|Written by Kristie Raburn|
Dust and dust mites are everywhere, regardless of how meticulous a housekeeper you are. Dust mites feed on skin flakes shed by humans. They do not bite people but getting rid of dust mites will also help you get rid of chiggers and bedbugs, which do bite people. These tiny bugs hide under furniture, on shelves, in rugs, mattresses, pillows, blinds, and curtains. Any soft surface, such as a mattress, pillows, and couch cushions are a breeding ground for these parasites. 80% of allergy and asthma patients test positive for dust mite allergies.
Things You'll Need: Dusting Supplies, Plastic Encasements, Hot Water, Laundry Soap and Vacuum Cleaner
Thorough, frequent cleanings are necessary to remove traces of dust mites and their eggs. As they feed on flakes of human skin, and most dust is a combination of human skin, dusting is very important. Dust with a damp cloth or one sprayed with furniture polish to help capture the dust. Using a dry cloth or feather duster is a waste of time as it just moves the dust into the air where it will settle on the ground or furniture.
Use a vacuum cleaner with HEPA filters to clean all carpets, rugs and floor surfaces. For a through cleaning, donā€™t forget to vacuum your couch, soft chairs and mattress and box spring.
Wash your linens (sheets, pillow cases and mattress pads) in hot water and dry in a hot dryer. Linens should be washed in hot water at least one a week until the dust mite infestation is gone. Regular washing will continue to keep the dust mites away.
Purchase hypo allergenic covers and encase the pillows, mattresses and box spring, which will reduce repeat exposure. It is also recommended to vacuum your mattress and box spring before encasing them in covers.
Clean indoor air with a portable high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter to help reduce these airborne allergens. Placing the air cleaner in your bedroom or the bedroom of the person most affected by the dust mites will help relieve symptoms, which can include runny nose, watering eyes, puffy eyes and nasal congestion. If your symptoms are year around and not seasonal, you will benefit from an air filter system in your room.
As dust mites thrive in moist humid areas, adjust the indoor humidity using a de-humidifier if the sleeping area is damp, such as along the coast or in a basement. Many dehumidifiers also filter the air of other particles, so make sure you have a good filter and change it often.
Not all covers are made of noisy plastic; check Target and Wal-mart for hypo allergenic bedding and bedding covers. Read the care instructions on the covers. Remember, you will need to wash the covers periodically to remove your skin cells from the cover; otherwise you risk the dust mites moving into your covers all over again.