Dust mites are microscopic and feed on a dead human and animal skin. As everyone sheds skin throughout the night while sleeping, the dust mites come along and eat. If you have several animals there will be dead skin lying around from your pets as well. They live in a home within furniture, beds, and carpets. Within the months of July and August dust mites increase in population as it is typically warm and humid. There are various ways to maintain dust mites to a minimum since you cannot completely get rid of them, and prevent them from getting out of hand.
Understanding dust mites’ ideal living conditions is one way to help prevent infestations of them in your home. They live in temperatures of 70 degrees or warmer and a humidity level of 75 to 80 percent. You can purchase a hydrometer to measure humidity in your home and using a dehumidifier and air conditioner will help lower the humidity level in your home. They cannot live in cold temperatures and in dry areas. As more than 20 million Americans are allergic to dust mites, making you feel like you have a bad cold or even hard to even breathe, it is important to make sure that dust mites don’t get out of control and are minimized.
Looking into a few ways to maintain your home from having too many dust mites and causing severe allergy problems, consider washing bedding once a week in hot water and drying in a hot temperature dryer. Even though dust mites like warm weather, they cannot survive hot water and severe dry heat. They must have some humidity to thrive and reproduce.
Vacuum twice a week if you have carpets. Use a HEPA-filtered vacuum to ensure no escape from these microscopic critters and change the filter as often as the machine recommends. If you don’t have carpets, then mop up the floors at least twice a week or use a steam mop to make sure that any dust mites living on the floors will immediately be killed. Many steam mops are capable of killing allergens and germs that are on your hard floors and some can be used to clean furniture.
Use a steamer to clean your furniture upholstery once a week. Dust mites are not as commonly infesting in the furniture as much as they are in beds and carpets, but this needs to be done to make sure that dust mites don’t take over your home. Use pillows that have polyester fibers instead of feathers or kapok. Dust mites are unable to infest in polyester.
Dust mites can live up to 19 days and a female dust mite that mates and has her eggs fertilized can live up to 70 days. Each female can lay up to 100 eggs within five weeks. This leads to a massive amount of dust mites that can accumulate in your home, especially without using the correct procedures to get rid of them. Pillows tend to be the hot spot for dust mites to accumulate as the moisture from a person’s body tends to be vibrant with humidity and it’s an ideal spot for bacteria to build up from your face, breath, saliva, and hair. Using a foam memory pillow can help eliminate many dust mites from living on your pillow.
As dust mites also find your mattress a hot spot to invest in, consider using air-tight dust mite plastic covering for both your mattress and box spring. This will not get rid of all of the dust mites but it will prevent them from multiplying as fast as they would if you didn’t have plastic surrounding the mattress.
Using a memory foam mattress can also help prevent dust mites from accumulating where you sleep. Many foam mattresses come with a cover that helps prevent moisture from building up within the mattress. Some people tend to sweat when they sleep or become hot, making it an ideal environment for dust mites, but memory foam mattresses tend to prevent this from happening.
Taking all of these precautions and maintaining a regular cleaning regimen will help eliminate dust mites from growing in large populations. As you will never be able to completely get rid of 100 percent of the dust mites in your home, you will be able to prevent them from infesting, increasing allergies, and making the air you breathe unclean.
Some dust mites will live through the cold months and can survive dry heat but they will not thrive and reproduce as much as they do in a warm and humid environment. By following these steps in getting rid of current dust mites you will find your allergy and breathing are much better. You will notice that the air seems fresher and less congested. A dehumidifier placed in your bedroom and living room will also help improve the air you breathe.
Further Dust Mite Bite Resources:
House Dust Mites – University of Kentucky
Mites in Your Cat’s Ears??? – NeverPest.com