Dust mites have a bit of a reputation for only lurking in dirty or unclean homes, but unfortunately that isn’t true. In fact, it’s difficult to find a home that is completely 100 percent free of dust mites – even the cleanest of homes have them. While we may not be able to banish dust mites completely, what we can do is keep their numbers minimal. This not only ensures a clean home, but can also improve our health; just read on for our 3 top tips on how to get rid of dust mites.
What is a Dust Mite?
A dust mite is a tiny creature quite similar to a spider. It’s got eight legs, it’s definitely one of the world’s most itch-inducing creepy crawlies, and sadly, it’s invading our homes. Dust mites can lay up to 100 eggs at a time, so even if you just start with one, you’ll soon be calling hundreds of them your roommates. The main problem with these vermin is that they feed off dead skin, and as we’re constantly shedding, getting rid of dust mites can be tricky.
Why are Dust Mites a Problem?
We can’t see them, we can’t feel them, they don’t get in our way, so why do we need to know how to get rid of dust mites? Like any other living animal, dust mites excrete waste, but the type of waste they excrete is a major allergen. Those of us with even the mildest of allergies can find our eyes streaming and our noses running when they’re around. According to Allergy UK, dust mites pass waste up to 20 times each day, so you can imagine how much they can affect our health.
Getting Rid of Dust Mites
Getting rid of dust mites and keeping their numbers to a minimum is a twofold process. Firstly, you’ll want to kill as many dust mites as you can, and secondly you’ll want to take precautions to prevent them coming back in droves. You probably know how to get rid of dust in your home – vacuum regularly and keep it clean – but do you know how to kill off existing dust mites?
How to Get Rid of Dust Mites in Carpets
Vacuuming carpets on a regular basis is the best way to prevent dust mite breeding, but you’ll also want to steam clean semi-regularly to remove existing dust mites. Steam cleaning works really well, as the mites cannot survive the hot temperatures. If you find you’re having a lot of trouble keeping your carpets clean, consider installing hardwood flooring, or even a washable rug that can easily be put in the washing machine.
How to Get Rid of Dust Mites in a Mattress and in Bedding
Mattresses and bedding are a hotspot of dust mite activity – they see the dead skin you shed overnight as an all-you-can-eat buffet. It’s actually very easy to clean sheets and other items of bedding – just put them through the wash with Persil bio liquid detergent on the highest temperature that the care labels allow – like 60 degrees Celsius – which will kill the pests. Mattresses are a little more difficult as they cannot be washed. It’s a good idea to use a small, handheld vacuum cleaner to give the mattress a once over, and then fit an allergy-reducing, breathable cover onto the mattress. This will prevent dead skin cells shedding into the mattress, and will hopefully keep the dust mites away – just be sure to wash the cover regularly.
How to Get Rid of Dust Mites on Clothing
Clothing is also a very popular dust mite hotspot due to miniscule bits of dead skin that get caught in the fibres of the fabric. Obviously, washing your clothing regularly with a good quality detergent like Persil is very beneficial, but also take care to hang your clothes in a wardrobe, rather than throwing them onto the floor or keeping them in an exposed location where dust mites can easily find their way to them.
Most of us are harbouring troublesome dust mites in our homes without even realising it. If you find yourself with streaming eyes and a runny nose in the middle of winter – well after hay fever season – then your problem could be dust mites. Keep your home clean and tidy, and take preventative measures to prevent dust mite breeding, and you could find your health improves almost instantly. Give it a try and see for yourself.