14 Tips for Getting Rid of Dust Mites

I don’t like to think that dust mites are in my bed, but not thinking about them won’t make them go away.  Dust mites live in soft furnishings, soft toys, carpet, curtains and your bed. 

They live where there is a good source of food; mainly discarded flakes of our skin.  Dust mites love a dark, warm, moist place to live.  They hate the sunshine and high temperature.

You’ll never get rid of all of them, but here are some ways to dramatically reduce their numbers:

Tips that will cost little or nothing

  1. Don’t make your bed

You were probably taught to make your bed every morning when you were a child.  By making the bed, you are ensuring that your dust mites have a great day.   Leave your bed as it is when you get up.  The humidity created by your body will drop, the moisture will disappear, and the dust mites will die.

  1. Wash sheets and pillowcases weekly

Wash your bedding in hot water at least once a week.  Dry them in the sunshine if possible, or in a hot dryer.

  1. Keep the clutter down

  • Remove most of the dust collectors from your bedroom.
  • Keep the remaining items free of dust.
  • Remove soft toys. If one toy is very precious, wash in hot water on a monthly basis.
  • Keep your books and magazines in storage containers.
  1. Flip your mattress

If you have a two-sided mattress, flipping it every couple of months will deprive the dust mites of their happy home.

  1. Control the temperature

Dust mites like warm places, and do best in temperatures of 75°F to 80°F.  Setting your temperature to around 70°F will make your home less appealing to dust mites.

  1. Your pet’s fur can transport dust mites

  • Brush your pet regularly.
  • Change/wash their bedding regularly.
  • Keep them out of your bedroom, if possible.
  1. Get rid of your feather duster

Use a damp cloth when dusting and rinse often.  Using a feather duster or a dry cloth just moves the dust around.

  1. Deodorize your fabric covered mattress

  • Do not use this tip with a latex mattress or on the foam part of a mattress.

  • Place a box of baking soda into a large container.
  • Add 15 to 20 drops of a relaxing essential oil, such as lavender.
  • Place the lid on the container and shake it to mix the liquid through.
  • Spread the baking soda over your mattress while the bedding is in the wash.
  • Leave it to settle for about an hour.
  • Vacuum carefully to ensure all of the baking soda is sucked up. Pay particular attention to the seams.
  • The dust mites will be vacuumed along with the baking soda!

 

 Tips that may have a cost

  1. Defend your bedding

Protect your mattress, pillow, and doona with an anti-allergen cover.  The cover will prevent your flakes of skin from becoming food for mites.  Wash the covers at least every 2 months.

  1. Consider removing the wall to wall carpet from your bedroom

Carpets are a favorite hiding spot for dust mites.  A hard surface such as bare boards, tiles or vinyl is no place for a dust mite and is very easy to keep clean.  You can still have rugs, but make sure they are washable.  Air them in the sunshine when possible.

  1. Are your curtains a retirement home for dust mites?

Ensure that your curtains are washable or dry cleanable.  Clean them every 2 months.  Blinds are also a good choice, but you need to keep them free of dust.

  1.  Vacuum with a HEPA filter

Consider purchasing a vacuum cleaner with a High-Efficiency Particulate Air filter.  Add your mattress to your list of floors and soft furnishings to vacuum.  If you are allergic, wear a mask while vacuuming, and then leave the room for 20 to 30 minutes to allow the air to settle.  The filter needs to be replaced yearly.

  1. Use a heating pad

Turn your heating pad up to the highest temperature before bed time.  Dust mites don’t like to be too hot.  Don’t forget to turn it down or off when you get into bed.

  1. Use a dehumidifier

Dust mites love high humidity.  Consider purchasing a dehumidifier for use in the bedroom.  Try to keep humidity at around 50%.

You can evict those dust mites!

 

 

 

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