The Invasion Of The Microscopic Arthropods: A Dust Mite Story
Get rid of unwanted dust mites in 7 easy steps.
What the heck is a dust mite?
A very valid question, one you may have gone your whole adult life without wanting to know the answer to.
These teeny-tiny creatures feed on the dead skin cells found in dust. Don’t worry, you can’t see them. Dust mites are actually microscopic arthropods (imagine really small, invisible bugs) who like to inhabit areas where dead skin cells accumulate, like beds, furniture, and carpets. These critters have been voted one of the most common indoor allergens, next to mold spores and pollen. A superlative to be proud of, indeed. Congratulations, dust mites!
Quick Tips On How To Get Rid Of Dust Mites:
- Wash your bedding regularly
- Use a dust-proof encasement
- Run a dehumidifier in your bedroom
- Dust often
- Vacuum, then vacuum some more
- Invest in a HEPA air purifier
- Replace carpet with hard floors
Do dust mites bite?
Fear not, dust mites don’t bite — but they can cause a rash if you’re allergic to them. Additionally, dust mites can cause an itchy, runny nose, and coughing or sneezing. If you think you might be allergic to dust mites, it’s always worth talking to your doctor about it.
Gross. Now let’s get rid of dust mites.
If the idea of having thousands of microscopic creatures flock to your bed for the “All You Can Eat Dead Skin Cell Buffet,” makes your skin crawl, there’s good news!
Here are 7 things you can do right now to get rid of dust mites and keep them from coming back
- Wash your bedding regularly. Washing once a week with hot water kills any dust mites that might be living in your sheets and blankets.
- Use a dust-proof encasement for your pillows and mattress to keep them protected.
- Run a dehumidifier in your bedroom. Dust mites stay hydrated from the water in the air rather than drinking water, so they don’t like conditions where the air is dry.
- Dust often. Instead of using a feather duster that stirs up dust, sending dust mites flying into the air (and your lungs), try a Swiffer Heavy Duty Duster. It traps and locks up to 3x more dust than a feather duster. And bonus: once you’re done dusting, just toss the dirtied duster in the trash to banish those dust mites for good.
- Vacuum, then vacuum some more. And vacuum everything, from the carpet to the drape to upholstered furniture. Make sure your vacuum cleaner has a double layer bag or a HEPA filter to trap the mites so they don’t get sent right back into your home through the vacuum’s exhaust. If you tend to sneeze a lot when you dust or vacuum, try using a mask to protect your nose and mouth.
- Invest in an air purifier for your bedroom, which can help pull mites out of the air and trap them so they’re not just floating around, waiting to be inhaled.
- Out with the carpet, in with the hard floors. For those with severe dust mite allergies, it might be worth replacing your carpets with bare floors like hardwoods or tile, especially in your bedroom. This may seem like a big investment, but it’ll be worth it for your personal health in the long run. You might also want to consider replacing any curtains with blinds and keeping upholstered furniture in your bedroom to a minimum so those mites have fewer places to hang out.
If banishing these invisible creatures from your home seems futile — how will you know if they’re gone? They’re microscopic! — you’re wrong. You’ll be able to feel tangible results once you follow these guidelines on how to get rid of dust mites and establish a regimented cleaning routine. But once your itchy eyes and sneezes subside, whatever you do: Don’t get complacent! Continue to vacuum and dust a few times each week to keep the dust mites away. If they’ve got less to feed off of in your home, the more likely they’ll pack up and head for greener (ahem, dustier) pastures.