Dust mites are tiny organisms that thrive in warm, humid environments and feed on dead skin cells shed by humans and pets. Invisible to the naked eye, dust mites can be found in the fabric of your carpets, rugs, sofas, drapes and even in people’s beds.
These microscopic creatures don’t spread diseases, but they do leave droppings. Unfortunately, these droppings are the exact cause of allergies and asthma in some people, so it’s essential to take steps to get rid of them from your home.
In this blog post, we’ll explore some practical ways to eliminate dust mites from your house and how to prevent them.
Why are Dust Mites Bad for Us?
Dust mites are one of the primary triggers for people who have allergies and or asthma. These allergens can cause a negative immune system response in a person, known as allergic rhinitis.
Dust mite allergies can range anywhere from mild to severe. The mild allergic response usually causes a runny nose, sneezing and occasionally watery eyes. At the same time, severe allergic reactions are usually chronic and result in constant sneezing, coughing, congestion or a severe asthma attack.
Everyone who’s dealing with asthma has an increased risk of having an asthma attack when exposed to a high quantity of dust mites.
How to Get Rid of Dust Mites
By following these steps, you can significantly reduce the number of dust mites in your home and alleviate symptoms of allergies and asthma.
Keep Your Home Clean
The first step to getting rid of dust mites is to keep your home clean. Regularly vacuum carpets, rugs, and upholstery, and dust surfaces with a damp cloth to remove dust and dead skin cells. Be sure to vacuum the areas around the bed and under the furniture, as these are common hiding places for dust mites.
When dusting, use a microfiber cloth that can trap dust particles and prevent them from becoming airborne. Avoid using feather dusters or dry cloths, as they can scatter dust and exacerbate allergies.
If you need help with cleaning your home, you can always turn to professional cleaners to make everything spotless and create the most unfavourable environment for dust mites.
Get Rid of Clutter
Dust mites love clutter, so it’s important to get rid of any unnecessary items in your home. This includes old newspapers, magazines, books, and any decorative items. Be sure to dust and vacuum these areas regularly to prevent dust from accumulating.
In bedrooms, try to minimise the number of items on shelves and dressers. Use storage bins and boxes to keep things organised and out of sight.
Wash Bedding and Fabric Items
Dust mites thrive in bedding, curtains, and other fabric items, so it’s essential to wash them regularly. Use hot water and a high-temperature dryer to kill dust mites and remove allergens from your bedding. Be sure to wash your sheets, pillowcases, and blankets at least once a week, and clean curtains and other fabric items every three months.
If you have a large family, you may want to invest in a washing machine with a high capacity to accommodate all of your bedding and fabric items. Alternatively, you can take your bedding to a laundromat and use their large appliances.
Encase Mattresses and Pillows
Dust mites love to hide in mattresses and pillows, so it’s essential to encase them in allergen-proof covers. These covers are made of tightly woven fabric that prevents dust mites from getting in and out. Be sure to choose covers that are breathable and comfortable to sleep on.
When choosing covers, look for products that are labelled “allergen-proof” or “dust mite-proof.” These products have been tested and certified to prevent dust mites from penetrating the fabric.
Reduce Humidity and Temperatures
Reducing the humidity levels in your home is an effective way to prevent dust mites from thriving. Dust mites dislike dry environments, so. as long as you keep the humidity below 60% in your home, the chances of dust mites spreading like wildfire will drop significantly.
To achieve such humidity, you’ll need a dehumidifier. This will help keep the moisture levels low at all times. Dehumidifiers are also great for hindering the growth of mould inside your house.
In addition to using a dehumidifier, you can also reduce the temperature in your home to create an even less hospitable environment for dust mites. This can be done by turning down the thermostat or simply using an air conditioner to cool the place down.
Treat Carpets and Upholstery
Treating carpets and upholstery is an important step in reducing the presence of dust mites in your home. Steam cleaning, using an allergen-reducing spray and dust mite covers are all effective ways to reduce dust mites and their allergens in carpets and upholstery.
It is also important to shake and beat rugs regularly and to vacuum with a brush attachment to remove dust and dirt deep in the fibres.
For people with severe allergies, it is more than advisable to remove carpets and stick with hard floor surfaces only to significantly reduce the dust mite population in their homes. The reason is that hard floors are easier to clean and create a less favourable environment for mites.
Use a HEPA Filter
High-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters are designed to capture small particles, including dust mites and their allergens. Since dust mite particles often become airborne, it’s good to have a quality air purifier in the room. Be sure to clean or replace the filter regularly to maintain its effectiveness.
Dust mites can be a real problem for those with allergies and asthma, leading to real irritation and discomfort. But there are ways to prevent them from infesting your home. By keeping your house and bedding clean and following the listed recommendations, you can significantly reduce the presence of dust mites in your home.
It’s important to remember that prevention is key, so taking proactive steps to eliminate dust mites and their allergens should be part of your regular cleaning routine. Follow these tips, and you can create a healthier and more relaxing living environment for yourself and your family.