Dust mites are perhaps the most pernicious and invasive of all indoor allergens. If you looked around your home with a pair of “dust mite detector glasses,” you would probably be shocked and horrified by what you saw! Unfortunately, because humans have lived side by side with dust mites for so long, it is estimated that up to one-quarter of all people have developed an allergic response to them.
The good news is, you can get rid of dust mites in your home, and we are here to help! Read on for 10 easy, safe, non-toxic ways to rid your home of dust mites once and for all.
Meet the Dust Mite
A few facts about the dust mite.
- Dust mites are very tiny spider cousins.
- Dust mites love humid, warm areas.
- Dust mites dine on dead human skin and dander from pets.
- Dust mites have “sticky” little feet, making it easy for them to cling to anything they want.
- Dust mites live just 2 to 4 months, but they spend most of that time rapidly eating, excreting, and making more dust mites (one female can produce 100 mite eggs!).
- Dust mites typically prefer to make their home in your bedding, but will also settle for basements, couch cushions, and pet bedding.
- The typical mattress on the average bed is supporting an estimated 10 million dust mites.
10 Tips to Eliminate Dust Mites
These 10 tips are expert-endorsed as the best strategies for reducing and eliminating dust mites indoors.
Tip #1: Control the humidity in your home
Dust mites prefer conditions where the humidity is higher. So if your overall household or any one room or space in your home has higher humidity (and especially if the humidity reaches 50 percent or more), this is where you start.
Running the air conditioner is a good way to keep humidity levels low. Also, reconsider the use of humidifiers indoors and be sure at-risk rooms like bathrooms are equipped with vents or fans to get the warm, moist air out quickly.
Tip #2: Clean your mattress like clockwork
Other than pollen, dust mites cause more issues with allergies and asthma than anything else. And your mattress is where the largest community of dust mites likes to live.
This makes mattress cleaning an essential part of keeping dust mites out of your home and away from your sensitive sinuses.
Tip #3: Encase at-risk bedding and cushions in allergy-proof sheathes
You can get dust mite covers for your pillows, cushions, and covers. These covers will kill the mites inside by depriving them of their food source and prevent new mites from infesting your bedding.
Tip #4: Improve ventilation and air circulation
If your home has poor ventilation and air circulation, you likely have more dust mites than you would in a home with better ventilation. You need to keep the air moving to keep the humidity down, and to get warm, moist air from appliances and bathing out of your house quickly.
Tip #5: Every two months, freeze and then launder pet and child toys
Since dust mites like to eat dead skin flakes, it just makes sense that child and pet toys would be dust mite magnets. So here your work is twofold: you have to kill the living mites and then wash the toys.
To kill the mites, stick the toys in the freezer for a full 24 hours. Then wash and dry them. The freezing kills the mites and the wash/dry gets rid of the bodies. Do this regularly to keep mites out of your children’s and pet’s toys.
Tip #6: Vacuum every week
Vacuuming won’t eradicate your dust mite population, but it will suck up dust mites and also dust mite egg sacks waiting to hatch.
Tip #7: Bring in a HEPA-certified air filter
While a HEPA-certified air filter isn’t going to kill dust mites in and of itself, it can catch airborne pollutants and dead skin flakes that are circulating in the air, cleaning your indoor air and reducing the dust mites’ food source at the same time.
This can be especially important and beneficial if you fall into the category of people who are especially sensitive to dust mites or if anyone in your family has asthma.
Tip #8: Change out carpeting for hardwoods, vinyl, and/or tile flooring
The more you can convert floors from carpeting over to hardwoods, vinyl, or tile, the lower your indoor dust mite population count will be.
Tip #9: Clean all hard flooring every week
At least once a week, you should take a damp towel or cloth and clean your flooring to remove dead skin cells, mite carcasses, and other allergens. You can also use this time to identify and remove clutter that may be producing damp or humidity and thus attracting more mites.
Tip #10: Change your furnace filters monthly
At a minimum, you should get on a schedule to change your furnace filters every four weeks. This will remove allergens and particles that will otherwise continue circulating through your indoor air, attracting more mites.
By instituting these 10 tips right away, you will achieve an immediate reduction in your dust mite population. It is very important to continue doing all 10 tips regularly and especially in the beginning, since you will need to remove adult mites, young mites, and also egg sacks that have not yet hatched.
Here at Clean Air Solutions, we are at your service to help you rid your home of dust mites and keep them gone. Contact us today!