How to Get Rid of Dust Mites
Do you want to know how to get rid of dust mites in your home?
Any type of bug in your bed or house can be very unpleasant. Dust mites are prevalent and can cause a range of problems.
These can range from asthma and rashes to itching and sneezing. Even if you don't experience any symptoms of dust mite infestations, you probably have them in your home.
What are Dust Mites?
You've probably heard of dust mites before.
Chances are, you don't know what they are or why they need to get eliminated from your house.
So before we talk about where they live, why you don't want them, and how to get rid of them, let's explain what they are.
Dust mites are tiny creatures with eight legs. They are not insects but belong to the Arachnida class, like ticks and spiders.
Their primary food source is dead skin cells that animals and people alike shed regularly. Because of this, they primarily exist where that food source is plentiful. This includes mattresses, carpets, and rugs.
Dust mites can't drink water like other creatures. For this reason, they thrive in moist environments. 55% to 75% relative humidity is their preferred range.
They also like it to be a little warm but not too hot (between 68 and 70 degrees F.).
This temperature happens to correlate very well with the temperature of most homes. This makes it even more important to learn how to get rid of dust mites. They are likely already living in your house!
Dust mites can grow quite quickly from an egg to an adult mite. Their growth rate depends on several factors. These factors include how much food is available, the temperature, and the room's humidity.
Usually, they take around a month to grow up and will live for two to four months.
One female dust mite is capable of laying up to one hundred eggs. This means the dust mite population in your home could be increasing!
Is your home a prime habitat for these unpleasant guests? If so, it is vital to understand how to get rid of dust mites before they take over.
Where Do Dust Mites Live?
Dust mites thrive in the conditions listed above. So, they are usually present in homes with these conditions.
Dust mites live anywhere that dust exists. This includes mattresses, sheets, pillows, curtains, carpets, rugs, stuffed toys, and blankets.
Dust mites are most prevalent in these areas. So, keeping them as clean and dry as possible is crucial.
How to Get Rid of Dust Mites in Mattresses
Mattresses are the primary living quarters for dust mites in our homes. As you can imagine, the temperature is ideal. The food is plentiful. Depending on the room's humidity, plenty of hydration is likely available.
All this makes you feel gross about ever sleeping in your bed again! But take a deep breath and read on. We'll review how to get rid of dust mites in your mattress!
Wash Your Bedding Weekly
What is the most crucial step in eliminating dust mites from your bed? Wash all your bedding regularly! This should be at least once a week. Anywhere dust can collect will draw the mites. Your bedding is the perfect place for them.
Ensure you wash your bedding in boiling water (cool water won't kill them!).
As a side note, get a mattress cover or mattress protector that encloses your mattress - and even your box spring if possible. This is ideal because it keeps the dust and mites off the bed. Then, you can clean just the cover at least once a week instead of needing to deep clean your mattress all the time. You can also try to use a cooling waterproof mattress protector.
Throw out Old Bedding
It is also helpful to replace your sheets and pillows every five years. Replace your mattress every ten years as well. Starting fresh helps control dust mite buildup.
Avoid Having Decorative Items on Your Bed
Having decorative pillows or stuffed animals on your bed is fun and visually appealing. Keep in mind, though, that they attract even more dust mites. If you are sensitive to dust mites, store decorative items elsewhere.
Dust and Vacuum Often
Dust accumulation contains dust mites and the food they eat. It also has toxic buildup from chemicals, bacteria, and mold in our environments.
Dust and vacuum your home, especially your bedroom. Do this as often as possible to keep all these harmful substances at bay.
Get a HEPA Filter for Your Vacuum Cleaner
A HEPA filter is an excellent solution if you don't have one. It helps keep dust mites and other toxins from escaping back into the air after you have vacuumed them up.
Consider Replacing Fabrics in Your Bedroom
Carpets, curtains, and upholstery are all prime living quarters for dust mites. If you can, consider replacing curtains with roll-up shades. Switch out carpets with hardwood, vinyl, or linoleum. And replace soft chairs and recliners with less-upholstered furniture.
If you cannot replace these items, be sure to vacuum all of them (not just the floors) regularly. And wash curtains in the laundry with hot water.
Lower the Humidity of Your Bedroom
Dust mites thrive in moist environments. Installing a dehumidifier can be a significant step toward getting rid of dust mites.
Install an Air Purifier
An air purifier can pick up some dust mite particles. If it is a high-quality filter, it will also help to remove other toxic substances from the air.
How to Get Rid of Dust Mites on Skin
Although it sounds nasty, and it is, it is more common than you might think. Dust mites on our bodies are enough to make our skin crawl! And most of us don't even give it a second thought until we experience unpleasant symptoms.
Keeping our bedding and homes clean will go a long way in stopping dust mites from living on your skin. But, in the unfortunate case that they do, let's talk about how to get rid of dust mites on your skin.
What are the Symptoms of Dust Mites on Your Skin?
Dust mites are too small to be felt or detected on the skin. But, they can still make themselves known.
The most common symptoms of dust mites on the skin are allergic-type reactions.
- red and watery eyes
- coughing and sneezing
Dust mites may not cause these symptoms for most people. But they can be problematic for individuals with existing allergies.
People with eczema or atopic dermatitis often react to dust mites.
Getting Rid of Dust Mites on Your Skin
First, address your home environment to eliminate dust mites on your skin.
You can try special creams or ointments topically. But as long as you have an overgrowth of dust mites in your home, they will return.
The most crucial step in removing dust mites from your skin is making your house not welcoming to them. Follow the steps outlined in the previous section to do this.
How to Get Rid of Dust Mites Naturally
You can use pesticides, buy latex bedding, or take other measures to eliminate dust mites.
But, all these options have potentially harmful side effects - just like mites do.
When figuring out how to get rid of dust mites, don't replace one harmful substance with another!
Again, the most effective step is to make your home inhospitable to the little creatures. You'd move if your house were cold in the desert, with little to no food and water available. Wouldn't you?
We don't have to make our homes unpleasant for ourselves to make them undesirable for dust mites.
- Vacuum and dust often.
- Clean your bedding, furniture, floors, and curtains with a steam cleaner. (Dust mites can't endure high temperatures).
- Use essential oils. (Clove, eucalyptus, rosemary, tea tree, and fennel are poison to dust mites).
- Get a dehumidifier and a high-quality air filter.
Don't jump to the chemicals just because they may be effective. Use safe, natural methods that are just as good without the side effects!
What to Do for a Dust Mites Allergy
Sometimes a dust mite allergy is severe. There are medications and treatments available for relief.
Medication merely masks the symptoms and does not solve the problem. But it would help if you addressed the cause of the allergy. Please do this by learning how to get rid of dust mites before they become a problem.
Some other tips to make your home unwelcoming to dust mites include
- Use precision micro-weave technology to repel dust mites. Bedding made with micro-weave is usually cotton, silk, linen, or polyester bedding.
- Cover pillows and sheets during the daytime to reduce the dust buildup. (There are covers available specifically for this purpose).
- Get a mattress cover.
- Steam clean regularly.
The most effective way to avoid a dust mite allergy is to make your home one that the dust mites don't want to live in!
What to Do for a Dust Mites Rash
A dust mite rash can occur on the skin of someone allergic to dust mites.
What causes a dust mite rash? The immune system creates an inflammatory response to a foreign substance. In this case, it is the feces of dust mites in your environment or on your skin.
It can be tempting to take a medication to halt this immune response and experience relief. But it is important to note that this is masking the symptoms.
The body knows what to do. When it becomes inflamed, it is protecting you from further harm.
This can be uncomfortable. So think of it as the body's way of telling you that there is a harmful substance in your environment. It is telling you to do something about it.
A dust mite rash usually presents as small, itchy, red bumps. This rash can appear on your skin, eyes, nose, and mouth.
You may experience itchy skin while in your house. Even if it does not look red and bumpy, it may be time to think about how to get rid of dust mites.
If you are allergic to dust mites, some other symptoms that you may experience include
- Postnasal drip
- Itchy, runny nose
- Itchy skin
- Red, watery, or itchy eyes
- Scratchy throat
- Sinus pressure
If you have any of these, getting rid of dust mites is especially important.
Dust mites are virtually everywhere. Yet, they can be eliminated or kept at bay. Use these simple housekeeping practices.
- Wash your bedding in hot water at least once a week
- Vacuum and dust as often as possible
- Use covers for your mattress, pillows, and bedding (and wash those covers regularly)
- Steam clean couches, curtains, carpets, and other soft fabric surfaces often
- Use essential oils to clean with and diffuse
- Keep your home cool and dry
- Use a good air filter in your home
- Use bedding fabrics that are inhospitable to dust mites
- Replace carpets, curtains, and upholstery with other, easy-to-clean materials
For those with dust mite allergies, practicing these things is incredibly crucial. It can make the difference between misery and comfort.
Before turning to medication, take steps to make your home unwelcoming to dust mites.
Learning how to get rid of dust mites is essential for everyone!