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Kill Dust Mites

Summary: Dust mites and dust mite allergens are tenants in your home and will never be entirely evicted.  However, there are some preventative strategies that can help kill dust mites as well as reducing the symptoms of dust mite allergies.

Dust mite allergens are the product of dust mites, microscopic relatives of the spider.  They live on upholstered furniture, carpets, curtains, mattresses, bedding and other items such as stuffed animals.  Dust mites are one of the most common causes of allergies.  The symptoms are similar to pollen allergies and dust mite allergens can also produce symptoms of asthma.

You've no doubt seen particles of œdust floating in a stream of sunlight.  Along with dead skin and lint, those particles include dead dust mites and their waste products.  These waste products are the proteins that cause the allergic reactions.

Dust mites feed on the flakes of skin that both people and pets shed routinely which is why your home is so inviting.  Dust mites thrive in warm and humid conditions.  They are abundant in summer and will die off in winter but there's a catch of course.  If you keep your home humid and toasty through the winter there will continue to be large numbers of dust mite borders.

Everyone has dust mites in their home regardless of how clean your home is.  The good news is that while dust mites can't be eliminated, the number of dust mites and dust mite allergens in your home can be reduced with some preventative strategies.

Prevention Strategies to Reduce Dust Mites and Dust Mite Allergens:

  • Using the air conditioning or a dehumidifier to keep relative humidity at around 50% or below helps to reduce dust mites.
  • Washing all bedding once a week with hot water that is at least 130 degrees, will kill dust mites.
  • Bedding that can't be washed can be put inside of plastic and frozen overnight.
  • Dust mite mattress covers
  • Using a damp mop or rag to remove dust is more effective as dry ones simply stir up dust.
  • Using a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter or micro filter bag reduces the allergens that escape through the vacuum's exhaust.

To reduce exposure to dust mite allergens wear a mask when vacuuming or dusting and leave the area cleaned for at least 20 minutes to allow the dust mite allergens to settle.

If you are extremely concerned about or allergic to dust mites, there are additional steps that you can take in your home.

  • Replace any wool or feathered bed linens and pillows with those made from synthetic materials.
  • Replace wall to wall carpet, especially in bedrooms, with wood, linoleum or tile floors.
  • Remove fabric curtains and opt for blinds.
  • Reduce fabric-upholstered furniture and opt for leather, wood, bamboo or non-fabric covered furniture.

In addition to dust mites, the waste products of cockroaches are another cause of household allergens, so if you suspect that this may be a problem consult a pest control professional.

Unfortunately, totally eliminating dust mite allergens isn't possible, but there are many steps homeowners can take to reduce the number of dust mites and the resulting dust mite allergens.

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