You won’t believe your house is filled with millions of dust mites. Fortunately you can’t see them with your normal eye sight. Dust mites love moist, warm environment and they feed on your dead skin cells.
Carpets, bed, pillows and any warm place in your home or car is where dust mites habitat. Adult female mites lay up to 40 to 80 eggs in her lifetime. Life cycle of these microorganisms ends in 4 months. You can’t completely get rid of dust mites, but you can minimize its multiplying number.
The dust you see in your home is from your dead cells and from these dust mites. Actually, dust mites are not harmful. It’s the waste they produce after feeding on your flaky skin causes allergy reaction. A study conducted by Darryl C. Zeldin states that about 18% to 30% of Americans are allergic to dust mite’s waste product.
When you come in contact with these allergens, irritation is triggered causing hay fever, cold allergy, asthma, eczema and other ailments. Though you can get rid of allergic symptoms with home remedies, but best way is to prevent them in the initial stages.
After mattress or bedding, carpets are common places where these microscopic organisms habitat. Practicing a hygienic life style is one the best way to prevent dust mites.
How you can get rid of dust mites in carpets?
There are many ways dust mites may invade carpets. One of the common ways is through pets, human and other substances. While cleaning bed, we drop all bedding over the carpet. So the dust mites living in pillows may get into the carpet.
Dust mite accounts 10% of old pillow’s weight. It’s filled with dead organisms, only way to get rid of them is to throw it away. These microorganisms need no water to survive; they take it from atmosphere and feed on animal dander and human flaky skin.
Tips to get rid off dust mites
1. Get rid of feather pillows
Feather pillows are the ideal home for dust mites. Since you rest your face on the pillow for a good 7-8 hours daily, it must from free from dust and other allergens. Replacing this with hypoallergic synthetic pillows will be the best option.
2. Replace carpets with hard flooring
Carpets are the most favourite place of dust mites, as it attracts dead skin of humans and also the pet dander, which the dust mites live on. Replacing the carpets and all the soft flooring with that of hard flooring can make your life dust mite free. Hard flooring means tiles, linoleum and laminate which does’nt attract dust mites and you can instantly get rid off those allergens.
3. Vacuum the carpets regularly
If it is not possible for you to replace the carpets with hard flooring then make sure you vacuum them regularly. As mentioned earlier are home for dust mites and if you are allergic to mites then you must take every possible precautionary measure to avoid dust mites. Vacuum the carpets and other soft bedding every alternate day.Use a high efficiency particulate arresting (HEPA) is recommended. Always wear a face mask and open the windows while you vacuum.
4. Keep an eye on the pets
Dust mites rely mostly on pet dander, if you allow your pet on your bed and other carpet area then there is a possibility of dust mites speading everywhere. Make sure you do not allow the pets in bedroom or on carpets, limit their areas to one or two rooms.
5. Use steam cleaner
When you washing machine doesnt allow you to wash certain carpets, curtains etc steam cleaner is the one which does that and that too with so much ease. Steam cleaner not only cleans the dirt but also kills the dust mites. It can be used to evacuate dust mites from cushions, carpets, bed, curtains, kitchen, bathroom and practically from every corner of your house.
Some other ways
- Studies conclude that cleaning pillows and bed with a vacuum cleaner can reduce the number of dust mites. Get a HEPA vacuum cleaner and clean carpet regularly. While vacuum cleaning wear a mask to avoid allergens entering your body through nose.
- As these microorganisms feed on animal dander, don’t allow your pets in bed room and on carpet. Comb and clean your pets 3-4 times in a week and give them bath.
- Wash your carpets with hot water and dry them in hot dryer or under sun. So that the dust mites who survived from washing can be removed.
- As mentioned above, house dust mites multiply in moist environment. Bring humidifier and set humidity less than 50 percent. It makes unfavorable environment for these organisms and they get killed.
- Cover your mattress and carpets in dust proof and allergens impermeable covers. You can get this from local bedding stores.
- If possible replace wall-to-wall carpets with tiles or wood. So that you can successfully restrain allergens habitat.
- Clean the floor using damp cloth so that it removes dust and other impurities on which dust mites may feed.
- Experts also recommend using Venetian blinds to your bed room to avoid these allergens.
- Else, call a professional who can handle this task.
Researchers have different opinions on using these prevent measures, some say that it has very little effect on allergens, while other studies had proved to be effective.
Dr. Platts Mills say that dust mite allergy is common in children and sometimes may develop asthma. So as soon as any one of you experience symptoms like nasal congestion, repeated sneezing, sinus headache or scratchy eyes reach your doctor for diagnosis.