Dust mites are microscopic bug-like creatures that come from our dead skin or pet fur as it sheds. Gross, right? We agree. Although dust mites are essentially harmless to most humans they can trigger allergies for those who are prone to allergies in general. In this blog post, we will go over some of the best ways to prevent and get rid of dust mites in your home. It should be noted that many of these tips and tricks need to be done frequently as dust mites develop easily and stick around for a while. So be sure to read this post for the best ways to prevent these pesky creatures from taking over over your home.
Remove dust mites, dander & debris
Remove dust by wiping surfaces and vacuuming regularly - The first piece of advice we will mention for getting rid of dust mites is to get rid of dust. Seems obvious, doesn’t it? But truthfully, you cannot see dust mites with the naked eye alone so you’ll need to wipe any surfaces in your home regularly and vacuum regularly to make sure that you are getting up as much dust and dander as possible where dust mites are. As far as vacuums go, go ahead and invest in a vacuum that allows for a cleaner with a double-layered microfilter bag or a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter. This will help keep away any dust particles and emissions that can come from just a regular vacuum stirring up small particles of dust and not truly removing it. And lastly, don’t forget to vacuum your upholstery furniture too on a regular basis since dust mites thrive in any type of fabric.
Wash fabrics in hot water a minimum of 130°F (54°C) is best - Be sure to wash all fabrics regularly in hot water at a minimum temperature of 130°F (54°C) to kill off any dust mites. If you have fabric that cannot be washed at hot temperatures you can just throw it in the dryer for 15 minutes at a temperature above 130 F (54.4 C) which will also kill off any dust mites. Another option is to freeze your fabrics which will kill dust mites but unfortunately won’t remove the allergens.
Change your air filters frequently - We recommend that you change your air filters every 1-3 months depending on your lifestyle. If you have pets, allergies, or are a smoker, you will need to do so more often since there are more allergens going into the air. Changing your air filters frequently will help keep dust and dust mites out of your home since their debris becomes airborne very easily. In fact, every time you sit on your couch or bed (any fabric really) you are helping stir the dust mite debris into the air. Gross, right? But luckily there are solutions to help with this debris including changing your air filters regularly.
We recommend you choose air filters with a MERV quality of at least 11 or 13 to truly keep allergies and debris away. The MERV 11 option is our most popular air filter and it is perfect for pet owners. The MERV 13 is for folks who have severe allergies and asthma sufferers just remember these get dirtier faster since they trap more particles so they will need to be changed out more often. For more information on MERV ratings check out our article here and to get started with our air filter delivery service, FilterTime, click here.
Wash all of your bedding weekly - Hopefully, this is already something you do frequently, especially if you have pets, but be sure to wash all of your bedding regularly. If you have multiple pets you have in your home and if you have allergies you will need to do so more often. Keeping your bedding clean will help keep dust mites and their debris away and in turn help your indoor air quality.
Use a tea tree oil/eucalyptus spray - According to TheOrganisedHousewife.com, regularly dropping a few drops of tea tree oil or eucalyptus spray into your laundry will kill dust mites. Tea Tree Essential Oil is a natural antiseptic, antibacterial, and deodorizer. Eucalyptus oil, in specific concentrations, has been scientifically proven to kill 99.99% of dust mites. If you are into natural cleaning options and remedies, this is definitely a good place to begin at killing off dust mites.
Use hypoallergenic bedding - Hypoallergenic bedding is ideal for reducing allergies since the materials they are made from are resistant to allergens in general. The main four ways in which hypoallergenic bedding can help with allergy symptoms is by not triggering allergies in general, blocking dust mites, not growing mold, and repelling allergens as a whole. For more information on hypoallergenic bedding check out this article from NestBedding.com.
Replace carpets & rugs with hard flooring - If your budget allows and if your allergy is bad to dust mites, we encourage you to replace all carpeted flooring in your house with hard flooring. Dust mites live and thrive in fabrics throughout the home especially carpeted areas and rugs which are difficult to deep clean. If the carpet in your home is over concrete, you are hosting even more dust mites comfortably since concrete holds moisture and humidity well.
Replace upholstery with leather, synthetic leather, or other non-fabric furniture - Are you looking to purchase some new furniture for the home? Now is the time to consider non-upholstery furniture for your home if you want to keep dust mites at bay since they exist in upholstery and fabrics. Common non-fabric furniture material includes leather or more affordable synthetic leather. Whichever material you end up going with, there are many comfortable and stylish options out there.
Buy washable stuffed animals & toys for the kids - As we have mentioned a few times in this article, fabric makes for the perfect host for dust mites and children's toys like stuffed animals are unfortunately not immune to this trend. We aren’t saying you need to get rid of all of your children’s stuffed animals (we aren’t mean people now!) but we do recommend you make sure the toys your children are playing with are washable at a bare minimum. We also encourage you to purchase more toys in the future that are not fabric-based and instead opt for toys that are made up of a harder, non-fabric material.
Get rid of clutter where dust collects - If you are planning to do a thorough cleaning of your home to get rid of dust mites it might also be a time to start getting rid of some unnecessary “junk” in the household. Over time, we all end up accumulating things we don’t need which results in extra clutter in the house. One of the many unfortunate things about clutter is that it ends up collecting dust which in turn collects dust mites. The Mayo Clinic encourages you to remove knick knacks, tabletop ornaments, books, magazines, and newspapers from your bedroom and around the home to decrease as much clutter and dust build-up as possible.
Keep pets out of the bedroom & out of the bed - This is a tough one since we all love our fur babies and most of us let their pets sleep in the bed or come into the bedroom at a bare minimum. However, it must be noted that if you have an allergy to dust mites having your pets in the bedroom does not help with this at all; in fact, it can only make your allergy symptoms worse. Unfortunately, similar to fabric, dust mites can find a home in pet hair and pet dander. It is best to keep pets away from any carpet, rugs, fabric for upholstery items to ensure dust mites are kept at bay.
Wash & brush pets regularly - You probably already do this if you are a responsible pet owner but washing and brushing your pets regularly will help keep their hair clean and help keep dust and dander out of our home. It is recommended to bathe a dog at least once every three months and brush them weekly. Cat owners know that cats are good about grooming themselves but it is still recommended to bathe them a few times a year especially if they go outdoors and be sure to brush them regularly too. As a general rule of thumb, if your pet is long-haired or spends a lot of time outdoors you’ll definitely want to brush and bathe them more often to keep your home as dander-free and as clean as possible.
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