How to Get Rid of Dust Mites
While not necessarily regarded as pests, dust mites are among the most common cause of allergies in humans. They are tiny arachnids that are invisible to the naked eye and are commonly found in the fabrics of your bed, sofa, carpets, rugs, and drapes. Dust mites feed on dead human and animal skin and are especially fond of moisture. They are found almost everywhere on Earth, so there is no hiding from them, although their population does follow a certain seasonal curve, which peaks in the summer when the humidity is highest.
Why are dust mites bad for you?
Like any other animal, dust mites poop. A lot. What happens is, they eat dead skin cells, then the enzymes in their gut digest them and the end result is faecal pellets. Most people who are allergic to dust mites are actually allergic to these faecal pellets, but some might be allergic to the dust mites themselves.
This is why their vast numbers, as many as 40 000 in a single speck of dust, make them a common and difficult to get rid of the household allergen. Dust mites can cause a wide range of allergic reactions - sneezing, a runny nose, itchy nose and eyes, nasal congestion, coughing, trouble breathing, eczema, and even hives and anaphylaxis.
How to Get Rid of Dust Mites Naturally?
There are numerous ways to create a dust mite-free environment. Here are some of them:
- Washing your bed linen regularly with hot water;
- Put items that can’t be washed in the freezer (put them in a sandwich bag to prevent them from getting damp while thawing);
- Declutter your house, which will prevent dust accumulation and make it easier for you to clean;
- Use damp cloths when dusting and wiping;
- Get a high-efficiency hoover with a HEPA filter;
- Vacuum your carpets and upholstery frequently.
Anti-Dust Mite Bedding
The first and easiest thing you can do is get anti-dust mite bed linen, which is made of tightly-woven fabric. This makes it difficult for dust mites to pass through the encasings and stick to your mattress and pillows.
Anti-Dust Mite Spray
Use a disinfecting spray after dusting and wiping surfaces such as floors, shelves, blinds, skirting boards, and corners, since it not only kills the dust mites but also creates an inhospitable environment for them. You can also use an anti-allergen spray.
Eucalyptus, among other essential oils, is effective at killing dust mites. You can make your own eucalyptus spray by mixing about 30 drops (or 1.5ml) with water in a spray bottle. Use the mixture to spray your bed linen, soft furnishings, carpets, and other items, which might be home to dust mites.
Dehumidifier for Dust Mites
Since humidity is essential to their population numbers, the first thing you can do is dehumidify your environment. One way to do this is with a portable dehumidifier, which is the cheaper but less effective option.
The other is by installing a whole-house dehumidification system, a more expensive and fruitful method. In this case, a humidistat, which works like a thermostat, is included. The hygrometer turns on the system when the environment is too humid. If you opt for a portable dehumidifier, you can buy a hygrometer to keep track of the moisture in your room.
Read more: Do Dust Mites Bite?
Commercial Dust Mite Treatments
A good way to get rid of dust mites is to have the bed linen or items that can’t be washed regularly professionally dry cleaned since this cleaning method kills most, if not all dust mites.
Use a vapour steam cleaner to clean bedding, mattresses, upholstery, curtains, blinds, carpets, etc. This is a healthy and efficient way to get rid of dust mites since it does not involve any chemicals and actually kills dust mites, bacteria, and fungus. Vapour contains less than 10% water, as opposed to the regular steam cleaning method, which involves a lot of heated water. Therefore, vapour steam cleaning doesn’t actually contribute to making the environment more humid.
Getting rid of dust mites is, fortunately, not that difficult, but it requires time and effort to keep the environment free of dust mites and, consequently, their faeces, the main culprit of allergens.
Keeping the surfaces dust-free, using a powerful vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter, and regularly washing your bed linen with hot water are just some of many ways to prevent dust mite accumulation. Additionally, you can start using anti-dust mite bedding and portable dehumidifiers. Spraying with a disinfectant or a homemade eucalyptus spray will also reduce the number of dust mites in your home.