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How do you get rid of dust mites? At one time in my life I had the same question. In fact, a few years ago I didn’t even know what dust mites were.
I’ve learned a lot since I was diagnosed with severe dust mite allergy. In this article I intend to share my best ways to get rid of dust mites naturally.
Once I Was Diagnosed I Made It My Mission To Get Rid Of Dust Mites
At first I was devastated. I wasn’t familiar with dust mites but I certainly felt sick. I had felt ill for many years. I thought allergies came from things outside like grasses, trees, weeds, and pets like dogs.
I hadn’t realized it before I was tested, but it made sense. I woke up every morning feeling tired with itchy eyes, nose, mouth, and ears.
I often felt itchy after falling asleep on the couch and sitting on the carpet. When fans were in the house my eyes would start watering profusely. Strangely, I felt better when I was outside.
Some of my allergy symptoms included:
- Extreme fatigue (I’d sleep 10 hours and wake up exhausted)
- Rashes on face and skin
- Rhinitis (stuffy and itchy nose)
- Conjunctivitis (red itchy eyes0
- Watering eyes
- Dry skin
- Itchy ears and mouth
My most bothersome allergy symptoms are fatigue and rhinitis. I grew up always being tired so I assumed it was natural.
I tried not to compare myself to others because I was my own person, but I always wondered “should I feel this tired”. I had a lethargic personality but I preferred to use the term “laid back”.
My nose was always stuffed up to the point where I was a mouth breather. Yep, a mouth breather. I’d wake up in the mornings with chapped lips because breathing at night dried out my mouth.
Once I started improving my allergy symptoms, I stopped having a stuffed up nose. I started sleeping better and I had way more energy – no more afternoon nap!
How To Get Rid Of Dust Mites Naturally
|Number||Method||Natural (no chemical)||Cost|
|#1||Mattress and Pillow Cover||Yes||$$|
|#3||HVAC Allergy Filter||Yes||$$|
|#4||HEPA Air Purifier||Yes||$$$|
How To Get Rid Of Dust Mites Naturally
Well, there’s good news and bad news. The good news is that using “natural” methods to get rid of dust mites are the most effective and practical strategy.
The natural methods are numerous while non-natural methods are fairly limited. Natural methods for dust mite protection include:
- Mattress and pillow covers
- HEPA vacuums
- HVAC allergy filters
- HEPA air purifiers
- Remove carpets and dust collectors
- Keeping pets outside
- Organic sprays
- Keep an eye on humidity
- Easy-to-use Swiffer
Employing natural methods is the best way to reduce dust mite populations and minimize the use of costly medication like nasal sprays and anti-histamines.
Mattress and pillow covers will even protect your bed by keeping it looking new while HVAC allergy filters can actually improve your home indoor air quality.
If you take a few simple steps to improve your household environment you can begin to reap health benefits quickly – it worked for me and I don’t suggest these things unless they worked for me.
Now the bad news. Getting rid of dust mites is almost impossible since they are microscopic, reproduce quickly, and feed on our body waste.
Although they can’t bite us, they enjoying living close-by to eat dead skin and benefit from our body heat and sweat.
Beds are the most common spot for dust mites. It’s gross to think about but dust mites are meant to clean up after us, not to harm us.
For some reason, our bodies react to these microscopic creatures when they pose no threat to us. We’re supposed to live in harmony with dust mites.
Below are a few tips that should help reduce dust mite presence in your home. If you’re allergic, these tips can also minimize dust mite allergy symptoms!
How To Get Rid Of Dust Mites Naturally (9 Easy Ways)
No. 1 Improve Bed Hygiene
For allergy sufferers, this is extremely important! Wash your bedding regularly and take steps to minimize skin contact with dust mites.
A barrier between your skin and dust mites can help reduce allergic skin rashes and asthma.
Ideally, wash your bedding with hot water and a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil. The heat and essence oil will kill the dust mites. If you use essential oil you don’t even need a hot wash.
Without a doubt, you’ll want to purchase a dust mite mattress cover. The cover will keep dust mites from colonizing the mattress, and protect you from the dust mites inside. As another benefit, the cover will help the mattress stay looking like new!
There are covers that protect from moisture (bed wetters) and high-quality dust mite covers made of 100% cotton – so tightly weaved that dust mites and bed bugs can’t penetrate it (pictured at right).
Dust mite pillow covers are another easy option to protect yourself, especially since the weight of older pillows can be made up of 10-15% dust mites and their feces (Yuck!).
If your dust mite allergy symptoms are problematic, consider a dust mite mattress cover and/or a mite-proof comforter.
No. 2 Maintain cleanliness with HEPA filters
We know this is obvious, but our paramount recommendation is to clean regularly. Our bodies shed skin 24 hours a day amounting to 8.8 lbs of skin per year. For a family of 4, this equates to the constant production of dust mite food!
We know you’re busy with work and school, but make cleaning a priority. Or hire someone to do it if you don’t have time.
This means dusting, sweeping, vacuuming on a weekly basis to avoid the build-up of dust. Even though it may sound gross, most of the dust on our floors is actually our dead skin (and hair).
If you reduce their “food”, you’ll also reduce dust mites! Try to vacuum with a HEPA vacuum at least once a week because ordinary vacuums just blow dust mites and pollen around.
The best HEPA vacuums use a special filter (High-Efficiency Particulate Arrestance).
A standard filter won’t capture dust mites, only a HEPA filter will capture the things you can’t see with the naked eye. This includes cat and dog danger, pollen, mold, and sometimes bacteria. Allergic individuals need products with HEPA filters.
No. 3 Utilize central air/heat filters specific for allergy
Did you know that home air quality is a major problem in the United States? When air circulates, dust mites (also known as bed mites) and their feces are blown into the air and inhaled. Even from a fan, dust mites can stay suspended in air for hours.
When you’re dusting and vacuuming the house always turn the HVAC vent on. This is my personal trick and the HVAC will suck up all the allergens that are blown into the air.
When I vacuum the HVAC vent is always on, helping me clean the air while I clean the floor. Using an allergy filter for your HVAC will capture the smallest particulates from the air.
But if you just use the basic filter from the home improvement store, it won’t help much for allergies.
This recommendation is often overlooked and extremely important in winter and summer when you’re using the heater and air conditioning! You can tell the quality of the HVAC filter by the color after use.
If you have a high-quality filter and are using the HVAC regularly, you’ll notice a color difference after only 1 month (yep 1 month). Many households neglect to:
- Use high-quality allergy filters
- Change them regularly (3-6 months depending on ac/heating use). For people with allergies change the filters more regularly – I change every 2 months.
Cheap filters do little to catch dust mites. Paying a few dollars more for quality filters will ensure your family is not breathing dust mites, as well as other aeroallergens.
Write the date on the filter when you install it, otherwise, you might forget how long you’ve been using it!
No. 4 Use Air Purifiers (HEPA)
Air purifiers have a mixed reputation. I remember my family bought one years ago – I can confirm that it did nothing.
If you buy an air purifier without a HEPA filter, then expect your allergies to remain the same. At that time I didn’t know the difference between filters and I didn’t even know what dust mites were.
In the past few years, especially with all the air pollution in major cities, air purifiers have become important for sensitive households.
In addition to allergens like pet dander, pollen, and dust mites, we keep chemicals in our homes and they can also cause problems.
There are a number of awesome air purifier options available. Dyson, Rabbit, Honeywell, and Alen are top rated air purifiers. They all use a replaceable HEPA filter and a few also use a carbon-based filter that captures chemicals and odors too.
These air purifiers can be purchased for the whole home (large) or for single rooms to keep the air clean while you sleep. For large homes, a few HEPA air purifiers placed throughout the house can run 24 hours, 7 days a week and filter all the air in the home multiple times a day.
No. 5 Reduce carpeting and rugs
If you’re seriously concerned about dust mites, getting rid of carpeting is a big step to reduce their presence. Dust mites love carpets, especially if you don’t vacuum often and have pets.
The carpet is a cozy, warm place to live and eat because carpet effectively traps dirt and dust.
Yes, the carpet will catch and hold onto dust and dirt. You might think you’re cleaning by vacuuming or using a carpet shampooer but it won’t be thorough.
When I was diagnosed with dust mites my family ripped out our carpets of 12 years. We vacuumed regularly but when we removed the carpets, what we found underneath was disgusting.
So much dirt and dust.
If you can’t change your flooring, vacuum frequently and use a carpet shampooer once every 2 months. The combination of vacuums and shampooer will wash and clean carpet the best way possible.
If you have rugs, routinely wash them and/or take them outside and beat with a stick – just beat it.
No. 6 Limit animal presence indoors
Lastly, a good step to reducing indoor allergies is to reduce animal presence indoors.
It might be hard to part with your furry creatures, but their skin and hair provide a delicious meal for dust mites. Indoor pets might contribute more food for dust mites than you!
Although your pet might not like the idea of spending more time outside, it might be the best option for your family’s health! If your pet can’t be moved outside, be sure to clean its sleeping area often and wash or replace their beds every couple months.
No. 7 Use a Dust Mite Spray
Don’t worry we’re recommending a natural spray. Actually, it’s a DIY homemade spray that will kill dust mites on contact and freshen up your home.
We’ve tried a few different dust mite sprays and settled on a spray that uses essential oil, water, and a bit of vodka.
Why vodka! Well, vodka helps disperse the essential oil and helps preserve it so it lasts longer in your spray bottle. The alcohol is also a natural disinfectant that won’t breed bacteria.
We also tried another essential oil recipe by substituting baking soda instead of alcohol, the baking soda clogged up our spray nozzle so we don’t recommend it. Natural sprays are just another option how to get rid of dust mites.
No. 8 Keep An Eye On Humidity
Humidity plays a major role in dust mite population. Without at least some humidity, dust mites would wither up and die.
Scientists have found that dust mite populations at high and dry elevations (Denver, Albuquerque) hardly exist.
The reason for this is dust mites absorb their moisture needs from the air – they don’t “drink” water, rather they absorb it. In humid parts of the U.S., like the Mid-West, East, and South, dust mite populations tend to skyrocket in the summer.
Dehumidifiers can be a huge resource to homeowners to lower indoor humidity and discourage dust mite population booms. If you have a basement, humidity can also increase the chance of mold growing (another harmful allergen).
If you have dust mite allergies don’t let your bed, couch, carpet become moist.
When I lived in the Southern U.S. my allergies became much worse in June and July. At the time I didn’t have a dehumidifier and I didn’t know what my allergies were.
I was miserable and knowing what I know now it was due to dust mites!
In summer seasons, some dehumidifiers can remove liters of water from the air in a single day. It’s hard to imagine but dehumidifiers work great and can help make us more comfortable in the summer.
No. 9 Easy-To-Use Swiffer
If you already have hard flooring (linoleum, wood, or tile) you’re at a huge advantage for getting rid of dust mites. Dust mites hate hard flooring because it’s not usually warm, there is less food and humidity, and lacks hiding places.
In my home I don’t spend much time vacuuming because there is less to clean up, however, I use our “Swiffer” multiple times throughout the week. If you’re not familiar with Swiffer, it’s like a duster for the floor.
As you go over the hard floor, it catches and holds onto the dust (check Swiffer price).
This is what makes it much better than sweeping. Sweeping actually stirs up dust mites and other allergens. Sweeping your floors can cause allergens to become airborne and because they are so lightweight, they can stay in the air for hours (literally hours).
Using the Swiffer keeps dust on the ground and attached to its cloth.
Knowing how to get rid of dust mites naturally isn’t a difficult thing to do if you follow some simple steps to clean your home regularly, protect your bed, and improve the indoor air quality.
These steps could help you reduce dependency on medicines as well and help you sleep better at night.
I can vouch that using these steps helped me improve my symptoms. I always use a mattress and pillow allergy cover. I even travel with a dust mite pillow cover.
I also use high-quality HVAC filters and a nice air purifier for my bedroom.
If these steps aren’t enough, consider making an appointment with an allergist/immunologist to test for allergies and get allergy shots. Allergy shots are the best way to effectively cure allergies and are a final step for people suffering from allergies.
I had good success with allergy shots and I recommend them to anyone suffering from their symptoms. I urge you to not accept feeling poorly – make lifestyle changes and visit an allergist.
Confident in how you can get rid of dust mites naturally? We hope this article helped! If you want more reviews and dust mite allergy products, visit us as Dust Mite Solutions!