Dust mites are creepy, there’s no doubt about it. These microscopic creatures are white and spider-like, and they commonly live in people’s homes. They feed off dead skin cells, usually in usually bedding, carpeting, furniture, and air ducts. The worst bit is that even though they’re invisible to the naked eye, they can wreak havoc on your health.
Before we go any further, it’s important to know what are the signs of dust mites. Aside from being generally icky, dust mites can cause allergic reactions. Commonly, they can cause skin rashes, but most often the symptoms include sneezing, coughing, runny noses, watery eyes, and itchy throats. In severe cases, they can even trigger asthma attacks. So are they harmful to humans? The answer is both yes and no, depending on the severity of your reaction.
Either way, if you or your family members are having these symptoms without a known cause (or you’re a little grossed out reading this), it’s time to remove the dust mites from your home.
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How Do You Kill Dust Mites?
The best way to get rid of dust mites is to clean your home, thoroughly. We’ll run you through a step-by-step guide to making sure you target all the problem areas below. First, however, it makes sense to stop them circulating through your home. Scheduling a professional clean of all your air ducts, and investing in a new air filtration system, will make an immediate difference.
Cleaning your ducts isn’t just about removing contaminants so you and your family can breathe easier, it actually helps your furnace heat your home more efficiently by improving airflow. Your HVAC technicians will be able to remove the contaminants build up in the duct system over time, including the mounds of clogged-up dust that and create an ideal breeding ground for dust mites.
Your HVAC technicians will start by inspecting your duct system to determine how much cleaning is required. They will open up your vent covers and typically use either manual or motorized brushes to dislodge the dust and debris lurking inside and a powerful vacuum to remove it safely. This makes sure the vast majority of dust mites are taken away so they stop causing allergic reactions.
Next, it’s time to get a new air filter. Modern air filters, such as the Lennox PureAir Air Purifier, can remove microscopic particles like dust, dust mites, mold, fungi, pollen, plant fibers, fiberglass, chemical vapors, pet dander, and cigarette smoke. This particular device delivers hospital grade, surgery-level filtration, and uses exclusive UVA light technology to trap contaminants.
Where Can Dust Mites Be Found?
As we mentioned at the start, dust mites usually lurk in areas rich in dead skin cells. This includes bedding, carpeting, furniture, curtains, soft toys, pet areas, and so on. Once you’ve got your HVAC system sorted, it’s time to get out your cleaning supplies and get to work.
Here is our step-by-step guide to getting rid of dust mites:
- Deep clean and vacuum all carpets and rugs in your home. If dust mites are causing serious reactions for you or your family members, you may even wish to consider removing the carpeting entirely, as this will make it much easier to keep the dust mites at bay.
- Dust everything in your home. This means furniture crevices, shelves, lamps, blinds, photo frames, shoe racks, inside your closets, and anywhere else dust accumulates over time.
- Wash all bedding using hot water. This doesn’t just mean sheets, but blankets, duvets, mattress protectors, decorative cushion covers, and anything else you have nearby.
- Replace all your pillows. Ideally, this should happen every 12 months.
- Vacuum all of your furniture, especially soft items like sofas.
- Wash all of your children’s soft animals and plush toys.
- Wash all of your pet’s bedding.
- Get a smart thermostat that will allow you to keep the humidity in your home below 50%. This will reduce the chance that dust mites will find dark corners to thrive.
- Declutter your home as much as possible. Getting rid of trash and reducing the number of items you keep inside will reduce opportunities for dust to collect and dust mites to breed.
- Remember, this isn’t a once-off. Running through this list regularly will ensure you stay on top of any potential dust mite situations and prevent them from getting out of control!
Bring in the Professionals
If you’ve overhauled your HVAC system, worked your way through our step-by-step guide, and you’re still having symptoms, it’s time to ask for some professional help.
Depending on the situation, it may be worth getting an opinion from professional cleaners about different methods and products you could try. You could also speak to a pest extermination company, just in case the issues are being caused by other pests instead of just dust mites.
Of course, if you or your family members are still experiencing severe symptoms, you should contact your healthcare professional. This will ensure you are not at risk of anaphylaxis.
Dust mites are gross, and they can cause annoying symptoms, but they’re not normally harmful to humans. In most cases, we find that duct maintenance, air filtration, and a deep clean of your house will quickly get the situation under control. Talk to your HVAC experts if you have any questions.
Ready to do battle with dust mites? Schedule an appointment today.