Dust mites are the scourge of allergy sufferers everywhere. There are literally millions of them living and feeding inside your bed, carpets, soft furnishings, clothes and anywhere where dust tends to accumulate. Although completely eliminating dust mites from your home is virtually impossible, there are several precautions you can take to drastically reduce their numbers and neutralize their threat. Let’s take a look at ten of the best ways to get rid of dust mites in your house.
1. Wash Bedding Regularly
A bed is a warm, dark and humid place making it a perfect habitat for dust mites to prosper. Additionally, the flakes of dead skin which humans shed during the night become ideal food sources for these little pests. It’s not a pretty thought. Fortunately, dust mites don’t take too kindly to hot temperatures. Putting your bed sheets through a 140°F wash is usually enough to kill them and remove their fecal matter and skin particles.
2. Don’t Make Your Bed in the Morning
Here’s some great news for anyone who hates making their bed first thing in the morning: don’t bother! Instead, give your duvet and bed cover a good airing. This gives the moisture excreted from our bodies time to dry. Dust mites love moisture. They can’t drink water in the normal sense but instead, they absorb it through the air. By reducing moisture and humidity within the bed, we’re making life difficult for them.
3. Control Temperature and Humidity
Dust mites love living in an environment where the temperature is between 75°F and 80°F (24°C and 27°C) and the relative humidity is around 70% to 80%. Anything outside this range won’t necessarily kill them but will push them outside their comfort zone and slow down their breeding.
Set the temperature inside your house to no higher than 70°F (21°C). This is considered a normal and healthy environment for a human but is very slightly below optimal for a house dust mite. If you can comfortably live at a few degrees below this temperature, you’ll not only save money on heating costs but you’ll make life tougher for your unwanted house guests.
4. Keep Pets Out of the Bedroom
Dust mites love pet dander. Make pets sleep outside or in the garage if possible and limit their indoor freedom to one or two rooms. Make an extra effort to keep pets out of the bedroom.
5. Clean Regularly
This might seem like an obvious tip but you should never underestimate the power of dust mites to colonize and breed in your home. With the average human shedding enough dead skin each and every day to feed one million of these pesky critters, maintaining a frequent cleaning schedule is vital.
Make a note of all the places in your home where dust tends to accumulate and wipe these areas several times a week with a damp cloth or a microfiber duster – basically something that actually picks up and contains the dust rather than simply moving it about.