Ways & How

how to control dust mites

how to control dust mites

If you or a family member has a recurring problem with a respiratory illness, it would serve you well to understand how to control dust mites. Indoor dust and airborne materials are common causes of asthma, allergies and other respiratory problems. One of the most common contributors to indoor dust is dust mites. Dust mites are too small for human eyes to detect, which is why we tend to ignore their existence unless their presence threatens our health. Their body parts and droppings have potent allergens that hang in the air and can enter our lungs, thereby causing serious health problems. They thrive well in high-humidity homes and feed on human skin, which is why a human dwelling is their favorite habitat. They prefer to live in mattresses, pillows, upholstered furniture, rugs, carpets, stuffed toys and other soft or fabric furnishings. What do we need to do on how to control dust mites?

  1. It goes without saying, keep your house clean. Maintain a regular housekeeping regimen. Wipe furniture, vacuum soft furniture and the floor, and eliminate waste.

    Don’t let laundry, clutter or dirty dishes pile up. Make an annual habit of getting rid of unused stuff. Throw away or donate magazines, books and stuff that you tend to stockpile.

  2. Regularly (as often as weekly) wash soft furnishings, pillows, stuffed toys and household fabrics such as curtains in hot water. Children’s things are very attractive to dust mites: toys, blankies, school bags, etc., are all natural magnets for dust mites. This is because children go everywhere, leaving behind sticky food trails for mites to cling to. Children are also the most vulnerable to the respiratory problems brought on by dust mites. Regular washing in hot water will lessen the proliferation of dust mites in children’s items.

  3. A room-size air cleaner in the bedroom and common living areas may be helpful if allergy and respiratory concerns are serious. It is capable of removing most airborne particles that cause health problems.

  4. Reduce moisture levels throughout your home. Since dust mites thrive in dust and moisture, a higher moisture level in the air will encourage them to breed and reproduce. A less humid environment will make your house less conducive to their existence. When you use water in your home, such as when you wash, bath, brush your teeth or mop the floor, you are elevating moisture content in the air. An open window in spring and summer, when the air is warm and humid, will also let in humidity. A dehumidifier will take the excess moisture out of the air and is the only effective way to reduce humidity in the home. With or without a dehumidifier, it is also necessary to remove or repair the source of standing water, drips, leaks, etc.

  5. When buying furniture or floor covering, avoid creating a dust mite shelter in your home. Find furniture and coverings that are easy to wipe or wash. If you must have a carpet, choose those that have short pile. Whenever possible, choose linoleum, tile or wood floor.

It is not possible to completely eliminate dust mites from our homes and surroundings. However, controlling dust, clutter and high moisture levels will go a long way towards keeping dust mite populations low. The truth is, a great number of us thrive just as well with an abundance of dust mites in our surroundings. But, when they start to affect our health, it’s time to take a hands-on approach on how to control dust mites.


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