Even though you don’t realize they are there, dust mites can be found in every corner of your home. These tiny insects reside in your bedding, carpet, sofa, chairs and even your curtains.
Dust mites leave behind trail of highly allergenic waste everywhere they go. When these allergens are present in significant concentration levels, the risk of an individual developing asthma or allergies increases. Most adolescents and young adults with asthma see an increase in their symptoms when around the microscopic dust mites.
How to Kill Dust Mites
Although you cannot totally eliminate dust mites, you can greatly reduce their numbers. You have several options available to kill the tiny insects and minimize their presence in your home.
1. Dust Mite Killing Products
No matter the size of your infestation, there are dust mite killer kits available to tackle it. They contain a collection of items needed to kill the pests. The products typically included are dust mite spray, fog bombs and powder, as well as face masks and protective gloves. Basically, everything you need to eliminate dust mites. Some products available include:
- Ecology Works Dust Mite and Flea Control Powder
This powder eliminates dust mites in as little as two weeks by drying into a crystal form that coats the insect’s food source. It is a natural way to get rid of the pesky pests, leaving no trace of ever being there, and within a short period can make a significant impact on your dust mite infestation.
- Fortefog Dust Mite Killer
This fogger works by effectively administering a broad-spectrum insecticide called Permethrin. It is important to figure out your home’s total square footage so that you can strategically place the right number of fumes throughout the space so that the fog can penetrate all your living quarters.
- Agrodust Dust Mite Killer Silicon Dust
This dust mite spray contains silicone dioxide which when applied throughout the home, leads the insects to dehydration and eventually death. The best way to apply the dust is an electric or mechanical dusting machine.
- Good-Night Dust Mite Spray
This is a ready-to-use product that can be sprayed on bedding, furniture and carpets. The dust mite spray kills the tiny insects and is safe enough to use on pillows, sheets, mattresses, allowing you to get undisturbed sleep.
2. Wash Bedding Weekly
Dust mites love warm and humid places like your bed. They prosper in your bedding for many other reasons as well. It is dark and cozy under your covers and you shed tons of dead skin flakes during the night. These flakes are one of dust mites’ favorite foods.
You are probably wondering at this point on how to kill dust mites in your sheets. Lucky for you, these pesky insects hate hot temperatures because it kills them. Washing your sheets every week with hot water and finishing them off in a hot dryer should keep the dust mite residents in your bed under control.
3. Cover Your Mattress
Using an anti-allergen mattress cover is an economical way to keep the dust mite population in your bed in check. The cover creates a barrier that prevents your skin flakes from becoming food and allergens from setting off your allergies or asthma. You cannot eliminate 100% of the dust mites inhabiting your mattress, but you can reduce the population.
If you have the money to invest, you can also look into purchasing a hypoallergenic mattress. The difference between this mattress and a regular one is that it has a thick layer of plastic or vinyl on the outside of it. It is tightly sealed so that dead skin flakes cannot penetrate the mattress and draw dust mites to the area.
4. Don’t Bother Making Your Bed
This is one time Mom did not know better. By not making your bed in the morning, it allows your sheets, pillows and mattress to dry out and get rid of all the humidity created by your body each night. Since dust mites absorb water through the air, reducing available moisture makes it difficult for these insects to live in your bedding. Plus, it gives you a few extra minutes to snooze each morning!
5. Clean Your Air
Another way on how to kill dust mites is the use of a high efficiency air purifier (HEPA). This device is designed to remove allergens from the air, which includes these tiny insects and their feces. Because dust mites are so small, it is easy for them to become airborne. When you use a HEPA purifier and filter, you trap the dust mites within the filtration system. A lot of individuals will install this equipment in their bedroom to keep the dust mites to a minimum.
6. Don’t Forget to Treat the Rest of the House
Although dust mites love sleeping in your bed, they like hanging out with you pretty much anywhere you leave your flaking skin. You leave a lot of “their food” on furniture that is covered in fabric like chairs and sofas as well as in the carpet. A good way to control and an option on how to kill dust mites is to treat these areas with a dust mite eliminator once a month. Don’t forget to treat your drapes and curtains, too.
7. Vacuum Once a Week
Another option on how to get rid of dust mites is to vacuum once a week with a high-quality HEPA vacuum. Just like the HEPA air purifier, a HEPA vacuum has a filter that traps the tiny insects hanging out in your carpet. Regular vacuums will suck up the little critters, only to spew them back out again. You can also use a double-layered micro filter vacuum bag to keep dust mites from reentering the area. Have someone else vacuum or wear a mask if the disturbed dust affects your allergies or asthma.
8. Rip up the Carpets
Consider replacing the carpets in your home with wood, tile or vinyl flooring. By doing so, you will be eliminating one of dust mites’ favorite homes. Carpet holds moisture, especially if laid over concrete. If you can’t replace it throughout your whole home, consider removing it from your bedroom. Keep your sleep quarters as dust free as possible. It is also helpful to remove upholstered furniture and non-washable drapes from your bedroom.
9. Don’t Collect Dust
Anything that collects dust usually collects dust mites, too. A great option on how to get rid of dust mites is to keep clutter to a minimum. Remove items like books, magazines and knickknacks from your bedroom. Do not place stuffed toys on your bed and wash the ones you keep in the bedroom in hot water and dry on the highest heat possible. When you do dust your bedroom, use a damp cloth so that particles and dust mites do not become airborne.
10. Use a Dehumidifier
Dehumidifiers or air conditioners are a great way to maintain low humidity levels. As mention before, dust mites need humidity to survive since they can’t actually drink the moisture left behind in bedding or seat cushions. A hygrometer can help you measure humidity levels so that you can keep it at an optimum level.