Dust mites and fleas can be quite a nuisance. Central heating and good insulation in our modern houses make our homes very habitable for dust mites.
Dust mites evoke fear because they are associated with respiratory problems, allergies and asthma. Common symptoms of allergies to dust include watery eyes, runny noses and sneezing. Even eczema has links to household dust mites. If you have any or all of these symptoms when you are at home often, it is time to take action and eliminate your dust problem!
Dust mites are so tiny you can’t even see them. They are only approximately 0.04 millimeters in length. Dust mites feed on dead skin cells and dander that have flaked off our bodies. This means that they live in furniture, drapes, clothing, bed sheets and our floors. This is where they collect their food.
The allergen is not the dust mite but their feces. Thier droppings are so small. They are the size of a pollen grain.
Aside from washing your bed sheets with hot water and keeping your home clean, regular vacuuming of furniture and floors is crucial.
Old carpets – even if they are covering a hardwood floor – can be the home to dust mites. The best floor covering for preventing dust mites is a hardwood floor. That said, you can still get them on a wood floor. The worst offender is wall to wall carpeting.Dust mites can’t really live in hard surfaces but that doesn’t mean if you have wood floors you are ok. You still have a furnace that can blow dust mites on your wood floor.
There are certain procedures that you can do to eliminate dust mites.
1. Steam clean your furniture and drapes. If you have a carpet on your wood floor, steam clean it. You don’t need to steam clean regularly.
2. Keep your home warm and dry. Mites cannot survive in warm climates. They are almost nonexistent in tropical climates.
3. Use tannic acid – the same ingredient in black tea. You can get tannic powder at your local health food store. Sprinkle it on your floor and let it sit for 3 hours. Tannic acid will neutralize the allergens from dust mites.
4. Damp dust. Use a microfiber rag with a tiny bit of warm water to pick up any dust, especially along the edges and the corners of the room. Anything near the baseboards is always dustier.
5. Regularly vacuum. This is a given. You will always have a problem with dust mites if you are not on top of vacuuming. It is not just about vacuuming the wood floors and area rugs. You will also need to vacuum curtains and upholstery. Use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter.
6. Replace your furnace filter with one that is allergen-rated. Allergen-rated filters will trap dust mites.
7. Ventalite your home. Keep your windows open whenever possible. You will reduce humidity and allow fresh air to circulate through your home. Keep your kitchen door closed when you cook. Dust mites thrive in the winter months when we close up our windows, crank up our central heating and humidify to keep out the cold, dry air.
8. Use a dehumidifier. Dust mites love humidity and moisture. The more you can eliminate moisture the better. When they are in a moist environment, they multiply very quickly. If the humidity is 70% or more, they thrive. When the humidity drops below 50%, they die.
9. Don’t dry out your clothes in your room. This will only increase humidity.
10. Get a mattress cover for dust mites.
11. Get rid of clutter. Keep your home tidy.
12. Keep up with the vacuuming and dusting or else the problem will reemerge.
Follow these steps and you should eliminate dust mites. You will feel better, sleep more soundly and have a cleaner home. No more sneezing, runny nose and itchy eyes. What could be better?