Dust mites are tiny white colored insects measuring 0.2 – 0.3 millimeters. Your house is packed with millions of dust mites, but you can’t see. These tiny insects trigger allergic reactions like asthma, wheezing and sneezing.
They live inside your bed, mattress and carpets. Dust mites breed prolifically, so it is not possible to get rid of dust mites from mattress completely. Anyhow, you can reduce their multiplying numbers.
An average house dust mite can live up to 10 to 19 days, but a mated female can stay for 70 days laying 60 to 100 eggs in her life time. They feed on your skin flakes for about 4 months and rest of the months they create waste. These mites don’t need water; they grab moisture from the atmosphere.
You may wonder these disgusting mites are not actually harmful. But the waste they produce may trigger allergic reaction in few people. Study by Nation Institute of Environmental Studies concludes that 50% of American homes have allergens that can trigger dust mite allergy in previously non-allergic people.
How to Get Rid of Dust Mites From Mattress?
Not surprising, primary habitat of dust mites is bed or mattress. Numbers are going to blow your mind; about 100,000 to 10 million mites are enjoying their life in your mattress. They prefer moist, warm and their food is your dead cells. We human, shed about million dead cells per day. (source)
Sneezing, hay fever, runny nose, cold, cough, itching, postnasal drip and asthma, are few symptoms of dust mite allergy. Consult doctor immediately if you’ve anyone of the above mentioned symptoms.
Unfortunately, you can’t throw these disgusting mites out of your home. However, you can take necessary precautions to minimize their breeding. Let’s have a look on different possible ways to get rid of house dust mites.
1. Wash your bed
As mentioned, most dust mites habitat is your bed. Take all bedding and wash them with hot water under 54 degrees Celsius. Include blankets, pillow covers, mattresses pads and other things that you use on bed.
It’s hard to wash them daily, so make it once in a week. Take your partners help or hand them over to laundry.
2. Dry them in hot dryer
After washing them with hot water, dry them completely. This will kill dust mites that survived through washing process. Alternatively, you can dry blankets and bedding in hot sun.
3. Throw old pillows
I can understand that you love your pillow. But, you must throw 1-2 year old pillows. As you can’t wash them, dust mites habitat there, and about 10 percent of your old pillows weight account dead dust mites.
Wrap large pillows and dolls in a plastic bag and place them in a freezer for 48 hours.
4. Cover your mattress with an allergic cover
Even covering your mattress with plastic can work, as dust mites can’t live in plastic. They’re going to stay if you use fabric material.
5. Get a vacuum cleaner
High efficiency particulate air filter can actually grab waste and eggs produced by dust mites. Vacuum all areas with this HEPA cleaner 3-4 times per week. A study carried out at NIEHS concludes that covering pillows and cleaning with vacuum cleaner can reduce number of dust mites.
If you’ve pets, groom them with a comb regularly and vacuum clean the pet living area.
6. Replace carpet or clean flooring with hot water
If you’ve pets at home, then dust mites breed under carpets. Remove your old carpets or clean them with hot steam.
7. Bring dehumidifier
Dust mites and other tiny fungi multiply easily under humid environment. Dehumidifier can lower humidity in the surrounding and kill dust mites. Set humidity less than 50 percent.
Call professional to get rid of dust mites from mattress. On the whole practice hygienic lifestyle.
Wash your clothes, pillows, bedding and curtains once in a week in hot water. Check for most and warm places in your home and clean them using HEPA cleaner. Another way to clean these duct accumulated items is with steam cleaners.
8. Freeze Them
Some of the fabric items, such as silk cushion covers or stuffed toys are simply can’t be washed at such high temperatures. If these items are small enough to fit into your freezer, then place them in a sealed bag or container and freeze them for more than 24 hours. By freezing this will kill the mites, although it won’t get rid of the allergens. It will, however, stop the adding of more droppings to your home.
9. Embrace Minimalism
Clutter collects dust- and as a result dusts mites!
Clearing the surface of unnecessary picture frames, ornaments, stacks of books, piles of papers and many more things will give a new lease of life to your home, and reduce dust mite populations. It is also a good idea to reduce the amount of ornamental cushions and throws on beds and sofas. Swapping padded and fabric headboards for wooden ones will be eliminating another hiding place for mites and their droppings.
10. Pet Owners should take Extra Precautions
Pets in the homes of the peoples with fur or feathers contribute to dander, which will be increasing the food supply for the mites. In fact, cat dander residue can still be founded in significant levels in carpets for up to 20 weeks and even in mattresses for many years.
The peoples with pets should groom the animal only out-of-doors to avoid additional dander being scattered in the home, and they have to wash their animals bedding regularly at high heats. Allergen-proof fabric covers should be used by them this covers are also available for pet beds. Keeping the pets off human bedding is also a good idea to reduce the dust mite’s populations in the bedrooms.
I personally recommend keeping your pets away from bed room, because dust mites also feed on animal dander. It will increase extra effort to clean it. Give your bedding and pillows good airing, it’s good if you can give them some sun rays.