How to get rid of dust mites

dust mite

Humans shed up to 28 grams of skin per week and this becomes the food that dust mites love. To get rid of dust mites permanently you need to keep your home free from the skin you shed by keeping everything as clean as possible.

Dust mites feed mostly on skin that naturally comes off our body so the less of it there is lying around the less dust mites you are going to have to deal with.

Dust mites thrive under certain conditions and are more likely to be present with a much higher concentration in some areas compared to others.

Our skin will shed more in places that we spend a lot of time such as our beds and the sofa so in this article we’ll take you through exactly what you need to do if you want to keep these little creatures down to an absolute minimum.

Every household has many thousands of these little guys hanging around with up to 1000 dust mites in just 1 square metre of carpet or a million of them in your mattress.

Luckily they are less than 0.25mm in size so too small to be visible to the human eye but they can look pretty scary when you get them under a microscope. As you can see they look a bit like an alien creepy crawly.

house dust mite

Before we get into all the different things you can do to keep you free of dust mites it’s worth taking a few minutes to understand what they are.

 Dyson manufacture some of the best vacuum cleaners in the world. They go out of their way to study dust mites to make sure that the vacuum cleaners they produce picks them all up but more importantly keeps them inside the hoover and doesn’t let them get out again.

Here is a short video from them explaining more:

Because they are so small and you can’t see them it is easy to ignore them and pretend they aren’t there but if you don’t keep on top of them then they can start to create a problem especially for anyone with a dust allergy.

Millions of people in the UK suffer from allergies caused by dust mites so understanding how to get rid of dust mites effectively not only keeps your home clean but it also helps to reduce the effects that of them on allergy sufferers.

It’s actually the dust mite poo that is even smaller than the dust mites themselves that can cause allergic reactions such as coughing, sneezing, itchy eyes and impact on anyone with asthma because it is more easily breathed in.

Identifying where they live is the first step to knowing where you need to tackle first in order to make the biggest impact.

By far the area where you will find the most dust mites is your bedroom. This is where you spend most of your time still and in one place so your skin sheds and the dust mites come out to feed on it.

The bedroom is where you should start and then move to the living room before tackling the rest of the house.

If you have asthma suffers in your home or you are getting unexpected rashes then it could be that you have a large number of dust mites contributing to the problem.

Take action to get rid of them and your home will be a cleaner, fresher place for everyone and it could help with issues linked to allergic reactions that dust mites cause.

These are the 10 best ways to get rid of dust mites in your home:

A good vacuum cleaner

You may be surprised that many cheap vacuum cleaners don’t actually keep all of the dust mites inside once they have been sucked up because they simply don’t have a good enough filtration system.

This article explains how to choose a good hoover that doesn’t cost the earth:

Best affordable hoover

In order to get good enough suction, the air has to be pulled into the vacuum cleaner with all the dust and dirt and what is supposed to happen is that the dust and dirt stay inside and the air is pushed back out.

But because dust mites and their excretion are so small a lot of filters don’t trap them and they get released straight back into the room!

If you want to get rid of dust mites then you need to choose a vacuum cleaner with a really good filter.

The best filters are called HEPA (High Efficiency particulate Arrestance). These types of filtration systems retain 99.97% of everything that goes in and they are good enough to hold onto dust mites so once they are in your hoover they stay in.

This article explains more:

What is a HEPA filter in a vacuum cleaner?

All the other suggestions will help you get rid of dust mites but if you don’t have a vacuum cleaner that’s good enough then you’ll never get rid of them.

Shark and Dyson are among the best brands with excellent vacuum cleaners good enough to help you eradicate dust mites from your home.

This article will take you through how good they are and explain how to choose between them:

Dyson or Shark?

Use allergy proof linen on your bed

A very simple solution in the bedroom is to buy pillows, duvets and mattress protectors that have already been treated so that they are resistant to dust mites.

They are different to regular bed linen as they are pre-treated with anti-fungal coatings and/or the material that surrounds the fillings of your pillows and duvet are woven in such a way that dust mites can’t get in.

These anti-allergy products are the kind of options you have to repel dust mites.

Wash bed linen and clothes on a high temperature

Dust mites cannot survive at very high or very low temperatures so washing all your bed linen and clothes at 60 degrees will kill them off.

Not all clothes can be washed at those temperatures but the more you can wash at a high temperature the more the dust mites will be contained.

Don’t sleep in the bottom bunk

If anyone in your home has dust mite allergies and you have bunk beds don’t let them sleep in the bottom bunk

The mites poo can drop down from the top bunk causing whoever sleeps there to potentially have more of a reaction.

Hard flooring is better

Dust mites love carpets. They dig down to the bottom of the carpet fibres and will happily feast way on shed skin and other things that drop onto the carpet.

Hard flooring is much easier to keep clean and dust-free than carpet and you can also use a steam mop or steam cleaner to keep it clean as well as a hoover.

Steam mops create steam at 100 degrees Celsius which is more than hot enough to kill any dust mites that cross its path.

These articles can help you to choose the best hoover or steam mop for your hard flooring and also the best way to clean it:

How to clean hard floors

The best vacuum cleaner for hard floors

The best steam mops

Use a dust mite spray

These can be effective during a transitional period for example if you move home and want to do a bit of a deep clean.

Or perhaps you are changing your bed linen to anti-allergy and want to make sure all the existing mites are killed off before you switch.

It won’t stop you having to do a deep clean to ensure they stay away but they will certainly kill off any existing dust mites on the area you spray.

Give the house a good clean weekly

Use a damp cloth with a household cleaner to clean all hard surfaces and make use of all the attachments on the hoover to give the stairs a good clean.

Hoover above floor surfaces whenever you vacuum the floor

It’s easy to not be bothered to hoover the sofa or the curtains every week but dust mites live on all fabric-based surfaces.

Make sure you get the accessory attachments out and go over the couch and the curtains each time you hoover the floor.

Wash the cuddly toys

If you have children then wash their cuddly toys more often than you do at the moment.

I used to let months go by before sticking the bears that my boys used to take to bed with them but they have as many dust mites in them as any other fabric surface.

If you can’t wash them then stick them in the freezer for about 5 hours and that should be enough to get rid of them.

Less humidity

Dust mites love a bit of moisture so keeping everything as dry as possible will help.

Make sure each room is properly ventilated and keep the windows open when the weather allows.

Extractor fans in the bathrooms will certainly help and will also stop mould forming over time. Dehumidifiers can also help to reduce moisture.

You will have hundreds of thousands if not millions of dust mites in your home at any one time so it’s unlikely you will be able to get rid of them completely but if you follow these steps then you’ll be on top of them and keep the amount you have to a minimum.

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