Dust mites are a type of microscopic insects that are often found in homes. They usually live in mattresses and pillows where they burrow to nest and lay eggs. Mites multiply fast. In fact, about 100,000 or more of these insects can be found in an infested pillow. Dust mites cause allergic reactions on sensitive individuals, causing sneezing, wheezing, itching and rashes. Getting rid of mites takes a bit of work and although it’s impossible to eliminate them completely, their population can be controlled significantly and future infestations prevented.
The first defense against dust mites is a clean environment, or at least an environment where the mites can’t find enough food. Dust mites feed on dead skin cells, the kind that people in a household shed throughout the day. This is a normal process and cannot be avoided. The only thing to do is to ensure that regular cleanup is performed, particularly in the bedroom. Bedding must be changed regularly and washed in hot water in order to kill the mites. Pillows may be washed, vacuumed or replaced. New pillows may also be wrapped in a plastic sheet to prevent mites from burrowing into them.
Vacuuming carpets, floors, chairs and other furniture is also effective in getting rid of dust mites. Walls, ceiling fans and lamps should also be vacuumed and not swept. Sweeping will only disperse mites and dust into the air but will not get rid of them. It’s also a good idea to use hot steam to treat carpets and mats since this will kill mites that have not been removed by vacuuming.
If you have had a dust mite infestation or would like to prevent one, consider performing regular dust-ups and cleanups around the house. Look for areas and items that collect dust such as books, shades, blinds, rugs and even stuffed toys. Clean or replace these items regularly or store them in a dust-free cabinet or drawer.
Getting rid of dust mites through temperature control
Dust mites prefer humid, warm places to live in. By lowering the temperature in your room or house, you could make the place inhospitable to these pests. Using an air conditioner and humidifier will also help discourage the proliferation of mites. An ideal humidity level to keep is 34% or lower, while room temperature should be kept at 70 degrees or lower.