How to Get Rid of Dust Mites in Your Home
Learn Helpful Ways to Eliminate Dust Mites and Improve Your Health
By Bianca Herron
12 min read
So You Want to Get Rid of Dust Mites?
If you suffer from dust allergies or asthma, indoor dust and dander will only make your symptoms worse—dust mites whose feces and body parts are some of the most common allergens found in homes. If you’re experiencing itchy and watery eyes, coughing, sneezing, runny nose, or wheezing, chances are you may have a dust mites allergy. Additionally, those who suffer from dust and dust mite allergies typically have trouble sleeping. A stuffy nose can prevent you from getting the maximum oxygen, resulting in discomfort while sleeping.
Getting rid of dust mites can be challenging. These nest-building, spider-like pests do not bite and are so tiny the mites can only be seen with a microscope. Dust mites thrive on discarded skin cells in moist, dark places like mattresses, carpets, upholstered furniture, and bedding. These microscopic pests are not the dust particle themselves, but indoor dust and dander can contain as many as 19,000 dust mites in one gram of dust.
Where Do Dust Mites Come From?
Dust mites eat particles of dead skin and dander, which is why they thrive in places where animals and people are present. Although these pests can be a nuisance, they do not live on people, spread diseases, or bite. Dust mites are only harmful when people who are allergic to them are present. How so? The enzymes found in dust mites feces trigger allergy symptoms in people. A pest that averages about 20 droppings per day is more than harmful for a person with a dust mites allergy.
A person exposed to dust mites can lead to various health problems. This is particularly true in children who can become asthma sufferers due to exposure to dust mites. Many allergy and asthma physicians acknowledge that dust mites may lead to many allergy symptoms, such as a runny or stuffy nose, watery/itchy eyes, and sneezing.
Are You Allergic to Dust or Dust Mites?
Indoor dust and dander are common problems for those who suffer from dust allergies or asthma. They are two of the most common allergens inside your home, including dust mites that live in your bedding and upholstered furniture. These dust mites thrive in warm, humid places and are not common in dry climates.
People often get the wrong idea that having dust problems is a sign of a dirty house. While having an unkept home may aggravate the situation, people who thoroughly clean their homes regularly may be surprised to find indoor dust and dander lingering in their homes. Standard cleaning products and procedures alone cannot easily remove substances that are present in dust. Most allergy sufferers, especially those with a dust mites allergy, will find that regardless of how clean or dirty a house is, the presence of even a small amount of indoor dust can trigger symptoms.
However, let’s clear something up. Some people are allergic to dust, and others are allergic to dust mites. Read on to find which one you need to remove.
What Causes Dust Allergies?
“Dust bunnies” come to mind when people think of dust in their homes or property. Many people would be surprised to know that the clumps of dust that settle on their countertops and behind their furniture are more than dust and debris from the outdoors. Most of it is produced indoors inside your home or property.
Dust is a combination of irritants, including dust mites, dust mite fecal matter, cockroach body parts, cockroach droppings, fibers, hair, shed skin cells, mold spores, pollen, bacteria, and pet dander. In metropolitan areas, dust in the home may also contain smoke and soot particles from the atmosphere. The size of dust and its potential to irritate you depends upon the source, composition, and even your geographical location.
Can Air Purifiers Get Rid of Dust Mites?
Because dust mites dwell in places with a lot of human traffic, they readily become airborne. They can become aggravated and float into the air when people vacuum, sit down on couches or bedding and walk on carpeting. When airborne, they can be inhaled or come in contact with your eyes and skin, producing further irritation.
Air purifiers can play a critical role in preventing allergic reactions to dust mites by trapping the airborne mites in their powerful filters. The best air purifiers for the dust are high-performance HEPA air purifiers are designed specifically to remove airborne allergens and dust from the air, including dust mites.
Air purifiers are efficient, powerful tools for dust prevention, working to remove dust mites and their droppings while they’re airborne. Ultimately, if dust mites are on your furniture, bed, or upholstery, an air purifier will have limited effectiveness at removing them.
Getting rid of dust mites is difficult because the insects are so tiny, making it hard to see the damage they cause. However, you can get off to a good start by measuring the temperature and humidity inside your home. Doing so will help you remove dust mites that are not just airborne. Dust mites enjoy warm, humid temperatures (70-80% humidity and 68 to 77°F), so it is vital to keep your indoor humidity levels below 55-percent. You can use vent fans and dehumidifiers to control your home’s humidity and kill dust mites naturally.