Dust mites are microscopic insects, not visible to the human eye, that feed on the shedding of human and animal skin. They breed prolifically, and millions of them live and eat literally within your home’s fabrics, such as your bed, carpets, soft furnishings, clothing, and everywhere dust appears to collect.
A dust mite can manufacture up to 200 times its own body weight in waste products over the course of its life. A variety of health issues and allergic reactions, such as breathing difficulties, coughing, nasal inflammation, itching, and watery eyes, may be caused by these droppings. These issues may also have a negative influence on your sleep, causing you to wake up during the night many times.
While it is difficult to remove dust mites completely from your home, there are many steps you can take to reduce their numbers significantly and neutralize their threat. Let’s take a look at the most productive and safe ways to use items you already have in your home to get rid of dust mites in your house.
How harmful dust mites are?
Dust mites might be tiny creatures but they can create severe health problems for people who suffer from asthma or develop allergic reactions quickly.
A person can face the following allergic reactions due to a dust mite infestation:
- Continuous sneezing or coughing
- Irritation in eyes
- Dry cough or wheezing attack
- Difficulty in breathing
- Continuous itching on skin
- Rashes on skin
Reason for allergic reaction caused by dust mites: The waste produced by dust mites include a variety of allergens. If your immune system is sensitive to these allergens, it misreads them as a disease-causing bug and starts producing antibodies to fight them off. The ensuing chemical reaction causes discomfort in the form of allergic reactions mentioned above.
How to detect dust mites?
The following are some ways through which you can determine the presence of dust mites in your house:
- If anyone in your shows the health symptoms mentioned above, it could indicate the presence of dust mites.
- Collect dust samples on a piece of clear tape from those places in your house where you doubt the presence of dust mites like bedroom corner, bedding, pillows, and examine it under the microscope.
- Their presence is confirmed if you notice any spider-like creature matching with the biological details of the dust mites mentioned above, or brown rectangular fecal pellets.
11 Effective Natural & Homemade Remedies for Dust Mites
1. Lower the Temperature and Humidity Level
Ideal Temperature to Reduce Dust Mites:
Dust mites enjoy living in an area where the temperature is between 24 ° C and 27 ° C (75 ° F and 80 ° F) and the relative humidity is between 70 and 80 percent.
Outside this range, anything will not necessarily kill them but will drive them outside their comfort zone and slow their breeding down.
Set the temperature to no higher than 70°F (21°C) inside your home. For a human, this is considered a natural and safe climate, but for a house dust mite, it is very slightly below ideal.
You will not only save money on heating costs if you can live comfortably at a few degrees below this temperature, but you will also make life tougher for dust mites.
Ideal Humidity Level for Reducing Dust Mites:
Dust mites live comfortably at a human-like temperature but actually prefer higher humidity. Anything lower than 70% relative humidity decreases their reproductive rate, so aim to maintain less than 50 percent of the relative humidity in your bedroom and house.
With an electronic humidity meter, you can measure the humidity at home. Try to get air flowing into your house by using vents and fans and periodically opening windows if you notice the relative humidity levels are greater than 50 percent.
It is also possible to regulate humidity with air conditioning units and dehumidifiers if this doesn’t work, or if it is too inconvenient.
2. Clean and Remove Dust Regularly
Dust mites lives and feed on dust, which is made of dead skin cells, if it isn’t already clear. It is essential to maintain a daily cleaning schedule, with the average human shedding enough dead skin each and every day to feed one million of these pesky creatures.
Wipe Down Dusty Areas:
Make a list of all the places where dust appears to collect in your home and wipe these areas with a damp cloth or a microfiber duster several times a week. Instead of just brushing it off with a feather duster, make sure you vacuum up the dust.
You don’t want the dust to swirl around the room and pick up your carpets. You can dispose of the dust by wiping down dusty cabinets and countertops by either washing away the cloth or shaking it out in a trash can outside.
Vacuum Rugs, Carpets, and Fabric Furniture:
You have to use a vacuum with a sealed HEPA filter to actually trap dust, dander, and other airborne allergens.
HEPA stands for high-efficiency particulate air, which functions in the fine mesh, like pollen, dust, and even cigarette smoke, by trapping small particles! Standard vacuums can only suck up large bits of dust, but they can send small tiny particles back into the air right away.
“HEPA filters can capture more than 99 percent of particles that are at least 0.3 microns in size and prevent them from being released back into the air.” according to the Environmental Protection Agency. If you suffer from dust allergies, when you clean or ask someone else to do it, wear a dust mask and open the windows.
3. Kill Dust Mites by Washingcloths in Hot Water
Fortunately, at hot temperatures, dust mites don’t take too kindly. Using a wash setting between 130 ° and 140 ° F (54 ° to 60 ° C) to wash your bedsheets, pillowcases, clothing, curtains, sheets, and other washable fabrics to eliminate them and remove their fecal matter and skin particles.
In the dryer, use a similar heat setting and let the cycle run until everything is completely dry. The dryer heat should take care of any mites that have survived the wash. To keep the dust mite number to a minimum, aim to do this on a weekly basis.
Note: Wash your bedding every week, since the ideal habitat for dust mites to thrive is a wet, dark, and humid bed. In addition, for these little rodents, the flakes of dead skin that humans shed during the night become perfect food sources. It’s not a beautiful thought.
Tip: The fabrics of wool and silk are unfriendly to dust mites.
4. Use a Mist Cleaner on Your Couch, Bed, and Carpeting
Mist cleaners are a perfect way to clean products and items that a washing machine is not ideal for. A temperature of around 200° to 250° F (93° to 121° C) is achieved by most steam cleaners. This is also hotter than the temperatures of the dryers and washing machines.
On carpets, cushions curtains, kitchen/bathroom surfaces, and other difficult-to-reach areas, use a steam cleaner. Not only does the vapor kill dust mites, it also disinfects them by destroying bacteria and mold spores.
Note that while steam can destroy 100% of dust mites, allergies are actually caused by their droppings and dead bodies, so go over it all again with a vacuum after steaming.
5. Use Diatomaceous Earth (DE)
A natural fine powder formed from silica rock is diatomaceous earth. DE pierces the exoskeleton of dust mites literally as they crawl through it, immediately killing them. It is close to them being grounded in a blender to the effect that diatomaceous earth has on dust mites.
Wherever you think dust mites can reside, sprinkle DE, such as beds, pet beds, carpets, furniture, upholstery, etc. For as long as possible, leave the power there to allow all the dust mites to crawl through and die.
Then, with a vacuum that does not have a filter, vacuum it up because the powder will clog the filter. For both humans and pets, DE is perfectly clean. Even, it can kill fleas and bed bugs! To monitor the dust mite population and avoid reproduction, use it as much as you need to.
6. Replace Carpets With Hard Flooring
Carpets are a haven for dust mites, much like beds and soft furnishings. Carpets trap dead skin, and the mites feed on the pet dander. On the other side, hard flooring destroys the most fertile breeding area.
Rip up all the carpets covering in your bedroom, or preferably, in the entire home, if you can afford to do so, and cover them with hard floors, such as linoleum, laminate, or tile. If it is unreasonable or too expensive to get rid of your carpets, try to clean regularly, at least two or three times a week.
You can also buy carpet sprays and treatments to get rid of dust mites and other carpet allergens, but installing some hard flooring and tossing your mite-infested carpets in the garbage might potentially be cheaper in the long run.
7. Use a Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is a usual antiviral, antiseptic, and anti-fungal oil that many homeowners and beauty gurus swear by, from acne bacteria and foot fungi to mold and mildew, to destroy all. It completely rid of dust mites and also disinfects viruses and fungi and avoids them.
Combine two cups of distilled water with two cups of tea tree oil and two cups of eucalyptus oil (which repels most bugs, including dust mites). In order to prevent light from making the oils ineffective, pour the concoction into a dark spray bottle. Spray the bed, pillows, and chairs liberally.
8. Clean curtains, soft furnishings and cushions
Curtains and soft furnishings are the heaven of a dust mite. The dust and moisture that they feed on are trapped by cloth and protected from possible threats. Dust mite debris is dispersed into the air each time you drag open the curtains or sit down on a fabric couch. Get tough on dust mites with:
- Replacing curtains with blinds that are easy-to-clean.
- Throwing away cloth cushions or swapping them for cushions of material/artificial leather.
- Trading cloth couches for leather/artificial leather models and armchairs.
You’ll require a steam cleaner if you don’t want to part with your soft furnishings. Another dust mite trap is cuddly toys. Short of causing your child to tantrum, aim to reduce the show of cuddly toys in your home.
Give it a regular airing if the beloved teddy bear just has to stay. Stick it in a plastic bag every so often and put it for 24 hours in the freezer. The dust mites will be destroyed by this. Substitute curtains with blinds. They are easy to clean and do not have room for burrowing mites.
9. Use a HypoallergenicPillow and Mattress or an Anti-Allergy Protective Cover
Estimates vary wildly, from 10,000 to over a million, as to how many dust mites currently reside in a typical mattress. Whatever the exact number, one thing is certain: these microscopic vermin are teeming with even the cleanest of mattresses.
Unfortunately, it’s just not possible to make a mattress fully free of dust mites. Yet dust mites are greatly minimized by a hypoallergenic mattress and pillow and/or a waterproof cover.
Hypoallergenic bedding content makes it almost impossible for mites to penetrate into tightly woven cloth. The impermeable material often protects your pillows and mattress from having moisture and dead skin, which stops dust mites from living and taking shelter in your bed.
Anti-allergen protectors and covers are cheaper than hypoallergenic mattresses and pillows and serve as an impenetrable shield to avoid burrowing of dust mites and to keep the moisture and skin of your body from entering the mattress in similar ways.
Similarly, the mattress protector prevents them from infiltrating your sleeping zone if there are dust mites or other allergens present.
10. Kill Dust Mites by Freezing Them
Dust mites can’t survive the high temperatures, and thankfully, the intense cold can’t survive either. Put them in a plastic bag for more fragile fabrics or things that can’t be washed, such as stuffed animals, silk, or lace, and stick them for 24 hours in the freezer.
This will destroy any single dust mite, but the allergens produced by their droppings will not be eliminated, so be sure to take the things outside and shake them out vigorously.
To get rid of dust mites, anything that can fit inside the freezer can be put into plastic bags and frozen for 24 hours.
11. Groom your pets regularly
Animals shed a lot of furs allowing dust mites to have a feast on them. In order to reduce dust mites, groom your pets regularly and keep them off your beds and couch.
You should visit your veterinary immediately if you notice any rash on their body or if they shed their fur excessively.
How to prevent dust mites from infesting your home?
You can prevent dust mites from infesting your home through the following ways:
- Wash your mattress, bedsheets, cushions, and other infected areas once every two weeks in hot water
- Wash your pillows once a week
- Use synthetic fillers in your pillows instead of feathers
- Put your pillows, mattresses, and quilts out in the sun on a weekly basis
- Regularly vacuum your mattresses, curtains, and upholstery
- Regularly vacuum and wash children’s toys.
Getting rid of dust mites can be tough stuff. However, it’s a welcoming task when you know some quick and easy ways to do it. The various ways in which you can go about it have been discussed in this article. These methods will help you ensure that you rid your home of this tiny, almost invisible insect.
Although dust mites can never be eradicated from your home entirely, there are some simple steps you can take to reduce the amount substantially, so we can all breathe a little easier!
Put protective covers over your pillows and mattresses.
These machine-washable covers can protect against dust mites, bacteria, and allergens and are reasonably inexpensive. It can help to protect against potentially questionable hotel pillows by taking a pillow cover with you on the trip. Sprinkling diatomaceous earth around anywhere can also be of great help in removing dust mites from your home