It’s impossible to rid your home of all dust mites. Whatever preventative measures you take and however clean your interior spaces are, dust mites will always be there. However, you can significantly reduce the numbers of dust mites in your home and this is reasonably easy. The following points of advice deal with the best ways to get rid of dust mites and thereby diminish the symptoms and causes of dust mite allergies.
Clean Bedding – Dust mites love beds more than the laziest of humans. It’s where we spend up to a third of our lives and the one single location where we lose much of our dead skin. As noted in previous articles in this series on dust mites, these minuscule creatures eat discarded skin cells whether from humans or animals. With this in mind it is best to change bedding once a week and to make sure the sheets are washed in hot water. This will kill and wash away dust mites and their allergy inducing faeces.
If you suffer from dust mite allergies it will also be wise to get rid of any wool blankets, comforters or feather pillows and adornments. This will be an unfortunate impact on your interior design but it will also significantly reduce the places where dust mites thrive. Vellux is a good material to use and can take a lot of hot water washes. it might also be nice to have your cat or dog sleep with you but again, this just adds further discarded skin cells to the bed and will have a negative impact on your dust mite allergies. Get them their own bed on the floor.
Carpets – If the bed is dust mite hotel, the carpet is dust mite city. There is so much of it and so many places for dust mites to hide and feed. A vacuum cleaner doesn’t do much either for the dust mites are able to hang on to the fibres in the carpet and slot themselves into the many nooks and crannies that are visible if you look at the threading under a microscope. The best way to rid your carpets of as many dust mites as possible is to steam clean them. This should be done regularly, depending on your allergy symptoms. The hot steam will kill most dust mites.
Alternatively, you can make a major change in your decor scheme by throwing out all carpets in the home. This is drastic but if you have good floorboards underneath, it can be a blessing in disguise. There’s also choices in flooring which are easy to clean and do not lend themselves to dust mites. These include laminate, linoleum and wood. If you have very bad dust mite allergies, this is seriously an option to consider.
Temperature and Humidity – Dust mites love warm and humid environments. Therefore, one of the best ways to leave dust mites wanting an exit route is by keeping the home interior as cool as possible. Of course, this largely depends on your location in the world as well as the time of year but if possible, it’s best to keep a home below 70 degrees. Air conditioners and dehumidifiers can also be installed which will keep the interior spaces fresh and reduce humidity. The ideal humidity level for a private home is below 35%.
Clean the Home – “Cleanliness is indeed next to godliness” said John Wesley, the Anglican cleric and Christian theologian. Whether close to godliness or not, cleanliness will certainly lead to dust mites being ousted from your home. Not many people like cleaning but it’s essential and especially so if you suffer from dust mite allergies. In severe cases, the house should be completely wiped clean once a week.
Areas to think about cleaning are floors, beds, walls, shelves, tables, chairs and anywhere else where dust collects including on the top of picture frames and doors. It’s essential you carry out this cleaning using a damp cloth. A dry cloth will merely flick the dust into the air where it will settle on locations where you have already cleaned. The dust will instead stick to a cloth that is slightly wet. The same applies when cleaning wooden or other hard floor surfaces. Mop the floors instead of sweeping. Take down the curtains regularly and give them a good clean. Vacuum upholstery and give furnishings as good going over.
Dust Traps – The more you get rid of general dust, the less you will suffer from dust mite allergies. This means getting rid of anything which might unnecessarily collect dust. Think about replacing curtains and drapes with blinds or shades which are much easier and quicker to wipe down. Too many soft toys can be a dust mite haven and so if your child suffers from dust mite allergies think about reducing the number of teddy bears and other stuffed toys in their bedroom. Also, it’s important to clean the soft toys regularly.
Pets need to be bathed often and one can purchase omega fatty acids for their skin which reduces the amount of dead skin cells dropping off with a moisturising effect. To sum up, it’s important to search around the house for where dust most collects and to target those areas in a weekly clean. It’s going to be impossible to get rid of all dust mites in the home and it’s best not to assume you can. However, with the points mentioned above, you can drastically reduce the numbers and the resulting dust mite allergy symptoms.
There are also special sprays which can be purchased in stores and also online which can help reduce dust mites in the home. These include Steri-Fab or BedLam Insecticide which are both safe to use in the home environment.