Allergies in the home are on the rise and one of the biggest culprits is the humble dust mite. Dust mites live in the mattress of your bed, in carpets, soft furnishings and even your clothes, feeding off dead skin cells. These tiny creatures are only the size of the head of a pin but they can cause terrible problems for those prone to allergies. It’s not the mites themselves that irritate our skin and lungs, it’s their poo! Disgusting. That’s why it’s vital to keep your home spotlessly clean.
In this article, you can find easy solutions to avoid a dust mite disaster.
What are the symptoms of a dust mite allergy?
Dust mite allergy can cause a range of conditions including asthma, eczema and perennial rhinitis. These conditions cause misery in sufferers and can result in them feeling very poorly indeed. Symptoms of dust mite allergy include:
• Runny or stuffy nose
• Red, itchy or teary eyes
• Wheezing, coughing, tightness in the chest and shortness of breath
How to get rid of dust mite allergens
1. Fear of a dust mite infestation may make you want to dump your mattress as soon as possible and replace with a brand new one. There’s no need to do this if you clean it regularly. Protect your mattress further by investing in a machine washable dust mite cover. They also help protect against bacteria and other allergens.
2. Use dust mite allergy covers on duvets and pillows too, these helps prevent allergens coming into contact with the skin or being inhaled.
3. Remove carpets. This may be quite an extreme solution but if dust mite allergies really cause you problems, this is one of the best solutions. Carpets are the ideal breeding ground for dust mites so replace them with wood or laminate flooring and vacuum regularly.
4. If carpets cannot be removed, vacuum regularly with a high filtration vacuum cleaner and treat with dust mite killing cleaning solutions.
5. Wash curtains regularly. To find out how, read our latest blog, Why You Should Clean Your Curtains Every Three Months.
6. Dust mites thrive in warm and humid environments so ventilate your house well. If your house experiences humidity or even worse, damp, use a dehumidifier to keep the humidity below 50%.
7. To remove dust mites from your mattress, pour bicarbonate of soda into a sieve and sprinkle all over. Add a few drops of essential oil to leave your mattress smelling fresh and help remove any unpleasant smells. Leave the bicarbonate of soda for at least an hour and then slowly vacuum up to remove as much dust as possible. Repeat this process at least once a month to eliminate dust mites and bacteria.
8. Wash your sheets at least once a week on the hottest wash possible. This will help kill any mites living in them. Cold water, though more economical, won’t kill dust mites, unfortunately. Adding eucalyptus oil to your wash has also been shown to kill 99% of dust mites.
9. Wash stuffed toys frequently and at the same temperature as bedding. Toys that cannot be washed at high temperatures can be put in the freezer. This will kill the dust mites and their remains can then be washed off in cold soapy water.
10. Wash your pillows and duvet regularly, they also contain dust mites and bacteria so the hotter the water the better as this will kill them off.
Follow these simple steps to destroy the dust mite problem in your home. For more information about health in the home, you may find the following articles interesting:
Written by Mike Pye