Dust mites are tiny little relatives of the spider. They will munch on the discarded skin cell that people and their pets shed every day. These microscopic arachnids take up residence in your carpet, sheets, bedding, mattresses, curtains, upholstery, and almost any cloth-like material in your home.
Although dust mites are not known to bite or harm humans they can cause alergic reactions to some people so some people can find relief by ridding their homes of both dust mites and dust mite feces and body parts. hese are actually the allergens created by dust mites.Keep in mind that is is pretty much impossible to completely erradicate dust mites from your home since they are microscopic.
However you can implement some of the following strategies to prevent and reduce any dust mites already present in your house.
Attempt to reduce the humidity in your home to 50 percent or below by running your air conditioner or a dehumidifier. Dust mites thrive in a humid environment so create the opposite. If you go this route first attempt to bring the humidity in your bedroom down since this is where most dust mites congregate.
- Use allergen impermeable covers for your pillows and mattresses if you are experiencing dust mite allergies. These plastic allergenic covers will help keep the dust out of your bedding.
Washing all your blankets, sheets, pillow cases, and bedding in hot water once a week will kill dust mites. Dry your bedding in a hot dryer as well to kill any dust mites that survived the wash cycle.
If you have bedding materials that is non-washable you can place the bedding in a plastic bag and leave it in the freezer overnight, this will kill dust mites as well. This step alone will usually get rid of the majority of dust mites in your home since they typically congregate on your bedding since they can get the most food from these areas.
- Any bedding or clothing with wool or down can attract dust mites so you may want to replace such items with synthetic materials. Down pillows and bedding should be replaced every 6 months to 24 months because the after that time period they can gain up to fifteen percent of their original weight in dust mite waste.
- Removing or replacing carpet and placing tile, wood, or linoleum make is much more difficult to dust mites to find places to live in your home. Same thing goes for curtains and upholstered furniture. Obviously you wouldn’t want to to this unless you have tried some of the above steps and you are still experiencing significant allergies.
- Use a mop or wet rag to clean up dust from your floors. Vacuum carpeted floors and invest in a strong vacuum if your carpet does not seem to be getting cleaned well. You can find vacuums with specially designed filters to trap dust mite allergens. Look for HEPA filters or double-layered microfilter bags because these work best for trapping the dust mite allergens inside the vacuum cleaner. Change out your filter about once a year.
- When you are vacuuming wearing a mask can help keep you from inhaling too many allergens and then waiting around 20 minutes to let the dust settle.
Groom your pets outdoors so that most of their dander stays out there. Remember dust mites will feed on your pets dead skin cells as well so you want to minimize this. Vacuum anywhere your pets like to hang out weekly and replace their bedding as will occasionally.