Tips on How to Prevent Dust Mites in Your Home

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Dust mites are microscopic creatures that belong to the same class with the spider and mostly take residence in mattresses & bedding, upholstered furniture, curtains and carpets. Often thriving in warm, humid environments, the tiny organisms feed on the flakes of skin that we and our pets shed daily. Their feces contain the substance DerP1 which is a rather potent allergen. It you’re allergic to mites, you may have eczema, asthma-like symptoms or even chronic sinus problems.

Normally, completely eliminating these harmful creatures is difficult, time consuming and may also be costly. However, there are strategies you can use to prevent infestation in your home including the following:

Regularly washing bedding 

Dust mites multiply very quickly in humid environments and can live in sheets or blankets in just a few days. Be sure to wash your bedding (don’t forget the comforters & duvet covers) at least once a week with hot water. Use a hot dryer. Freeze the non-washable bedding overnight to kill the mites.

Vacuum

You can use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter or double-layered micro filter bag to trap any allergens that will pass through the vacuum's exhaust. When vacuuming, always wear a mask to avoid inhaling allergens. Additionally, stay out of vacuumed area for 20 minutes or so to allow the dust &allergens to settle.

Cover your bedding

You should also consider encasing your pillows and mattress in dust-proof/ allergen impermeable covers. These can be obtained from a specialty order company or some local department stores.

Other preventative strategies 

  • Use an air conditioner or humidifier to maintain a relative humidity of about 50%.
  • Always use a damp rag to remove dust. Using a dry a cloth will only stir up the mite allergens.
  • Consider substituting the wall-to-wall carpets especially in bedrooms for bare floors (such as wood, linoleum or tile) and also remove upholstered furniture.

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