Getting Rid of Dust Mites



Getting rid of dust mites entirely is really not possible in anything other than a totally controlled environment - and who wants to live in a laboratory? What is possible is to eliminate dust mites to such an extent that they and their waste no longer affect us.

Controlling dust mites in the home can be achieved in five fundamental ways, which are -
Cleaning
Controlling temperature and humidity
Filtering the air
Choosing suitable upholstery and fabrics
Using insecticides and sprays

Cleaning Methods to Control Dust Mites

Vacuuming Dust Mites

An ordinary vacuum cleaner will collect dust mites in its bag, but the fine particles that make up the waste from the mites will pass through the bag and re-enter the air in the home.

Have you ever noticed getting a runny nose while vacuuming? That's because you're breathing these and other fine dusts.

A cyclonic vacuum cleaner is better than one with a bag, and a cyclonic cleaner with a hepa filter fitted is better still. The restriction on air flow that is caused by the filter will reduce suction, so you will have to work a bit harder than normal to vacuum thoroughly.

Getting Rid of Dust Mites by Dusting

Dry dusting raises as much dust as is collected, and this floating dust will soon settle somewhere else. What you need to do is get hold of a lot of dusting cloths and damp them before use.

When they become dirty, drop them in the washing machine and use the next one. All hard surfaces such as furniture, walls, floors and blinds should be dusted in this way.

Washing at over 60 degrees, (140 F.) will kill any collected dust mites, and their waste products go down the drain.

Steam Cleaners and Dust Mites

The most effective way of getting rid of dust mites is to use a steam cleaner. Small domestic models are now available at an increasingly reasonable cost. The steam will kill the dust mites, which are then sucked into the machine. An allergen filter will collect the smaller particles..

Controlling Temperature and Humidity

Dust Mites prefer a humid, warm environment. They like moisture in the air because that's the only place they can get it. They need it to coat the food with their enzymes so they can digest it..

Using a de-humidifier will take moisture out of the air and make a mite's life difficult.

Keeping the environment cool helps. Well ventilated home are less humid and cooler. Mites can't regulate their own temperature and activity increases with warmth.

Filtering the Air

If you have air conditioning, you probably have the option of fitting a hepa filter into the unit. Small portable air conditioners are available that can be taken from room to room.

Choosing Suitable Upholstery and Fabrics

Getting rid of dust mites in carpeting is pretty much impossible. If you need soft coverings on te floor, it's best to go for washable rugs and throws.

Fabric covered furniture is also a favourite habitat for dust mites. Vinyl or leather covered upholstery is better because mites can't penetrate the coverings.

Curtains can be washed, but you could go for blinds made of synthetic material or wood which are easier to clean.

Insecticides and Sprays

Dust mites don't like eucalyptus oil. A few drops can be added to your washing. Drops on a cloth or added to a water bowl can help room by room.

A spray can be made up of a little eucalyptus oil and rubbing alcohol, (surgical spirit), and used in a mister. I have heard of vodka being used, but that seems a waste.

Technically, dust mites aren't insects, so instead of an insecticide, you need an acaricide such as Xmite which comes as a powder.

Related Pages

Air Purifiers for Asthma
Do Dust Mites Bite?
Pictures of Dust Mites
Dust Mites in Pillows
Dust Mite Mattress Covers