The Dirt on Dust Mites
No matter how thoroughly you clean your home, dust clumps are bound to spring up at every nook and corner of your home the very next day. But there are a few easy ways to get rid of dust mites and its accompanying allergy symptoms.
Tips for Dust Allergy Sufferers
Dust mites are eight-legged microscopic bugs that live off dead human skin cells and pet dander in dust particles. They can be commonly found lurking in virtually every nook and cranny of your home, in dust clumps, in pillows and blankets, on top of the fridge, under the oven, and on small ornaments.
Although it’s not possible to rid your home entirely of this indoor allergen , there are few steps you can take to get rid of dust mites and its accompanying allergy symptoms.
Keep Dust Clumps at Bay
- Put allergen -barrier dust-mite covers on your beds, mattresses, box springs and especially the pillows. Opt to use anti-allergen covers for your mattresses and box springs, as well as anti-allergen pillowcases.
- Vacuum every week with a HEPA filter or double vacuum bag. Be sure to stay out of the newly-vacuumed area of your house for approximately 20 minutes so as to allow any of the house dust clumps that you previously failed to catch, to settle.2
- Wipe surfaces with a damp sponge (a dry cloth can stir up allergens) and mop the floors regularly. Wear a protective mask and gloves while cleaning to help minimise your exposure to dust mite allergens.
- Replace wall-to-wall carpets with a hard-surface floor, if possible.
- Keep the relative humidity in your home below 50%.
- A hygrometer is an inexpensive instrument used to measure the humidity of the air, and can be easily purchased from most hardware stores.
- When the humidity level rises above 50%, place a dehumidifier in a damp area of your home to keep the humidity level in check.
Filter Out Dust5
Put a HEPA filter with a MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) rating of 11 or 12 in your heating system, ventilators and air conditioning (HVAC) unit. You can find the ratings listed on the filter packaging.
Be sure to also change the filter, and have your HVAC unit inspected and serviced regularly.
If symtoms persist , consult your doctor. Individual responses may vary.
ASC Ref. No. B083N080621CS
- Allergy Dust Mites . ENT and Allergy Center of Missouri. University Physicians. University of Missouri Health Center.
- Dust Mites. National Institute of Environmental Health Services. Accessed December 26, 2017.
- CINTEZA, M., & DAIAN, C. (2014). House Dust Mite – the Paradox. Mædica, 9(4), 313–315. Accessed January 13, 2018.
- Dust Mite Allergy. Mayo Clinic. Accessed September 10, 2017.
- Should You Have the Air Ducts in Your Home Cleaned? United States Environmental Protection Agency. Accessed December 26, 2017.