Dust Mites In Your House

Dust mites are the most common of indoor allergens, which are substances somehow imbibed (whether eaten, inhaled, or otherwise contacted) indoors and subsequently purged by the immune system as an unwelcome invader. Dust mites, who thrive in warm, humid environments, live in dust collected throughout a house, made up of particles of plants and dead animal or human skin. Following are some tips to control dust mites in your home.

  • Encase your mattress and pillow in airtight plastic covers to kill any new dust mites accumulated after a recent washing and keep others out. Wash any sheets, blankets, pillowcases, or comforters on hot at least once weekly in order to kill dust mites. Water should be at 130 degrees Fahrenheit, or have them washed at a professional laundromat, where hot water hazards are better prepared-for and less likely to happen. The mattress is the number one place that dust mites inhabit. During the summer, they live close to the top of the mattress, or the surface, and in the winter burrow down into the middle of the mattress.
  • Avoid using carpet or, if you already have it, remove it if at all possible. If this is not possible, your carpet should be specially treated for allergens with a thorough bimonthly spray of 3% tannic acid. Be careful not to expose yourself to the tannic acid too much, though. It can be quite an irritant itself if not used properly. Either way, the removal of carpeting is the most effective way to get rid of dust mites. Mites thrive in the warmth and humidity between your carpet and the floor. Hardwood, linoleum, or tiling is attractive and practical alternatives to carpet if you’re willing and able to spend a bit of money and do a little redecorating.
  • Regularly clean, sweep, and vacuum upholstery and flooring. Dust mites are picked up by vacuums along with the dust. High performance and efficiency vacuums obviously pick up the most dust mites, but basic vacuums do a decent job as well.

You can see what these little demons look like up close and personal by typing in "dust mites" to your search engine. As soon as you see what they really look like and read more about the damage that they can do to your nasal passages and lungs, we think that you will want to stay on top of them as much as you can. They are the highest allergy causing organism you can have in your house, next only to pollen. As they grow, they shed their skin. This, along with their feces-yes, their poop-are what causes the allergies. They can be especially harmful to people with asthma. Cleaning your air ducts will not reduce the dust mites in your house, they do not live there. If you are very susceptible to their allergy causing bodies, try to limit the amount of fabric in your home, switching out an upholstered chair for a leather or vinyl one, and replacing drapes with plastic or wooden shades. The best places to clean are listed above. They feed on your dead skin-gross, hunh?