Dust mites: these two little words strike fear into the hearts of homeowners all over the world. These microscopic bugs cannot be seen, but they are certainly there, lurking throughout your home in places like your bed, your carpeting and rugs, and your upholstered furniture. Related to the spider, these tiny creatures prefer warm environments, as well as humidity. And they feast upon the flakes of skin that are shed daily by everyone living in your home, including your pets.
When dust mites take over, they can cause allergies and respiratory problems, particularly in individuals who are sensitive as a result of conditions like asthma. But even if dust mites really gross you out, you need to first come to the understanding that you cannot eliminate them 100% from your environment. Instead, you can take steps to effectively reduce their numbers to a much healthier level. Continue reading to learn how.
Get the Right Vacuum Cleaner
With so many different types of vacuum cleaners on the market, it can be difficult to determine which one is really the best option. But when it comes to getting rid of dust mites, a unit with a built-in HEPA filter is the one you should invest in. Another option is a unit that contains a double-layer micro-filter bag. These will effectively catch all of the allergens in your environment, including dust mites, and prevent them from being re-released into the rooms throughout your home. The end result, especially with regular use, is a home with fewer dust mites.
Remember, though, that vacuuming will not eliminate 100% of dust mites. If you are really concerned about this or you have family members who are very sensitive to their presence, remove carpeting and opt for tiled or hardwood flooring instead.
Clean Up the Bed
Your bed can play host to more dust mites than you would probably feel comfortable sharing it with. But, thankfully, there are steps you can take to reduce the population and enjoy a peaceful night's sleep knowing you are not exposed to these tiny bugs.
First, get yourself on a schedule that forces you to wash your bedding at least once a week. To kill dust mites, you should use hot water. Any bedding materials that cannot be washed traditionally can instead be frozen overnight. Both of these methods will eliminate the dust mites effectively.
Secondly, your pillows and mattress should be covered in materials that are allergen-proof and dust-proof. You may have to shop from specialty stores to find these products, but it will be worth it to eliminate as many dust mites as possible.
Use a Dehumidifier
In addition to a home air filter that will effectively clean the air you breathe inside your house, you should also invest in a dehumidifier that will maintain the appropriate humidity level in every room. Remember, dust mites prefer humid and warm environments, so keeping the humidity level at 40-50% is one way to make your home an inhospitable place for these creatures. Use the dehumidifier all year long if you need to in order to maintain this ideal level of humidity. A hygrometer, which can be found at building supply shops, is one of the best ways to monitor moisture levels.
Clean Plush Toys
Although your children may love to play with plush toys and stuffed animals, these can also hold a high population of dust mites, just like your bedding and pillows. To kill off the dust mites on these products, place them in the freezer for a day every two months. You can then wash these toys in the washing machine with cold water before tossing them in the dryer.
Dusting regularly is also key in eliminating as many dust mites as possible. But instead of using a dry cloth or rag, use a damp one that will effectively trap dust without simply moving it from one place to another.
Dust mites may be quite disgusting to think about, but they are easily controlled. By simply maintaining a clean home and keeping the air quality as high as possible through the use of air filters and dehumidifiers, you can dramatically reduce the number of dust mites throughout your home. And this will hopefully let you rest easier at night.