It almost doesn’t bear thinking about. In every room, in every home in the country, there are hundreds if not thousands of tiny insects scrabbling around. Invisible to the naked eye, they crawl around your carpets, your curtains, your clothes – even your bed! Dust mites, as these creeping beasts are commonly known, are generally harmless – but if they are allowed to breed, they can soon become a very real threat to your health. Those who suffer from dust mite allergies are particularly seriously affected – dust mites have been shown to aggravate asthma and eczema, and have been linked to related conditions, such as dermatitis and conjunctivitis.
If you suspect your house has been overrun (mite-tester kits are available if you are unsure) then it is wise to begin debugging as soon as possible. The dust mite problem will not go away – but the longer you leave it, the worse it will get.
For bedding or pillows that are too large or delicate to wash, it is worth remembering that extremely low temperatures will have the same effect. Place them in a freezer overnight, and they will emerge mite-free!
How to Get Rid of Dust Mites – Take the Battle to the Bugs!
Firstly, wash all bedding at 55 degrees or higher, and ideally with a good quality detergent, such as OMO Liquid, to ensure that both dust mites and dust mite eggs are destroyed.
After washing, it is a good idea to dry your bedding in a tumble dryer. The high temperatures will eliminate any particularly dogged dust mites that managed to survive the washing cycle.
Now it is time to vacuum your mattress and carpet. Check your vacuum cleaner is fitted with a HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filter. Models equipped with a HEPA filter will collect dust mites and, crucially, their eggs.
Once the dust mites have been destroyed, it is essential to ensure that they do not return. As with most household scourges, prevention is the key. Follow these quick tips to stop the mites ever coming back!
Cover your mattress and clean bedding with micro-porous material – special covers are available.
Wash your bedding regularly – that means roughly once a week, at high temperatures, with a good quality detergent (such as OMO Liquid).
Replace old pillows and mattresses regularly. Pillows should be replaced every two years, and mattresses every eight years. Ensure new pillows and mattresses are vacuumed and coated with microporous covers before use.
Watch out for pets! Dust mites use pets as transport – they live in pets’ fur and travel around the house. Consider keeping pets out of bedrooms, or rooms with carpets.
Vacuum! As their name suggests, dust mites eat dust. If you eliminate the dust, you eliminate the mites – it is really that simple!
With these tips, you’ll be well armed to deal with those pesky dust mites – and ensure they stay away for good!