It is impossible to completely eliminate dust mites from your home, but there are various things you can do to control them, especially in the bedroom, where they tend to be found in large numbers. Thorough housecleaning and the use of special pillow and mattress covers can make all the difference.
Wash bedding regularly
Dust mites tend to gather in bedding, where they feed on the dead skin cells that your body naturally sheds. Given the many hours you spend sleeping, your bed is like an all-you-can-eat buffet for these microscopic critters!
The best way to kill dust mites is to wash your bedding (sheets, blankets, pillowcases, and comforters) in hot water on a regular basis, ideally once a week. Opt for bedding that can withstand regular hot water washing.
Use dust mite covers
Use dust mite covers to protect your pillows and mattresses. They should completely cover the mattress or pillow and have a zip closure. Dust mite covers can be purchased at department stores and specialty shops.
You can use dust mite covers to protect blankets and comforters that are not washable in hot water
- Vacuum the bedroom floor regularly. Use a vacuum cleaner equipped with a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter that prevents dust from being released back into the air.
- Avoid placing rugs and carpets in the bedroom as they tend to retain dust, even when cleaned regularly.
- Maintain humidity levels in the bedroom between 40% and 45%, as dust mites prefer humid environments. An air conditioner or dehumidifier can be useful, especially in summer.
- If your child has allergies, get rid of stuffed animals, or limit your child to one, and wash it in hot water once a week. If the stuffed toy is not washable, put it in the freezer for a few hours to kill off the dust mites, then vacuum it to remove them.
By keeping your bedrooms (and other rooms) clean, you’ll reduce the number of dust mites in your home. This will help you keep your allergy symptoms in check. If you have questions about how to control dust mites or treat your allergies, ask your pharmacist.