11 Home Remedies to Get Rid of Dust Mites

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home remedies for dust mites

Dust mites – you won’t be able to see them but they are definitely present all over your house. These mites can live in your carpet, curtains, and bedding. They may even live inside your child’s favorite stuffed toys as well.  Dust mites are actually tiny insects, even smaller than the bed bugs, and can only be seen under a microscope. They primarily feed on animal hair and dead skin and are usually harmless. However, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, dust mites along with their droppings are considered as one of the most common causes of asthma and allergies. [1]  So, before these pesky little insects start causing trouble, try out our home remedies to get rid of dust mites.

Symptoms of Dust Mite Allergy

Almost 20 million people living in the United States are struggling with allergies related to dust mites. Research has indicated that almost 81 percent of the asthmatics are triggered by dust mites and their droppings. [2]

The symptoms of dust mite allergy can vary in severity. These symptoms, similar to that of asthma, may include coughing, sneezing, and stuffiness in the nose. Moreover, these insects can cause itching of the nose, eyes, skin, and throat and may even lead to watery or red eyes. Chest congestion, breathing difficulties, and wheezing can also occur. [3]

Most of these symptoms occur due to the inflammation in nasal passages. Post nasal drip, sleeplessness, and swelling of under-eye skin are some other typical signs of dust mite allergy.

How do you get Dust Mite Allergy?

Dust mites can excrete a protein known as DER p1 that triggers allergic reactions in humans. Allergy is a reaction of body’s immune system towards any foreign body.

It involves the release of antibodies to fight the allergens which may or may not be capable of harming your body. In case of dust mites, these antibodies can directly affect your nasal passages and the chest, leading to inflammation. The persistence of inflammation for a longer period of time can lead to symptoms similar to that of asthma.

In order to treat a dust mite infestation, it is necessary to remove their droppings and prevent them from breeding.  Our home remedies to get rid of dust mites at home will do just that

 

home remedies for dust mitesHome Remedies to Get Rid of Dust Mites

  1. Control Humidity and Temperature

Making your home dry and comfortable is one of the simplest home remedies to get rid of dust mites.

Because dust mites do not consume water, they absorb it directly from the air. At least 50 percent of humidity in the atmosphere is required by these insects to normally survive. As the humidity levels fall below this criterion, the dust mites start perishing. [4]

So, don’t forget to buy a dehumidifier to control the level of humidity indoors, especially in your bedroom. While using a dehumidifier to get rid of dust mites, it is important not to overdo it as lower levels of humidity can adversely affect some people.

Let in as much fresh air as you can on dry days. According to the American Lung Association, you should keep your windows open for at least an hour on a daily basis to reduce the levels of humidity. [5]

Similarly, maintaining a certain temperature in the house can also help in killing dust mites. In most of the cases, a room temperature of 65 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit, especially in your bedroom where the dust mite population is the highest, can ideally kill these insects and encourage good sleep.

  1. Be a Clean Freak

Cleaning frequently is an essential step and must be prioritized above all other home remedies to get rid of dust mites. This is because a thorough cleaning and dusting of all the surfaces once or twice every week will definitely go a long way towards the elimination of dust mites.

Be sure to use a damp cloth for this purpose as it will prevent the distribution of mites through the air. The cleaning cloth has to be washed at a high heat or must be disposed of after using it.

  1. Wash Bedding at High Temperatures

As mentioned before, dust mites are unable to withstand high temperatures. Temperature greater than 130 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit can potentially kill these insects. Therefore, washing your beddings every week at these temperatures can be included among the home remedies to get rid of dust mites.

Other soft furnishings, for example, rugs, throws, and cushions need to be washed twice every month at these temperatures to ensure that they remain free of dust mites.

You can consider adding a few drops of eucalyptus oil in the water while cleaning the bedding. This will ensure the killing of up to 99 percent of dust mites, as per a research. [6]

  1. Try Freezing

A lot of fabric items- for example, stuffed toys and silk cushion covers- cannot be washed at high temperatures as they can be destroyed. If you suspect these items as a home to dust mites, consider freezing them.

Yes, freezing is among the most useful home remedies to get rid of dust mites. If a suspected item is small enough to fit in a freezer, seal them in a container or a bag and allow them to freeze for the whole day.

This will definitely kill the dust mites, however, additional effort will be required to get rid of all the allergens in these items. To get rid of the allergens, try vigorously shaking the items after freezing them. This will also remove the dead mites. Another great idea is to give them a low-temperature wash.

  1. Dash some Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth is a powder produced from the fossilized remains of diatoms- a type of small, aquatic animals. The skeletons of diatoms are cylindrical in shape with razor-sharp edges that are not capable of harming humans. However, these skeletons and prove fatal to small insects and parasites and can be regarded as the best dust mite killer. [7]

Diatomaceous earth is easily available in the market and can be sprinkled on rugs, dust carpets, bedding, mattresses, and pet beds. Remember to sprinkle only a light layer and let it settle first.

Let the powder stay for some hours, or all night if possible before vacuuming it. Diatomaceous earth is considered among the most powerful home remedies to get rid of dust mites and can be repeated according to your needs.

While choosing the perfect brand for Diatomaceous earth, make sure to get the food-grade variety as it is safe to use at home and around pets.

  1. Be a Minimalist

Clutter causes dust to collect and dust attracts dust mites!

Cleaning your house and every little item in it frequently can definitely decrease the dust mite populations. However, maintaining the hygiene of unnecessary ornaments, huge stacks of books, picture frames, piles of papers and other stuff can be hectic and time-consuming.

To reduce the hassle of cleaning, it is better to decrease the number of throws and ornamental cushions on beds and sofas. Swapping the fabric and padded headboards with wooden ones and blinds over curtains can eliminate the hideouts for dust mites as well as their droppings.

Houses with bare floors are said to have dust mites in about 90 percent lesser amount as compared to the carpeted homes. So, choose wooden floors and tiles over carpets. Use small rugs and plush which are easy to wash on a monthly basis. [8]

  1. Say No to Houseplants

Houseplants are a great addition to any house, however, they can build up a thick layer of dust in no time and provide a safe haven for dust mites. Therefore, it is important to reduce the number of houseplants as a part of home remedies to get rid of dust mites.

If you are a huge fan of greenery and cannot live without it, remember to wipe all the leaves of these plants using a damp cloth on a regular basis.

You can also reduce the number of allergens inside your house by choosing some specific types of plants. Some of the most useful indoor plants with air-purifying properties include Golden Pothos, Peace Lilies, Gerbera Daisies, Bamboo Palm, Philodendron, Areca Palm, and Dracaena.

As a bonus, these plants will also help you get a good night sleep.

  1. Use Essential Oils

There are different types of dust mite sprays present in markets but most of them are quite expensive. Moreover, these commercial sprays are loaded with chemicals that may deteriorate your health.

So, instead of relying on these dangerous chemical sprays, it is better to make one for yourself. Tea tree oil can be regarded as the best dust mite killer. Owing to its antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal properties, it can successfully kill dust mites along with all the other allergy-causing bacteria, fungi, and viruses.

How can you use tea tree oil for dust mites? The procedure is quite easy. Place two teaspoons of your chosen essential oil in two cups of distilled water and mix it. Now place this solution in a dark-colored spray bottle.

Eucalyptus oil can also be used for the same purpose. [9]

A homemade mite spray with essential oils is among the most convenient and effective home remedies to get rid of dust mites in the couch, carpets, and bedding.

Don’t forget to shake the bottle before using it

  1. Start Vacuuming

Vacuuming is one of the easiest and quick home remedies to get rid of dust mites. It can effectively reduce the surface dust and remove the allergens from the house. [10] However, while opting for this remedy, it is important to keep in mind certain tips.

Following are some of the tips to get rid of dust mites in the couch and other furniture of your house:

  • Always buy a vacuum cleaner with a built-in HEPA filter as it can lower the dust emitting from the cleaner itself.
  • Vacuum the house twice every week. Pay special attention to the areas where most of the dust is present such as under the bed or around doorways.
  • Cover your face with a mask while vacuuming to avoid getting in contact with the circulating dust. You can also ask someone who is not allergic to dust mites to clean the house for you.
  • Avoid using the vacuumed room for at least 2 hours after vacuuming.
  • Vacuum curtains, upholstery, sofas, rugs, and other soft furnishings as well.
  • For carpets and rugs, try wet vacuuming as it is more effective than dry cleaning to reduce mites and their feces.
  1. Spend on Special Bedding

Did you know that an average mattress can contain about 100,000 to 10 million bugs along with several million droppings? Considering this fact, the importance of investing in special bedding becomes clear.

If you particularly sensitive to dust mites, it will be crucial for you to gain some extra protection against them. Search for allergen-proof fabric covers which can encase your mattress, pillows, and box springs and prevent the dust mites from inhabiting it.

Allergen-free fabrics and bedding can be pricey but completely worth it. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine has indicated that covering the mattresses and pillows of children with mite-proof casings can decrease a lot of asthma complications. [11]

This builds on a previous study in which these casings have been recommended for asthmatics. [12]

It is also important to remember that replacing your average foam mattress with a spring mattress can effectively reduce the dust mite population in your house. [13]

  1. Be Cautious about Pets

Pets with feathers or fur can contribute to dander and dander can increase the food for dust mites. Cat dander residue can remain in carpets for as long as 20 weeks, and in mattresses for years, even after the pet has gone.

If you have a pet at home, you should be extra cautious as it might be attracting dust mites. [14] In addition to relying on the home remedies to get rid of dust mites described above, consider taking extra measures. This can include grooming the pets outdoors to reduce the dander circulation within the house.

The animal bedding must be washed every day at high heat levels. You can also get allergen-proof fabric covers for pet beds. To get rid of dust mites in the couch, do not allow your pets to sit in them.

To cut down the dust mites in bedrooms, keep the pets off your bed. If possible, remove carpets, curtains and other unnecessary soft furnishings from your house.

Do’s

  • Cover your pillows and beds with anti-mite covers
  • Use dehumidifiers in moderation
  • Wash bedding once a week using hot water
  • Use a vacuum with HEPA filter

Don’ts

  • Don’t let your pets sit on your beds
  • Don’t use toxic chemical sprays within the house, especially if you have children or pets
  • Don’t go for furniture that accumulates dust

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