How to Get Rid of Dust Mites [50 Different Ways]
Dust mites. Just reading those words makes our skin crawl, and yet, it is a topic that we have to address now and then. Why, you ask? Because the only way to get rid of the dust mites we have (and yes, we all have them lurking around our homes) and make sure we do not get anymore, is by addressing the issue, one nasty mite at a time.
What are Dust Mites?
Before we get into how to get rid of dust mites from our homes, we need to know what they really are. Dust mites live within the dust that collects in our homes. They survive by feeding off pet dander; other bugs and insects; as well as the dry, flaky skin that sloughs off the people who live in and frequent that home.
Dust mites are not particularly dangerous nor do they carry or transmit disease. For individuals with asthma, as well as those with a sensitivity or allergy to the feces of dust mites, however, their presence can cause significant health problems. And while not everyone is sensitive to dust mites, there are roughly 20 million people in the United States alone who contend with them and suffer from the trouble they cause.
Dust Mite Allergies
In addition to being disgusting (they are bugs running around our homes, for crying out loud!), dust mites can irritate the respiratory system as well as sinuses. Dust mite allergies look a lot like other types of allergies, such as those resulting from pollen and mold, as well as seasonal allergies. If you experience a stuffy nose, coughing, wheezing for some, itchy eyes that are red and watery, irritated skin, or have seemingly uncontrollable sneezing, you may be allergic to dust mites and the rather unpleasant items they feast on. It is also important to note that while these allergies can develop over time, there is a genetic component to dust mite allergies.
How to Determine if You Have Dust Mites
By definition, dust mites cause allergies in many people and are not visible unless you are looking at them under a microscope.
Because the symptoms of each type of allergy can look similar, and because they can all trigger an asthma attack or asthma-like symptoms, it is sometimes difficult to discern what your body is responding to. Dust-mite allergies do not generally result in a fever, so if you have a fever, you may be ill or allergic to something else. Additionally, watery eyes and excessive sneezing are not indicators of a cold, so if you experience these symptoms barring all other ailments and illnesses, there is a solid chance that you may be allergic to dust mites and that, by extension, dust mites are present in your home.
Dust mites are not visible to the naked eye and can only be seen under a microscope. As such, if you see something crawling on you or your furniture, it is indeed something other than a dust mite.
Ways How to Get Rid of Dust Mites
There is not a single home anywhere on the planet that does not have dust. No matter how well, or not, you clean your home, dust, and by extension dust mites, will always be there. While this fact can be a bit depressing in all of its realistic glory, there are ways to get rid of at least most of your dust mites, decrease the allergies and irritations they cause, and be able to breathe freely in your own home.
Dust mites love mattresses, beds, couches, and carpets because that is where so much pet and human dander accumulates. Here are some helpful ways to clear out dust mites from where you sit, lay, and live.
1.Get a mattress cover that is mite- proof.
Mattress covers that repel dust mites create a boundary between you, the mites, and sometimes other bugs, by containing them and their debris.
2.Use a dehumidifier.
Dust mites like moisture and humidity, which is why, in the States at least, their presence peaks in the summer months. The less humid the air, the less dust mites are likely to populate your home.
3.Wash linens at least once a week in hot water.
Water temperature that is over 130 degrees Fahrenheit will absolutely kill whatever may be living in your linens.
4.Freeze your linens.
Place linens that either cannot be washed or are not in current use in the freezer. Dust mites do not like the cold.
5.Remove bedding and stuffed animals that contain feathers and synthetics.
By replacing your full-of-feathers down blanket and synthetically stuffed toys with more washable materials, you will be able to keep dust mites at bay.
6. Replace carpeting.
Carpeting, whether it is in one room or throughout your home, is incredibly attractive to dust mites. If you are allergic to these vermin, you need to get rid of your carpeting and use linoleum, parquet, or even bamboo flooring.
7. Weekly Carpet Washes.
While getting rid of your carpets is a far better way to get rid of dust mites, washing them weekly is definitely a good way to go, too.
8. Only use damp cloths when dusting.
Because dry rags and cloths really only move dust from one area to another, and can therefore, spread dust mites all over the place, make sure you dust with a moistened cloth to prevent dust mites from scattering.
9. Use a Vacuum with a HEPA filter.
Because dust mites are so tiny, they are easily suctioned into vacuum cleaners, but just as easily released back into the air. High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters help to not only absorb the larger piece of dirt in your home, but dust mites and other microscopic bugs that may hanging out. The HEPA filter will ensure that the dust mites stay in the vacuum and cannot come back out.
10. Vacuum frequently.
Whether you have a HEPA filter or not, regular vacuuming will cut down on dust.
11. Vacuum upholstery.
Cloth chairs, couches, and sofas should be vacuumed since dust mites like to hide out there, too.
12. Switch out the upholstery.
Though easier said than done, furniture made out of plastic, wood, leather, metal, or even glass are better at keeping dust mites away.
More clutter creates more dust, which creates more dust mites.
14. Move your bedroom or home office upstairs.
Sometimes folks convert their basements into bedrooms or offices in order to maximize space, make room for children or guests, and a host of other reasons. Basement floors are typically made out of concrete however. As concrete tends to moist and damp, it creates the perfect breeding ground for dust mites.
15. Remove curtains and drapes from the windows.
Roman shades, solar treatments, shutters, and panel track blinds are a better preventive option, as they do not provide dust mites with the cloth environments they prefer.
16. Install a hygrometer.
Hygrometers measure the humidity and moisture in the air. They can be installed or placed on a flat surface anywhere in your home. Humidity that is below 55 percent makes for an inhospitable home for dust mites.
17. Smoke outdoors only.
Smoking poses a number of health risks no matter where you light up. Smoking indoors, however, creates third-hand smoke, which is comprised of the smoke exhaled by smokers and combined with the dust particles and debris in the air.
18. Use furnace filters.
Furnace filters trap dirt and keep it in without the risk of dust mites and other items being released back into the air.
19. Dust mite protectors on the go.
Use dust mite covers not only at home, but bring them with you when you travel so you are protected when on vacation, too.
20. Daily mattress cleanings.
Wipe down your mattress, pillows, and the dust- mite covers you have on them, on a daily basis.
21. Use a steam cleaner.
Steam cleaners are a wonderful way to thoroughly rid your cloth furniture and bedding of dust mites.
22. Let the sunshine in.
Do what you can to safely expose sheets, pillow cases, and other cloth items to the sun. As you can probably deduce, dust mites do not thrive in sunlight.
23. Wear a dust mask when you clean.
This will minimize further exposure to dust.
24. Use diatomaceous earth.
Diatomaceous earth, known simply as DE, is a white powder that not only helps you prevent the spread of dust mites, but kills them, too. All you have to do is sprinkle, wait, and then vacuum.
25. Toss your dust catcher.
While good in theory, dust catchers catch the dust, but then allow microscopic bugs back into the air and anywhere else they want to venture.
26. Line dry clothing and other items.
By drying your items outside, you impose sunlight on to the dust mites that want to call those items home.
27. Throw away throw rugs.
While stepping on a rug is a nicer way to wake up then say, stepping on to cold tile, consider how many dust mites that rug is housing.
28. Do not go to bed in a recently dusted room.
No matter how well you dust, some will always remain in the air making it that much easier to inhale, swallow, or absorb.
29. Use microfiber rags in one direction.
These rags really absorb dust and dirt well. The only problem with them is that if you wipe them back and forth, you end up releasing the materials you just wiped up.
30. Dust, vacuum, and wipe down top shelves first.
Dust will settle on the ground, so clean up the bottom shelves, surfaces, and flooring last.
31. Spray surfaces with an anti-allergen spray
To be extra sure that dust mites will not visit, wipe down your surfaces and then spray them.
32. Employ desiccants.
You know those little baggies of silicone gel you find in medicine bottles? Those are desiccants and used to extract moisture and keep the bottle dry. Spread these packets and powders, giving consideration to the safety of children and animals of course, in order to keep dust mites far away.
33. Spray tea tree or eucalyptus oil.
When sprayed on laundry and around the house, dust mites simply do not have a chance.
34. Do not make your bed.
In addition to being the directive, every teenager wants, not making your bed actually limits the amount of dust mites in the air. Making your bed traps the moisture we leave behind on sheets, pillows, and blankets, and provides mites with a veritable playground.
35. Keep pets out of your bedroom.
Pets carry dander, dander carries dust mites. You get the idea.
36. Use baking soda when you vacuum.
Baking soda is a great disinfectant and destroys dust mites.
37. Treat skin conditions promptly.
Flaky skin is the stuff dust mites feed off of, so starve them by treating skin conditions as promptly as possible.
38. Lower the temperature in your home.
Cool temps keep those dust mites far away.
39. Brush and groom your pets.
This helps you get rid of dander and by extension, dust mites.
40. Increase airflow throughout the house.
More ventilation means less dust mite enzymes multiply, and translates to less overall humidity.
41. Keep houseplants to a minimum.
Houseplants require moisture, and so do mites.
42. Use a pest control service.
While not specific to dust mites, pest control services are an effective way of killing the kinds of bugs dust mites like to eat.
43. Mop with vinegar.
Vinegar is highly acidic and will kill just about any mite that crosses its path.
44. Keep pets off the furniture.
This helps minimize the spread of their dander.
45. Cover your furniture.
This disallows dust mites from inhabiting more yet breeding grounds.
46. Clean up your crumbs.
Desperate times call for desperate measures, even for dust mites. If they are hungry enough
and have nothing else to eat, they will go for the crumbs.
47. Use fans sparingly.
Fans spread and circulate air and the dust mites within.
48. Make sure laundry is completely dry before putting it away.
Damp laundry is where dust mites like to play. Dry everything well before you fold and put it away.
49. Install a vent in the kitchen.
Kitchens are full of humidity and moisture from the steam and heat that come off of cooking surfaces and appliances. By minimizing this humidity, you minimize the presence of dust mites.
50. Use a professional steam cleaning service.
And if all else fails and you cannot get rid of your furniture, carpeting, and all the other cloth items in your home, use a professional steam cleaning service on a regular basis to keep your home as mite free as possible.