacuum the areas after steaming.
Extremely low temperatures affect dust mites the same way high temperatures do. You should, therefore, freeze fabrics that cannot be washed if you want to get rid of dust mites. These items include silk, lace, and stuffed animals. Put the items in a plastic bag and lock them in the freezer for one day. However, the low temperatures only kill them but do not eliminate their bodies and fecal matter. So, after removing them from the freezer, shake them vigorously to ensure that you get rid of the allergen.
Diatomaceous earth (DE) comes from silica rock. The powder is harmful to dust mites as it pierces through the mites’ exoskeleton and kills them. As such, DE is a powerful weapon against dust mites. Sprinkle the powder on areas you think the dust mites might be breeding, including pet beds, carpets, and on the bed.
Leave the powder for the longest time possible to ensure that the mites are effectively killed. Afterward, vacuum the areas using a cleaner that does not filter as the powder would clog it. The powder kills not only the dust mites but also bedbugs and fleas. Furthermore, the powder is harmless to pets and humans. Use the powder as frequently as you can to prevent dust mites from breeding and reproducing.
Beauticians and many homeowners have been using tea tree oil to kill foot fungi, mildew, mold, and acne bacteria. What makes tea tree oil perfect for the job is because it has no side effects as it is a natural antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial oil. Apart from doing all that, it also gets rid of dust mites. You can use the oil by mixing two spoons with two cups of clean water and two scoops of eucalyptus oil. Put the mixture into a dark spray can and spray on areas you think might be dust mites’ hiding spots.
It is estimated that the number of dust mites living in a single mattress is between 100,000 and a million. It is also known that even if a mattress is clean, it still has dust mites. This is because it is impossible to get dust mites off of mattresses.
However, having a hypoallergenic pillow and mattress helps in reducing dust mite. You can also use a protective cover for your mattress and pillow. Hypoallergenic material uses fabric that is tightly woven. As such, dust mites cannot penetrate through the material.
The material also prevents dead skin from accumulating and entering into the mattress and pillows, making it impossible for dust mites to survive on the bed. However, it is more convenient to buy anti-allergen covers than buying a hypoallergenic mattress and pillows. This is because the covers are much cheaper than the mattress and pillows despite performing the same tasks.
Carpets are known to be perfect breeding spots for dust mites. This is because their texture and location make them ideal hiding areas for dead skin and dander from pets, which are the best meals for dust mites. However, hard flooring is not suitable for dust mites.
Although it is a bit expensive, replacing carpets with tiles or laminate helps in reducing dust mites. If you do not want to get rid of your carpets, ensure that they are clean by vacuuming them almost every day. You can also buy carpet cleaners and treatments that help get rid of dust mites. However, in the long run, it might end up being more costly than replacing the carpets with hard flooring.
When you sleep at night, your body releases moisture that helps hydrate dust mites and keeps them healthy enough to breed. However, the moisture disappears if you do not make your bed. Also, the humidity in your bed is lowered when you do not spread your bed. It is advisable to fold your beddings after waking up instead of spreading the bed. This prevents dust mites from multiplying.
Dust mites perform well on curtains, cushions, and soft furnishings. This is because the fabric used to make these household items trap dust, and moisture helps keep dust mites healthy and robust. The material also protects them from threats.
Every time you open the curtains or sit on your cushions, the dust mites are discharged into the air. That can be avoided if you replace your curtains with blinds that are easy to clean. You can also replace fabric cushions with ones made of leather. It is advisable to replace fabric seats with leather.
As previously noted, dust mites feed on dander that sheds from pets. As such, keep your pets out of the bedroom if you want to have a good night’s sleep. Also, it would be best if you washed your pets regularly to ensure that dander does not shed off quickly. It would be best if you also understood that some cats and dogs are also allergic to dust mites. Therefore, you should ensure that their area is clean and free of dust.
Can Dust Mites Bite Humans?
Dust mites cannot bite humans or pets. They feed on dead skin and dust particles. Some individuals are allergic to dust mites and can develop rushes, but it is not because they have been bitten.
How Do You Know You Have Dust Mites?
One can feel dust mites crawling on their skin. Allergic reactions caused by their fecal matter can also is another way of knowing that your house is infested with dust mites. The reactions include sneezing, difficulty breathing, running nose, and cough.
Do All Homes Have Dust Mites?
Dust mites are a natural occurrence and can appear in any home. The essential factor is humidity, as it determines if a house is infested with dust mites. This is because dust mites do not drink water. Instead, they absorb the moisture in the air and hydrate themselves. As such, dust mites cannot survive in desert areas because there is low humidity.
Does Sunlight Kill Dust Mites?
The high temperatures from direct sunlight help in killing dust mites. It is, therefore, recommended that you hang your beddings in the sun once in a while.
Does Washing Sheets In Cold Water Kill Dust Mites?
Coldwater does not kill dust mites. However, if you prefer washing your clothes with cold water, ensure you tumble dry your fabrics with a hot dryer for ten minutes to help eliminate dust mites.
Most people nowadays are developing dust allergies. This is because they do not know they are allergic to dust mites that may have invaded their homes. Although it is impossible to eliminate dust mites completely, there are various ways of managing them and ensuring they do not affect your sleep. Cleanliness is the essential thing while eradicating these microscopic creatures,