How to Get Rid of Dust Mites

When considering allergies, there are common misconceptions as to what actually causes the unpleasant reactions. While it’s easy to determine the cause of a pet allergy, for example, the same cannot be said for dust allergies. Many assume that it is simply the dust itself that is causing the adverse effects, but this is simply not the case. Instead, in virtually all cases of dust allergies, it is instead the dust mites that cause individuals to suffer allergic reactions. More specifically, it is a protein found in their waste that many are allergic to. But what exactly are dust mites?

dust mitesDust mites are small microscopic organisms that bear a close resemblance to spiders. These tiny creatures predominantly feed off of dead skin cells from humans which is a main component of dust. As more dust accumulates in any given environment, a dust mite population will begin to form, thus leading to more severe allergic reactions. While medication can help with dust allergies, working to eliminate a dust mite population is the best way to prevent negative symptoms. Unfortunately, due to the ability of dust to accumulate in hard to reach places, eliminating a dust mite population entirely may be an unachievable task. Luckily, there are many ways to keep a dust mite population at bay.

dust mite in bedding

Dust mites commonly breed within bed sheets.

Seeing as how the majority of individuals spend at least 6-8 hours per night sleeping in bed, it is no surprise that this is where a dust mite population most commonly begins to form. When asleep, humans will shed a large amount of dead skin cells that will then accumulate in their bedding, thus attracting a treasure trove of dust mites. Thankfully, simply cleaning said bedding on a regular basis may be enough to keep dust mites at bay. However, it has also been said that giving bedding time to dry upon waking will help to eliminate the moisture that dust mites need to survive. Another preventive measure to take within the bedroom is to avoid using pillows or comforters that utilize features like stuffing as they provide an optimal home for dust mites. Instead, it would be wise to replace such bedding with hypoallergenic alternatives as these will prevent dust mites from forming a home and can be washed at much higher temperatures.

steam cleanerThough it is true that dead skin will heavily accumulate in one’s bed, that doesn’t mean that it cannot make its way elsewhere. In fact, just about any type of fabric, be it carpeting, curtains or even cloth furniture, can attract dead skin cells. While it would be ideal to avoid using such decor entirely, this may not be practical. Instead, a strict and regular cleaning regimen, with the aid of a steam cleaner, should be enough to kill off dust mite populations and prevent them from returning.

Dust mite feedingAs previously mentioned, dust mites predominantly feed off of dead human skin cells but this is not the only thing that makes up their diet. In fact, dust mites have also been known to consume and thrive off of animal dander as well. Thus, those looking to prevent dust mites from forming should make an effort to keep animals away from any fabric that has been known to accumulate dust as mentioned above. Regularly bathing your animals and hastily cleaning any fabric they do come in contact is also a worthy preventive measure.

While dust mites may be hard to eliminate entirely, largely due to their microscopic nature, preventive measures will help keep them at bay. If nothing else, regularly cleaning your bedding and any other fabric surfaces including carpeting, curtains and furniture, should be enough. Additionally, those with pets should take extra care, as large accumulations of animal dander can be just as appealing to dust mites as dead skin cells. If all goes well and preventive measures are successful, dust mite populations will decrease thus leading to much less severe allergic reactions.

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