Knowing how to eliminate dust mites starts with understanding the fact that killing them is only half of what it takes. And to really get a grasp of why, we’ll need to learn a little more about these disgusting creatures first.
Yes. Nobody thinks it’s going to be fun to research some dust mite facts.
And if you’re the squeamish type, this article may be enough to make you break out in a cold sweat. You can get the creeps from dust mites.
We must first understand these bugs to be effective in fighting them. We’re going to help you do that and then show you exactly how to get rid of dust mites.
We must get moving as soon as possible to avoid itching or sneezing. So let’s dive in.
What is a Dust Mite?
A little misleading is the name mites. The term sounds adorable. In reality, they are quite different. They are also arachnids and have eight legs. They can be tiny. Some of them can be parasites.
Dust mites can be very tiny. We’re talking about 1/64 of an inch in size, or 0.33 mm if you hate freedom. These creatures are small enough to live inside your house unnoticed. It is not an ideal situation.
How do dust mites look?
Dust mites don’t look like anything. They are not visible to the naked eye. These tiny pests can be seen only if you put them under a microscope.
You will be amazed at what you see. A dust mite’s body resembles a kind of swollen bag with four legs on either side. Their mouths are surrounded by small mandibles.
>>>What do Dust Mites Look like? Pictures of Dust Mites and their FAQs
Basically, they’re hideous. They can easily tell me that I told them.
Where do dust mites come from?
In an alternate universe, where horrible creatures rule the roost. More importantly, because of their small size, dust mites are easy to travel.
But they’re not sneaking into your home from the great outdoors like so many other pests do. Nope, you’re bringing them in with you on your clothes and luggage when you visit other indoor places.
Dust mites typically hitch a ride in people’s clothes, so it’s quite possible for you to catch them from your workplace, a restaurant, bar, movie theater, coffee shop – really anywhere that you would come into contact with people.
Consider all the possible places that you might visit in one week.
- Other people’s homes
- Other people’s cars
- Transport public
- Buildings for offices
You can go on. There are many places where dust mites may be found, as you can see.
Honestly, it’s hard to make jokes about dust mites, because there could be one right behind me RIGHT NOW.
How do you get dust mites?
Because they are tiny, dust mites can travel easily. They could be everywhere you go, so you don’t have to worry about them.
Typically, they don’t travel on the body, but they will travel in clothes. So unless you’re willing to go naked for the rest of your life, you’re always at risk of bringing these creatures home.
But just because you bring them home doesn’t mean that your home needs to become infested with dust mites.
That’s because dust mites need a couple things in order to survive and thrive:
- An optimal temperature of about 68°F to 77°F (around 20°C to 25°C)
- The air humidity level can range between 70% and 80%
- Food – i.e. We shed our dead skin
It is important to remove the dust mite essentials from your home in order to make it a hostile environment. Which means that dust mites may sneak into your home but you won’t have to live with them.
What do Dust Mites Eat
If you’ve been finding this article gross so far, hold tight. It’s about to get grosser.
Dead skin is what dust mites consume. Our dead skin. You might not know that dust can be made up of dead skin cells. If you didn’t know that, you’re welcome for that horrible image.
But it’s true. An average adult loses 70-140 mg of skin each day. Dust mites love this.
Are Dust Mites Harmful?
Dust mites don’t bite. Nor do they burrow into people’s skin. And luckily, they don’t carry any diseases. We are too far away from them to be able to do any damage.
The main danger to these animals is the potential for allergic reactions.
The symptoms of a dust mite allergy can appear as mild as:
- You may be sneezing
- Running nose
- Red, itchy eyes
- Itchy eyes, throat or mouth
- Itchy skin
- Haut rash
- Postnasal drip
These symptoms can become more severe for people with asthma. There are also:
- Tightness in breathing
- Chest tightness
- Chest pain
- Breathing difficulties
- Sneezing, coughing
Dust mites can be harmless for most people, as you will see. If you suffer from a dust mite allergy they can cause significant discomfort.
They can also trigger asthma attacks which could be deadly. For people suffering from severe allergies, they may have even caused anaphylaxis death.
So dust mites aren’t harmless. The more dust mites you have the better. Every one of them is an allergen-producing machine.
Is it possible to kill dust mites by using a simple method?
Killing dust mites may give you a feeling of gleeful vengeance but it doesn’t solve the problem.
A dead dust mite can’t breed and produce more of its kind. The days when it can go to the bathroom are over. So in that sense, there’s nothing wrong with killing these nasty creatures.
The proteins found in dust mites’ bodies are responsible for the allergen that they trigger.
Even though the insects are now dead, they still have these proteins and can still release particles to the air.
So in the battle against these bugs, it’s more important to remove dust mites, their shed skins, and yes, that poop, than it is to kill the actual bugs.
You need solutions that either eliminate the allergen completely or reduce the amount of protein in it. Let’s cover the absolute best ways to really get rid of dust mites.
How to Remove Dust Mites
Listen. No one’s saying don’t kill dust mites. Go ahead. If you’re feeling better, you can sneeze and take revenge on every single one of these mites.
Just don’t expect your murderous rage to solve the problem.
You need to do more than just kill dust mites if you want to rid yourself of them and all the pain they can cause.
Instead of focusing on vengeance, you need to consider removal. The dead or living bugs and skin that are causing your allergies must be removed.
For that, there are a few methods available to you – here’s how to go above and beyond killing and actually get rid of dust mites.
What is the best way to get rid of dust mites? Here’s a list of the most effective ways to get rid of dust mites in order from the most effective and down.
As an effective and natural way to get rid of dust mites, investing in the best dust mite vacuums is a great investment.
But you want to make sure you don’t choose any old vacuum – nope, you want one with a HEPA filter. Why? HEPA filters, which are high-efficiency particulate filter systems, remove tiny particles as small as 0.3 microns from the air.
In case you’re wondering, that’s really small. This is far smaller than any dust mite dropping or dust mite. In fact, HEPA filters can even trap cigarette smoke.
A HEPA filter dust mite vacuum is the best way to get rid of dust mites and allergens.
Anti-Dust Mite Carpet Powder
Vacuuming with an HEPA-equipped vacuum cleaner is already one of most efficient ways to remove mites.
But if you are looking for a more aggressive approach – and really, why wouldn’t you? – you could try combining vacuuming your carpet with an anti-allergen powder that will break down those pesky proteins and help reduce your allergic symptoms.
Combining these two approaches is the best way to solve your mite problems.
Washer and Dryer
It may seem obvious, but it’s worth stating. To remove mites and allergens from your clothes and bedding, wash and dry them.
Wash in the hottest water you can – over 130°F is what you need to kill the mites quickly. To kill any dust mites left behind by the washing, dry your clothes.
Tip: Going the extra step of adding a laundry additive is a smart way to completely eliminate dust mite allergens from your bedding, clothes and fabrics – De-Mite works amazingly well.
For parts of the home that you can’t wash, such as furniture and carpets, steam can be a powerful weapon in the fight against dust mites. Steam can kill mites as well as their eggs. It will also reduce allergens that they make.
It’s so effective, in fact, that one study found that a single steam treatment was sufficient to completely kill all mite populations in the treated carpet.
Another study found that the decreases in dust mite allergens didn’t last as long after a single vacuuming as the decreases lasted following both steam cleaning And vacuuming.
So if you want to complete eliminate dust mite populations and the allergens they produce – go for the double whammy of steam cleaning and vacuuming.
You can get a great steam cleaner for around $100 and yes, it’s an extra step but taking the time to steam the carpets and furniture thoroughly means less dust mites and thus, less allergies.
Dust Mite Covers
The bed is a favorite place for dust mites. Who doesn’t? Beds provide everything that a dust mite could need. Humidity. Darkness. You have ready access to shed your human skin. It’s a warm, soft, welcoming paradise for these creatures. These tiny insects can be found in mattresses as high as 10,000,000.
Yes, I do. After learning that, I thought I’d never feel safe in bed again.
But you get over it. Especially when you realize you can seal them in so they can’t access your delicious dead skin ever again.
The dust mite cover is a quick and easy way to accomplish this. They cover mattresses with dust mite-resistant material to trap them inside. They also trap the allergens, making for a better night’s sleep for you and everyone else in your home.
You should know that dust mites are capable of living in other places than your mattress. So covering your bed won’t solve the problem by itself. But it will remove a major population center of these bugs and allow you a good night’s sleep.
You can also reduce humidity to prevent and kill dust mites. Dust mites thrive in humid conditions, as you probably know. They need it for survival.
Humidity levels between 75 and 80% are ideal for dust mites. That’s when they’re at their happiest, comfortable enough to hunker down and start massive dust mite families.
However, they will not survive in conditions below 50% humidity.
Dehumidifiers are going to be one your best investments in fighting dust mites. Because it covers up to 3500 square feet, the Midea Cube Dehumidifier makes a great choice in larger spaces. For a less expensive but just as powerful choice, consider the Vremi Dehumidifier.
A hygrometer is a tool that measures the humidity in your house. You can use them to continuously monitor your home’s attractiveness for dust mites.
HEPA air purifiers
Here’s something incredibly disturbing but useful to know:
Dust mite particles, especially feces, can be suspended in the atmosphere for several hours before they are inhaled. To help remove these allergens, HEPA filters can be used within portable air cleaners, placed in bedrooms and other critical areas of the house.
University of Kentucky’s Entomology Department
HEPA filters can be used to remove dust mite particles from your air. A high-quality purifier will do the job. These devices can be expensive, but if you have an allergy, you may well find it’s worth it.
If you don’t want to spend your whole life sniffling and sneezing, a good air purifier can help you breathe easy and resist the effects of dust mite allergens. And you don’t even have to do anything apart from plugging it in.
A/C and Furnace filters
As you can surely see by now, if you have dust mite allergies – filters are your best friend. You’ve probably also picked up on how, when it comes to getting rid of dust mites, the solution lies more in the way you set up your living space than actively going out to hunt and kill dust mites.
Such is the case with these filters – they passively catch whatever dust mites and other allergens get recycled through your house whenever you have the furnace or air-conditioning on. These filters may appear simple, but they are often the most effective.
Buy these. They’re an absolute essential if you’re living with dust mites.
Dust Mite Sprays
You can find sprays and cleaners specifically labeled to combat dust mites. These sprays are designed to break down proteins produced by dust mites. It is more powerful than killing bugs because it tackles the issue at its source.
These products can be used to spray dust mites wherever they may gather.
That way, you’ll not only break down the allergy-producing proteins but also remove the food source for the mites, not to mention those pesky allergen-causing dead bodies.
How to Remove Dust Mites From Your Bed
Your bed is one of the easiest places for dust mites in the home to hide. And why wouldn’t they? Each day you’ll spend approximately 8 hours lying on your back, creating a buffet of dead skin cells to feed the dust mites.
What can you do to get rid of dust mites? Here’s how to get rid of dust mites in bed:
Do laundry regularly. Although it may sound like your mother, putting your entire bedding in the washer and dryer can quickly eliminate dust mites from your bed. You can quickly get rid of dust mites by simply placing all your bedding, including pillowscases, blankets, and duvet covers, in the dryer, for about 15 minutes at 130 degrees.
Invest in dust mites covers. Dust mite covers trap all dust mites that are already on your mattress quickly. These covers also prevent hungry insects from getting inside your mattress. Don’t stop at mattress covers either – cover up the pillowcases and duvets.
Switch to fabric that is more resistant to dust mites The fabrics with the highest dust attracting capacity are those that will attract most dust mites. Fabrics with larger pores such as wool, particularly fleece, are these fabrics. You should instead choose fabrics with a lower likelihood of dust mites, such as cotton, silk, satin, microfiber and even silk.
Change to feather pillows. There was a belief that pillows made with polyester or synthetic fabrics were more beneficial for people suffering from allergies. Studies after studies have shown that feather pillows are better at repelling dust mites. Also, feather pillow covers proved to be less susceptible to dust mites.
All you have to do is the above, and dust mites will soon be gone from your bed.
How to get rid of dust mites on humans
Dust mites don’t live on humans. These microscopic creatures may live off the flakes of dead skin that we shed, but they won’t eat the skin straight from the source.
Living on humans is not possible for dust mites. They may just hitchhike onto our clothes.
But they certainly won’t live on humans.
If you’re wondering how to get rid of dust mites on humans because you have red, itchy skin that you suspect are dust mite bites, it’s likely that your skin is reacting to dust mite allergens in your environment.
It’s also possible that you have another kind of mite causing this irritation, like:
- Scabies. They burrow under the skin’s top layer and lay eggs. This causes a rash similar to pimples or blisters.
- The rodent and bird mites. They are attracted to rodents and birds, but will bite humans when their hosts pass away.
- Chiggers. This is because the mites can cut through skin to leave red bumps, which look like pimples.
On the other hand, if you’re looking up how to get rid of dust mites on humans because you found a small bug feeding on your skin – it’s definitely not dust mites. It’s more likely to be a blood-sucking insect like bed bugs or fleas.
How to Remove Dust Mites from a Couch
If you spend a lot of time on your couch – who doesn’t? – it’s very likely there are dust mites living in it. If your sofa is made from a fabric which easily collects dust, this is especially true.
How can you eliminate dust mites from a couch? These are the best ways to get rid of dust mites on a couch.
All couch covers should be washed and dried. All couch covers and pillows must be regularly washed. If they can’t be washes, at least run them through the dryer at the hottest setting to kill dust mites.
Use an anti-allergen spray. The specialized sprays kill dust mite allergens and make them less likely to return. They’re also safe to use on fabrics so you can spray your couch for immediate relief.
Steam clean your couch. A steam cleaner is another way to kill the dust mites that live in your sofa. Be sure to reach every crevice and corner.
Make sure to use a bedsheet that is dust mite-proof. It can be difficult to find a couch cover that is dust mite-proof because of the many shapes and sizes of sofas. You can cover your couch with a dust mite-proof bedsheet. Be sure to wash your bedsheet regularly.
Get rid of the couch made from cloth. For allergy sufferers, cloth-covered couches can be very irritating. Because of its large pores, dust can easily get into cushions. Dust mites are free to roam around the area. You should consider leather and synthetic leather sofas if you have the option. These sofas are indestructible for dust mites. They can also be easily washed.
How to prevent dust mites
Once you’ve gone through the pain and hassle of getting rid of dust mites, you’ll want to make sure you never get them again.
But here’s the unfortunate truth: Dust mites are a fact of life.
These mites are everywhere. As such, it’s impossible to completely prevent dust mites from entering your home.
Now here’s the good news: just because dust mites get into your home, it doesn’t mean they have to stick around. You can make your home more inviting for them.
There are even more great news! You can also prevent dust mites by doing many of the same things that you did already to eliminate them, such as:
- Reduce humidity
- Use dust miteproof mattress covers
- A HEPA purifier is worth the investment
- Use a HEPA vacuum to vacuum your home regularly
You can prevent dust mites from getting into your house by following these steps.
However, there are additional steps you could take.
Avoid carpet. You can get rid of all carpeting wall to wall if possible. It is much more difficult to spread dust mites on tiled, wood or linoleum flooring.
The right carpet is important. You should choose tighter pile carpeting over high-pile.
Hot water is best for all rug cleaning. All rugs, including bath mats, that can be machine washed should be washed in hot water frequently.
Here’s the ultimate guide for getting rid of dust mites. You can now relax and go.