When I’ve realized that the cause of the endless allergies for my son is very likely due to the dust mites in my house, I started a personal war with these microscopic bugs. And I start by killing the dust mites where they are great in number, the mattress.
Dust Mites In A Nutshell
So what are dust mites? Dust mites are microscopic bugs that are so small that they escape the human eyes. These tiny creatures are responsible for red eyes, itchy throats, and nasal blockage, right within your home.
Each of the mites measures approximately 0.3 millimeters, which is only visible if you’re staring at them through a microscope. There are possibly millions of dust mites in your home right now and the only signs of their existence are the symptoms of allergies.
While allergic symptoms can be treated with medicines, eye drops or nasal spray, they will persist and causes discomfort as long as the allergen continues to exist. The allergen is a by-product of the dust mites, or rather the protein that comes with the excretion that builds up over time.
This means that killing dust mites alone is not enough, but you’ll need to get rid of the fecal pellets as well.
Favorite Dust Mites Hide Out
Dust mites are miniature creatures that love warm and humid environments. It feeds on dead skin cells that are shed off by humans, which make almost every home a perfect breeding space for dust mites.
Considering the fact that a single individual sheds millions of skin cells a day, a colony of dust mites can grow just by feeding on your dead skin cells.
Take this fact and put it together with the parts of your house that you spent the most time in and you’ll zoom in on the breeding spot of dust mites.
The mattress and the accompanying bed sheets, pillows, and comforter are the top suspects as you spent an average of 8 hours sleeping and feeding the dust mites in the process.
If your room is warm and humid, you may also find dust mites in numbers on the curtain, rug, and carpets. To start ridding dust mites in your home, the bedroom is the perfect place to start, and targeting the mattress is a sensible move.
7 Tips To Kill Dust Mites In Your Mattress
While dust mites can grow quickly at an exponential rate, they are creatures that are sensitive to the environment. Common ways to eliminate dust mites from mattress involves disrupting their environment or active methods to kill the dust mites.
Here are some great tips to start getting rid of dust mites in your mattress now.
1. Lower The Humidity
Dust mites grow optimally when the room humidity ranges between 70% to 80%. Bringing the humidity level down to 50% or below can effectively impair the growth of the dust mites and possibly killing them.
Ensure that your room is well-ventilated by opening windows and turning on fans. A more effective method is to install a dehumidifier to regulate the humidity.
I hate to remind you but killing off dust mites by reducing the humidity does nothing to alleviate the allergy symptoms if the fecal pellets remained in your mattress.
2. Use A Steam Cleaner
Reducing humidity may be an effective move to curb dust mites’ growth. However, some people may feel discomfort when the air is too dry. It may cause irritation to the eye and flaky skins for some.
An alternative way to kill dust mites for good in your mattress is to use a steam cleaner. A handheld steam cleaner is perfect in sterilizing your mattress at a high temperature.
As the vapor from steam cleaners easily hit 100 degrees Celcius, there would be no chance for any dust mites to survive.
3. Use Dust Mites Cover
Dust mites are hidden from the bare eyes but they are still of substantial size in the microscopic world. If you can’t get rid of dust mites at once, you can contain them to minimize the allergic symptoms.
Replace regular bed sheets and pillow covers to dust mite covers. Dust mite covers are made of closely-woven fabrics that leave no space for dust mites to pass through.
4. Neutralize Dust Mites With Disinfectant Spray
Most off-the-shelf disinfectants are capable of killing dust mites, besides other allergens and bacteria. When choosing a dust mite spray, it’s important to consider any negative effects it has on humans.
Lysol is arguably the most popular brand when it comes to disinfectant. You can spray it on the mattress and trust the ingredients in the spray to knock any dust mites off.
Besides killing dust mites, Lysol also prevents the growth of mold and mildew, a typical sign of a humid room. You’ll want to keep spraying on a weekly basis to effectively contain the dust mites population.
However, there are concerns that Lysol may not be safe for humans, and the label did mention that exposure may be dangerous. If you’re uncomfortable with Lysol, there are natural dust mites spray that you can use instead.
5. Use Anti Dust Mites Vacuum Cleaner
You may have come across some suggestions of using HEPA vacuum cleaners to get rid of dust mites in your home. But there are equally contradicting suggestions from experts that place doubts on the effectiveness of HEPA vacuum cleaners.
Personally, I’ll take no chance to guess one way or another. Instead, I’ll place my bet on special anti-dust mites vacuum cleaners that are not only equipped with HEPA filters but also UV sterilization tube. These anti-dust mites UV vacuum cleaners boast a powerful suction to remove stubborn dust mites from your mattress.
These vacuum cleaners are usually designed as handheld units to make it easier for clearing your mattress of dust mites. Besides that, other germs and allergens are bound to get sucked away by these powerful vacuum cleaners.
6. Wash Your Beddings
Remember that the key to stopping allergic symptoms caused by dust mites is to remove both the pests and the excretion? That’s why it’s important to regularly wash your bedsheets, pillowcases, and comforters.
Increase the temperature of your washing machine to a high temperature (at least 54 degrees Celcius) to kill off the dust mites. After a thorough wash, no dust mites or their feces would remain. Ensure that you wash the beddings once a week if dust mites are a consistent problem.
7. Remove Unnecessary Rugs and Carpets
Sometimes, winning the battle is about preventing the enemy’s rooms for growth to start with, or in this case, limiting the breeding ground of the dust mites. Rugs and carpets may add a touch of modern style to your room, but if it’s an open invitation for dust mites, it will be wise to discard them off.
Of course, getting rid of carpets isn’t always feasible. But if you’re struggling with allergies, cleaning the carpets with these dust mite carpet powder helps in keeping the allergen under control.
A minimal, clean and tidy bedroom will greatly reduce your problems with dust mites and increases your chance of controlling or getting rid of these microscopic pests.
How do you kill dust mites in your mattress? Or control them effectively? Share your best tips in the comment below.