You’ve heard of dust bunnies, which spoiler alert, aren’t actually cute cotton-tailed creatures hopping through your home. But did you know dust mites, which live in nearly all homes, are actual creepy-crawly bugs? It’s true; dust mites are microscopic creatures that feed on dead skin cells and cause watery eyes, stuffy noses, coughing and a whole host of other allergy issues. They are the most common household allergen, and your bedroom is the most hospitable place in the house for them to live.
Creeped out? We are too, which is why we are offering tips for reducing the amount of dust mites in your home.
Tidy Up to Eliminate Dust Mites
Dust with a damp cloth, starting at the highest surface in the room and working your way down. Then, to capture all the dust that made its way to the floor, invest in a quality vacuum that uses a HEPA filter and a sealed vacuum system. Miele vacuums are known for setting the standard worldwide. According to tests, Miele’s proprietary cleaning system captures more than 99.99 percent of harmful pollutants, which is an average of 21 times more than other popular HEPA filtered bag-free machines. You can count on a Miele vacuum to capture dust mites rather than releasing them back into the air.
Throw your bedsheets, pillow cases, curtains and drapes in the washer weekly on a hot setting (between 130 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit) to kill dust mites. Use a similar heat setting in the dryer to eliminate any lingering dust mites after the wash cycle.
Consider keeping Fido and Fluffy out of the bedroom if you have severe dust mite allergies.
Dust Mite Deterrents
Fabric fibers are a dust mite’s best friend. Opt for hard-surface blinds rather than curtains and draperies. If you prefer the soft look of curtains, wash them regularly in hot water.
Consider using dust-proof mattress and pillow covers, which you can find at any mattress or home store. And in news that will make all teenagers (and let’s face it, adults) happy, don’t make your bed in the morning! Instead, leave the blankets and sheets open to air out the bed and reduce the humidity left behind after a good night’s rest.
Freeze Out Dust Mites
The freezer method works well for throw pillows and stuffed animals.
Just place the items in a plastic bag and stick them in the freezer overnight. The cold environment kills the dust mites.
Air Control to Get Rid of Dust Mites
Dust mites’ ideal living quarters are 75 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit and fairly humid. Keep your thermostat set no higher than 70 to show the dust mites they aren’t welcome. As a bonus, you will save on heating bills! Use a dehumidifier to keep your home humidity levels at 50 percent or lower, especially in the bedroom.
According to the EPA, Americans spend 90 percent of their time indoors, which is why reducing allergens is crucial. Breathe easier with the tips above.