Discover the best way to get rid of dust mites around your home, in carpets, beds, and pillows.
Dust mites are microscopic arachnids that feed on the dead skin cells that come off people and animals. That makes them related to shriek-inducing spiders. Their presence in your home can be a cause of allergic reactions amongst you and your family members, which makes it a priority to get rid of dust mites. It can be more than a passing nuisance as allergies are discomforting to live with. While it is next to impossible to make your home completely free of dust mites, there are steps you can take to reduce the population to a number that is not a health hazard. First, however, you need to understand this microscopic creature in order to know how to take it down.
Fertile Ground for Mite Breeding
Mites are drawn to places where they have a rich feeding ground. That means they will populate areas that you frequently stay. What better place than your bed. They flourish in bedding and make their not so humble abodes in mattresses and pillows. They thrive in natural fabrics and can have a colony right under your nose in your carpet. They will also live in stuffed toys as enough of them are made of natural fabric. They will make their home in items which are rarely washed and rooms that have significant traffic. A good population can also be found on the fur coats of your pets.
Dust mites thrive in high humidity climates as they need the moisture to live comfortably. They also appreciate zones that are above 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Knowing this makes it much easier to get rid of dust mites.
Keeping Clean Bedding
Your bedroom is the first place that you should start as it satisfies all conditions right for mite living. You need to wash the bedding from all beds in hot water above 130 degrees Fahrenheit. This includes the pillow covers and heavy bedding like comforters and mattress pads. You will need to wash them every week for a couple of weeks if the infestation is extreme. Next, you will need to take them through a hot dryer. This will clear off the arachnids that were not killed in the wash.
Floor and Carpet Cleaning
Cleaning your rugs and floor needs to be done on a consistent basis. This is especially if there is high traffic and you have pets in the house. This is because pets tend to be good carriers of dust mites. For carpet cleaning, you will need to take them through a steam cleaning that utilizes high temperature water at high pressure to drive out any mites from deep within the carpets. You will need to hire the services of professionals to get this done. You can get them to use anti-dust mite chemical to completely eradicate the pest. Though this is a more expensive treatment than regular steaming, it is beneficial if you have a deep seated infestation.
After the carpet wash, you will then need to regularly vacuum your carpets. In order for this to be effective, you will need to use a vacuum cleaner with a high-efficiency particulate (HEPA) filter. This is able to pick up the mites as well as their eggs. Use this on the floor as well, making certain you vacuum the bedrooms too and any other area constantly visited. If you have been using the cleaner for more than a year, you should consider replacing the filter for it to be effective in sucking in the sneeze-inducing pests. If possible, you can also use the vacuum cleaner on furniture as well. This method of cleaning will also work well in areas where pets frequent including their sleeping areas.
Other Household Items
There are those items that cannot be machine washed but still have the potential to harbor great hoards of mites. These are like pillows, stuffed toys, and curtains. For these items, you need to put them in bags and freeze them for 24-48 hours to kill the microscopic arachnids.
Control the Humidity Level
Since high humidity is fertile ground for these pests, you will need to control the moisture content in the air in order to make the environment as unfriendly as possible; by this you will help get rid of dust mites. You will need to get a dehumidifier to take the humidity to less than 50%. This will keep the mite population in check.
Since pets have a high attraction to the dust mites, you will need to take extra care of them. By constantly washing them, you keep them clean and undesirable to the pests. You need to take this further by brushing the pets down while you are outside. This gets rid of pet dander, leaving it outside. Use strokes with and against the fur to get the dander dislodged. Once the pets come inside, you can trap the dander on the surface of the fur by using a damp rug. Wipe them down using it and you will have saved your house from having dust mite food strewn all over it.
While it is downright impossible to keep the microscopic critters from getting into your home, you can do a few things that will make your environment as discomforting to them as possible. Guarding the areas they prefer to live in goes a long way to get rid of dust mites. Something to note here is that these mites cannot live in synthetic material like plastic. You can use this to your advantage by encasing the mattresses, mattress pads and pillows in allergenic plastic covers. Using waterproof breathable covers is an advantage as it keeps moisture away. This will be a good deterrent to the mites. You should also consider replacing your carpet with linoleum flooring as it is also not conducive to mite living.
You should regularly replace pet bedding while making a point to throw away pillows that are over 6 months old. If you can, replace toys and other items made of natural fabric with items made with synthetic materials. Keeping your bedroom free of carpets and other items that are attractive homes to dust mites will help you go a long way to keep the pests out. Also, do your best to keep your pets out of your bedrooms. Following these steps will help you get rid of dust mites and help you contain the menace. If you feel overwhelmed by the infestation, you can call in a professional exterminator.