Dust mites are creepy little pests found in most homes that feast on our dead skin cells. The critters are tiny and hard to see, so it's a case of out-of-sight out of mind. However, allergies and dermatological issues like eczema can become a problem for some when dust mite populations grow out of control. These tips will show you how to get rid of dust mites so you can say goodbye to your allergies and skin conditions.
How Do You Get Dust Mites?
You will never get rid of dust mites completely. Wherever you find humans and their pets and the environment is humid enough, there will be dust mites, but that doesn't mean you have to live with dust mite allergies.
Dust mites are not an issue most of the time. However, when populations get out of control, dust mites can trigger allergic reactions and skin rashes in people who are sensitive to their presence.
Why You Need to Get Rid of Dust Mites
Dust mites prefer areas that are dark and moist with plenty to eat. Upholstered furniture, pet beds, and mattresses are just a few of their favorite haunts, but your home has no shortage of prime dust mite real estate.
Most people aren't allergic to dust mites directly. Instead, dust mite allergy symptoms are caused by their body parts and feces. Mite allergy symptoms include sneezing, watery eyes, stuffy sinuses, asthma, and eczema.
How to Eliminate Dust Mites From Your Home
You will never completely get rid of dust mites in your home, but you can keep their population under control with diligent cleaning. Here are a few tasks you should regularly perform to prevent dust mite populations from exploding around your home.
Clean Your Mattresses and Bedding
Dust mites are typically fond of places where humans and pets spend their time. These areas collect most dead skin cells, the top food source for dust mites. For this reason, the mattress, sofa, and pet bed are where you will find the largest populations of dust mites.
We tend to shed a lot of our skin cells directly off our heads and into our pillow covers, but bedsheets collect a lot as well. Washing your bedding at temperatures around 135 degrees Fahrenheit will eliminate most dust mites.
A session in a hot dryer will kill dust mites that survive the wash. Cleaning your sheets like this at least once a week should be enough to keep dust mite populations under control.
Along with your own bed, you should also pay some attention to your pet's bed, as dust mites love the warm, moist environment your pet provides for them, along with a regular feed of dead skin cells. You should also wash any soft fabric pet beds every week.
Dust mites prefer the cozy fibers of soft furnishings that trap dead skin cells, but they can also hide on hard surfaces. Use a moist dusting cloth or electrostatic one to collect the dust rather than a dry feather duster that fluffs the dust into the air. Rinse the cloth out in hot water when you are done.
Standard vacuum cleaners won't get rid of dust mites because the filter fibers are not small enough to catch the tiny critters. They also get stuck in the fabric of whatever you are trying to clean, which gives them a firm grip against getting sucked up.
Instead, you can use a dust mite vacuum cleaner with extra strong suction, vibrating pads they can't evade, and a germicidal UV light for rapid elimination. Dust mite vacuum cleaners also contain a fine filter that traps tiny particles like pet dander, dust mites, and dust mite feces, so you can finally be free of dust mite allergies.
You will never entirely eliminate dust mites from your home, but limiting your exposure can reduce the risk of an allergic reaction. A visit with your doctor is always highly recommended if you show any symptoms.