5 Practical Tips to Get Your Home Free of Dust Mite and Other Allergies
Dust mite can be a source of irritation and allergic reactions to you especially if they are not controlled in your home. They might be invisible to the naked eyes yet can wreak havoc on your health, making you spend much on doctors’ consultation and drugs.
Dust mites are not the only culprits that need to be out of your home, cat dander, mold spores and viruses are other allergens to think about. However, we are paying more attention to dust mites because of their high level of proliferation and their droppings which are capable of provoking allergic reactions or making an existing case to be worse.
Dust mites are particularly not good for people who are asthmatic because they can trigger frequent attacks in these individuals. The worst thing is that millions of these little monsters live and feed inside your clothes, carpets, bed, soft furnishings and in places with high accumulation of dust.
Most of the allergic reactions like coughing, itching, difficulty breathing, nasal congestion and watery nose traceable to dust mites are actually caused by their droppings, as an average dust mite is capable of producing up to 200 times its body weight in waste in its lifetime.
Oddly, allergic reactions can be quite nasty because of the irritation they cause to your respiratory tract and the distress they give you, especially at night, making it difficult for you to sleep comfortably. These are some of the reasons why you need to get your home rid of dust mite and other allergens.
Five Easy Ways to Overcome Dust Mite Allergies
Getting rid of Dust Mite is very difficult because of their fast rate of procreation. However, here are a few tips to get rid of the menace from your home:
1. Use an Anti-Allergy Mattress and Mattress Cover
It is a known fact that several thousands of dust mites live in most of those mattresses we have, though there have been debates to the exact amount. While some schools of thought believe there could be a few thousands of dust mites, others think there are actually over a million of them.
No matter how you try to keep your mattress clean, there would always be some of these tiny demons lurking around. Getting rid of dust mites completely is a mission almost impossible to accomplish – however, there are some things you can do to keep their population under check and consequently minimize the allergic attacks in your home.
One of such measures includes using hypoallergenic mattress. These mattresses are specially designed to keep mites at bay. However, you may not be able to afford a hypoallergenic mattress. In that case, make use of an anti-allergen mattress protector, which acts as a barrier between yourself and the dust mite critters in the mattress.
This ensures that your body moisture and skin do not get into their feeding zone. In the same vein, the anti-allergen mattress protector prevents the dust mite allergens from getting in contact with your skin.
2. Replace Curtains, Cushions, Carpets and Soft Furnishings
Cushions, curtains, and soft furnishings provide an excellent harbor for dust mites. They usually find protection in fabrics which trap dust and moisture that provide food for them. Dust mite debris is released into the air whenever you drag open the curtains or sit on a fabric couch. Carpets also provide a breeding ground for them.
To reduce the population of dust mites or eradicate the organisms, you should do the following:
- Throw away fabric cushions, fabric couches, and armchairs or sell them to purchase leather/synthetic leather cushions or something that does not easily allow dust to settle on its surface.
- Replace curtains with blinds that are easy to clean
- Get rid of the carpets and replace them with hard floorings like laminate, linoleum or tile.
Removing carpets and replacing them with hard flooring will help to practically get rid of their breeding ground. If removing the carpet is expensive or impossible, you need to vacuum the carpet regularly. This should be done at least 2 to 3 times every week. You can as well spray the carpet with preparations that help to eliminate dust mites.
You may also not want to replace your soft furnishings. In that case, you have to use a steam cleaner to clean them regularly to keep the population of those irritants in check. Besides, reducing cuddly toys in the home could also play a role in helping to control the mites.
3. Sprinkle Diatomaceous Earth
Diatomaceous earth (DE) is quite effective in controlling dust mites in the home. This beautiful powder that is prepared from the fossilized remains of tiny, aquatic organisms (diatoms) is destructive to small insects and parasites.
The skeletons of diatoms are cylinder-shaped and contain razor sharp edges which are harmless to man but destructive to small insects and parasites as well as dust mites. When you sprinkle a light layer of earth containing these diatoms (diatomaceous earth) on your beds, mattresses, carpets, pet beds and bedding and leave them to settle, they help to kill the fleas and bed bugs that are worrisome to your health.
The diatomaceous earth should be allowed to stay for a few hours or overnight before cleaning up the place. You can repeat the treatment often to reduce the population of dust mites/fleas drastically.
Diatomaceous earth comes in different forms; so when choosing the one to use for your home, be sure to buy the food-grade variety because it is the only one that will not harm your pets in the long run.
4. Control Temperature and Humidity
Humidity and temperature play a significant role in enabling dust mites to thrive. The most favorable environment for them to thrive is a place with a temperature between 75ᵒF and 80ᵒF (24ᵒC and 27ᵒC), where the relative humidity is around 70% and 80%. When the temperature range is outside this, the mites find it difficult to do well, though they may not die. This will eventually reduce their rate of proliferation.
To get the best result, therefore, set inside temperature of your home at about 70ᵒF or 21ᵒC (but not more than that) while the relative humidity should be kept slightly below 70% (it is preferable to keep it around 50%). While this temperature is ideal for human, it is not for dust mites. Relative humidity below 70% is unfavorable for their reproduction, and this will keep their population in check.
The simplest way to monitor the relative humidity of your home is to make use of an electronic humidity monitor. If the level is higher than 50%, you can improve air circulation by making use of fans and vents as well as by keeping your windows open most of the times. If this fails to control the humidity, try using humidifiers and air conditioners.
5. Vacuum Smart
Though vacuuming the carpets is fine, it has been noted that the use of dry vacuum removes the dust that provides food for the mites but is highly useless in getting rid of the mites themselves. This is one of the reasons why you should consider our earlier advice to replace worn out carpets with hard floorings like linoleum, tile or laminate.
We cannot completely do away with vacuuming because they are helpful in reducing surface dust and allergen. Since vacuuming would always be needed, we suggest you apply the following tips and tricks to enable it to give you the best result possible:
- Choose a vacuum cleaner that has a HEPA filter. This will assist in minimizing the level of dust emitted by the vacuum cleaner itself.
- Put on a face mask when vacuuming so that you don’t inhale the dust that is stirred into circulation in the room. You can also get someone who is not allergic to dust mites to help you with the cleaning. After vacuuming, stay away from the room for at least two hours to enable the dust to settle down.
- Vacuum at least twice every week. Make sure you pay more attention to areas that are prone to more dust accumulation, such as near doorways and under the beds.
- Vacuum surfaces where dust easily settles, such as rugs, soft furnishings, upholstery, and curtains.
- Use steam cleaning or wet vacuuming for carpets and rugs since they tend to be more efficient at getting rid of mites and their droppings than is possible with dry cleaning. The steam will usually help in depopulating the microorganisms.
Dust mites remain the primary culprit that trigger an allergic reaction in people who suffer from asthmatic attacks. Their high rate of proliferation makes their control a big challenge.
However, if you apply the tips and tricks we have listed in this post, you can quickly put this nuisance under control even though you may not be able to eliminate them from your home completely. You can at least make your home a safer place to dwell in by acting smarter than those demons.