5 Tips To Help You Get Rid Of Dust Mites In Your Home

While they might not bite or cause too much trouble for most people, dust mites are known to cause allergic reactions and asthma attacks. These tiny insects are almost invincible to the naked eye and can go unnoticed for the most part. However, if there is a lot of dust in your home, it is almost guaranteed that you might have dust mites. It is common to find dust mites in the spots we spend most of our time in; these pesky insects have been living among the human population for many years. 

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America mentions that all 13 species of dust mites are well adapted to living with you inside your home. When it comes to getting rid of these insects, the sad reality is that you can never eliminate all of them, especially after they set up shop indoors. Also, you should remember that removing dust mites is an ongoing process that you will need to follow through for some time. However, the good news is that there are a couple of ways you can help reduce their numbers significantly. Here are a few tips to aid you in getting rid of dust mites from your home.

Clean your bedding regularly and properly

These tiny microscopic insects thrive on dead human cells for nourishment, via the American Lung Association. Your bedroom area, particularly on your bed, is a good spot where they can get comfortable and feed on all the skin cells you leave behind every night. If you want to eliminate dust mites from your home, start from your bedroom. Changing and cleaning your bedding regularly is very helpful as far as removing dust mites is concerned. Consider switching your bedding weekly and cleaning all the washable fabric properly. 

According to the Mayo Clinic, washing your bedding in hot water, preferably at least 130 degrees Fahrenheit, kills these insects and removes all the allergens. However, for the fabrics that cannot be washed with hot water, consider drying them at the same temperature for 15 minutes before going ahead and washing them. Although freezing also kills dust mites, the Mayo Clinic mentions that it doesn't eliminate the allergens from the fabrics. Besides helping eliminate dust mites, cleaning your bedding regularly will freshen your sheets and give you a better night's sleep.

Vacuum often

Since dust mites love dusty surfaces, making sure your home is dust free is one way of keeping these insects at bay. There are no rules on how often you should vacuum your house. Once a day should be ideal, but if you have the time, you can vacuum twice daily. However, while vacuuming doesn't necessarily pick up the insects from the fabric, it goes a long way in removing the natural habitat of dust mites. It is impossible to vacuum every square inch of your home, especially if you live in a huge house, so be strategic with your approach to vacuuming

Start with the spots that are prone to hold dust the most, for instance, the carpet or on your window dressing. The best time to vacuum your home is right after dusting — doing this will allow you to remove the dirt before it settles on the different surfaces in your home. A cordless vacuum cleaner will make your work easier since you can access the far-to-reach spots around the house. Using a vacuum with a HEPA filter will help trap more dust, among other allergens, per WebMD.

Steam clean furniture

While you might not know this, furniture around your house also harbors dust. Also, the fact that you cannot throw them in a washing machine makes cleaning them frequently a challenging task. However, one way that you can remove dust from the upholstery around your house is through steam cleaning. But that's not all; a study from the Department of Immunology at the University of Glasgow shows that steam cleaning is also an effective tool for killing mites that might be hiding in the fabric of your furniture.

The heat from domestic steam cleaners can get to as high as 212 degrees Fahrenheit, which is enough to kill the mites trapped deep into the fabric. It goes without saying that steam introduces plenty of moisture to the furniture. Therefore, you must allow the couches and the mattresses to dry properly to eliminate the possibility of mold growth.

Reduce humidity

Dust mites need moisture from the air to survive; therefore, if you live in a dust mite-prone area, you must keep an eye out for the humidity level in your home. Your home can have elevated levels of humidity for a variety of reasons. However, the most common cause is poor ventilation. When circulation inside your home is not enough, the air gets stagnant and humid. While it is easy to eliminate excess moisture from rooms like the bathroom, reducing the humidity levels in other spaces will require you to invest in a good dehumidifier

However, before shopping for a dehumidifier, you first need to check the humidity indoors using a hygrometer. According to Safe In-home Air, you need to maintain indoor humidity levels of between 30 and 50% to lessen the number of dust mites in your residence. Other than using a dehumidifier to reduce the moisture in the air, other ways that work are opening the windows and doors, especially during those dry and windy days, to provide proper air circulation. Besides keeping the humidity levels low, turning the heat down will also go a long way in making the environment inhabitable for dust mite existence and reproduction.

Remove wall-to-wall carpets

Since dust mites love dark areas, your furry wall-to-wall carpeting could be the perfect habitat for your home's dust mites. Carpet fibers are comparatively more difficult to clean than regular hard surface flooring. This flooring accumulates all types of allergen-causing materials, for instance, dead skin cells, pet dander, and mold spores, via The Flooring Blog. Also, as previously established, vacuuming does little to eliminate these tiny microscopic insects, especially from the thick fibers of your carpet. 

While wall-to-wall carpeting helps keep our feet warm in the house, getting rid of dust mites might not be possible with this flooring. The best alternatives to a wall-to-wall carpet are vinyl, tile, wood, or laminate, and such flooring is easy to clean as regularly as you would want. Also, you can use a wet mop to eliminate any dust that may have settled on the floor. If you need to get comfortable and keep your feet warm, consider buying washable floor rugs for the spots you love hanging around.