Learning how to kill dust mites is crucial if you have discovered that you have an allergic reaction to them.
These microscopic arachnids feed on household dust, the primary ingredient of which is human skin. Wherever dust accumulates there are bound to be dust mites. Carpet, couches, mattresses and bedding are prime habitats for dust mites.
For most people dust mites are absolutely harmless and you can go on living in blissful ignorance as to their existence.
However there is a significant proportion of the population that have a reaction. The reaction is not actually to the dust mite itself. The actual mite is harmless. However its excrement has an allergen in it that can cause an allergic reaction. The greater the number of dust mites, the greater the quantity of excrement and the more likely you are to find yourself having an allergic reaction.
The symptoms of a dust mite allergy are similar to that of the common cold and include things like:
In order to completely eradicate a pest population you need to wipe out their food source. Otherwise a small pocket will survive and be able to rebreed. With dust mites it is impossible to wipe them out at the source because they feed on dead human skin.
For this reason combating dust mites is a continual effort, it is not a war that can eventually be won. You have to learn how to kill dust mites in an ongoing manner. The best strategy is to use a combination of methods to prevent dust mites, kill them and neutralize the allergens.
Dust mites like a moist environment. The mattress is the perfect place for them because there is a regular supply of food and moisture, given that you shed skin and sweat while you sleep.
You should regularly air your mattress in order to reduce moisture build up. Leaving it outside in the sun for a few hours will force the mites to flee the mattress and seek shade elsewhere.
Wool is an effective moisture regulator and is therefore appropriate as an overlay to prevent moisture accumulating in the mattress.
It is easier to kill dust mites in pillows than it is in mattresses because pillows are small and portable. Dust mites cannot stand heat, so hot washing them and then running them through a hot dryer cycle will kill them.
The alternative is to freeze the pillows for 24 hours which also kills the dust mites.
Dust mites like moisture and they like dust. So the best method of prevention is to keep the moisture level in your house to a minimum. You can do this by running a dehumidifier on a regular basis.
Effective cleaning routines will keep the dust levels to a minimum. Hot wash your bedding on a regular basis, dust surfaces with a damp cloth and vacuum often with a HEPA filtered vacuum cleaner. If you are really keen you can even purchase an air purifier.
There some natural remedies out there which can help you keep your dust mite population under control. Eucalyptus or tea tree oil has been found to be an effective way to kill dust mites because it blocks their pores and stops them from breathing. Just add a little bit of the oil to your laundry.
Tannic acid is a powder that can be sprinkled on your bed. It doesn't kill the dust mites but it reduces the effect of the allergen. Likewise there are organic dust mite sprays on the market that do the same thing - neutralize the allergen without killing the mite.