Dust mites are pests that cause severe allergies. They are so small that you can’t see them without appropriate devices. Nevertheless, they are often everywhere – bed, carpets, toys. Below we will tell you how to get rid of dust mites using natural remedies, such as baking soda, vinegar, or alcohol.
Who are dust mites?
The dust mite is a parasite 0.1-0.5 mm in size. Unlike some bugs or cockroaches, these parasites cannot hurt and bite your skin. Ideal conditions for their fast reproduction are high-temperature 71-77F (22-25 C) and high humidity. The life of one individual lasts approximately 65-80 days. During this time, females manage to lay hundreds of eggs.
How do you know you have dust mites?
Their tiny size allows them to live peacefully in any home. And our beds are the best conditions for dust mites. Heat, dust, moisture, and the presence of dead skin create a perfect environment for them not only for life but also for active reproduction.
Most often, dust mites settle in natural materials – feather and down pillows, mattresses, woolen blankets. But they also do not refuse synthetics, especially if a person has been using the same bed linen for a long time without a weekly washing. Therefore, there are various methods of fighting bed mites, including processing bedding and other surfaces.
Where do dust mites hide?
Dust mites can get to your home through your clothing after contact with an infected surface. It can be an office chair, hotel bed, or public transport. Their territory is very vast, and no one can be sure that there are no pests in his house.
Bed mites feed not only on the waste of human life but also on domestic animals. So caring for your pets is not just maintaining their beauty, but a necessity. Hence, you should bath and comb them regularly, and wet cleaning should become a daily ritual in your house.
Are they dangerous? Why should you get rid of them?
Dust mites live in all parts of the world where human lives. They find food in the form of dandruff and skin flakes in our beds. So they get the required nutrition, and sweat gives the humidity level needed for reproduction. Such conditions help them survive in all climate zones. These pests do not tolerate only severe frosts or scorching sunlight.
Over a week, about 1/30oz (1g) of dead skin particles get into the bed from a human body. This diet is enough for thousands of parasites, and all of them defecate after eating. And specific protein compounds in their excrements become allergens for humans.
As a result, the accumulation of this substance causes different diseases. Those rashes and redness on the skin are not a bite. It is an irritation, a reaction to an allergen released by arthropods during their life.
In advanced cases, especially if you are prone to allergies, you can face dangerous symptoms – up to anaphylaxis. Among the main signs of an allergic reaction are:
- Asthmatic attacks.
Those who are genetically predisposed to such immune reactions should be especially careful. But a large number of fecal masses of bed mites in the dust can cause such symptoms even in a healthy person who did not suffer from allergies before.
You can inhale dust along with the excrements, which are 10-40 microns in size. Once they get on the mucous membrane, they begin to dissolve and provoke the corresponding severe allergic reaction.
The maximum number of pests that will not cause any problem with health is 100 dust mites per 1/30oz (1g) of dust. But the reality is that this volume often contains up to 50 thousand parasites.
Unfortunately, there are lots of pests to be aware of in our homes. Even ants can be an issue! Read Where Do Ants Hide? to understand more about their presence in our homes.
How can you find out that there are dust mites in my house?
The most reliable method is laboratory tests. But the easiest way to determine their presence is checking for symptoms you did not see before:
- Skin rashes without bite marks;
- Possible fever for no apparent reason;
- Sneezing without catarrhal symptoms;
- Problems with the respiratory system, wheezing;
- Inflammation of the mucous membranes of the eyes, nose;
The immune system of children is very sensitive, so they are the first victims.
How do you get rid of dust mites naturally?
It is almost impossible to get rid of dust mites in the house entirely. But it is quite probable to reduce their number by removing dust regularly. To do this, you do not need concentrated chemicals. It is enough to follow simple steps in cleaning and maintaining the hygiene of the house, especially the bedroom.
We have lots of tips on how to naturally get rid of household pests. Here are some on how to get rid of ants: What Ants Don’t Like: Natural Ways to Repel Ants
Step one. Get rid of dust collectors
First of all, decrease the number of objects and places where dust can collect. Store jewelry in boxes, clothes – in wardrobes or closed drawers, close the shelves of bookcases. Using a damp cloth, clean all surfaces and things that collect dust.
Step two. Use specific sprays
Vacuum cleaning is not enough to remove all dust mites and their waste. A large number of animals live deep inside sofas, chairs, mattresses, pillows, and carpets.
Every three to six months treat carpets, mattresses, pillows, blankets, and upholstered furniture with acaricides that are safe for your health and the environment. You can also use homemade sprays; we will tell you how to make it below.
Step three. Wash at high temperature
Water temperature +190F (90C) kills dust mites. That is why you should buy curtains, sheets, pillowcases, and duvet covers from fabrics allowed to wash at high temperatures (linen and half linen). Wash bedding at least once a week.
Step four. Check bedding and plush toys
Dust mites gather in places with many skin flakes – in mattresses and pillows. To reduce the number of pests:
- regularly wash pillows at +140F (60C) or change to new ones every six months;
- replace down bed accessories with those with synthetic filler;
- cover mattresses, blankets, and pillows with microporous membrane protective covers.
Keep soft toys away from the bed, if possible. About once a month, put the toys in the freezer for six hours to kill the house dust mites. Then wash them to remove any remaining dust particles and allergens.
Step five. Get rid of carpets
Replace carpets with parquet, tile, cork or laminate. Make sure there are no cracks in the new flooring where dust can gather. If you can not do without carpets, choose products made of cotton. You can wash them at high temperatures. Or buy synthetic rugs with a very short pile.
Step six. Use a specialized vacuum cleaner
Ordinary vacuum cleaners cannot prevent mites and their waste products from getting to the air. Buy a powerful anti-pest vacuum cleaner:
- designed for dry and wet cleaning;
- equipped with a multi-stage filter system, including water, S- and HEPA filters.
Clean your floors, carpets, curtains, soft toys, and furniture systematically.
Step seven. Control humidity
Household dust mites prefer a warm, humid microclimate. High humidity, besides, leads to the growth of mold in the house, which is also a strong allergy factor. Avoid high humidity in the house by:
- Opening windows regularly;
- Using hoods during and after cooking, washing, and bathing;
- Keeping the bathroom and kitchen doors open.
If you use a humidifier or an air purifier, be sure to keep it clean. Control the moisture level in the room. Try not to dry things indoors, especially in bedrooms and living rooms – it increases humidity. If you cannot use another place to do it, open the window and close the door.
Step eight. Houseplants
Indoor plants will help to fight the dust mites. They saturate the air with oxygen, clean it from dust and other harmful particles. If you spray the plants with water, then the effect of air purification will increase.
The following plants are the most effective:
- Ficus Benjamina (Weeping fig). Effectively fights dust and toxic substances.
- Cypress. Cleans the air from dust and negative ions, replacing them with positive ones.
- Begonia. It moisturizes the air well and absorbs dust with leaves.
- Laurel noble tree. It will not only clean the air of dust but also destroy microbes and bacteria.
Indoor plants can replace the humidifier and air purifier. One flower per small room is enough. For efficient air purification, you should place plants in various places.
What are natural remedies to get rid of those pests?
The above methods are quite efficient and prevent the appearance of dust mites. But what if it is not enough? Then our home remedies come in handy.
Vinegar makes your food more delicious, but it also helps in housekeeping. You can kill the dust mites on your mattress with it. Use our homemade dust mite spray recipe. You will need:
- two tablespoons of vinegar;
- baking soda;
- soft brush;
- vacuum cleaner.
How to use it
- Pour vinegar into a spray bottle. Spray it on the surface of the mattress and gently rub it with a brush. The main ingredient that makes vinegar a disinfectant is acetic acid. It neutralizes allergens produced by the dust mite and also helps to kill Salmonella and E. coli bacteria.
- Once the mattress is dry, proceed to the next step. Spread baking soda over the whole surface and wait 30 minutes.
- After that, remove it with a vacuum cleaner. The powder not only eliminates unpleasant odors but also, most importantly, destroys dust mites.
- That’s it! Your mattress has been sanitized and now is not dangerous.
2) Baking soda
This method differs a little from the above one but is not less useful. Baking soda also has an impressive amount of uses, and one of them is fighting dust mites.
Baking soda, due to its antibacterial and astringent properties, is a powerful natural means of cleansing the mattress from dust mites and unpleasant odors. It also serves as a good detergent- it removes all kinds of contaminants. To enhance its effect, you should add hydrogen peroxide, sold in any pharmacy. To make a mixture, you will need:
- about 4 tbsps of baking soda;
- one cup of 3% hydrogen peroxide;
- few drops of liquid soap.
Processing the surface
- Mix the soda thoroughly with hydrogen peroxide, add a couple of drops of liquid soap, and mix again until you get a smooth consistency.
- Pour the mixture into a spray bottle, shake well, and spray the surface.
- Allow the mixture to dry on the mattress, and then clean the treated areas with a vacuum cleaner or brush.
3) Essential oils for a pleasant smell and disinfection
You can get rid of dust mites by mixing baking soda with some essential oil. It can be lavender, rosemary, cinnamon, eucalyptus, thyme, or other. They are all sold in the pharmacy. In addition to the gentle fragrance, essential oils disinfect the treated surface and help in the fight against dust mites. To prepare the mixture, you will need:
- one cup of baking soda;
- eight drops of any essential oil.
Making a solution
- Pour the baking soda in a tightly closed container, drip the essential oil, and mix well.
- Take a sieve and pour the resulting mixture through it on the mattress or bedding surface.
- After an hour, remove the remaining mixture with a vacuum cleaner.
4) Disinfection of mattress covers and bedding
Most of us change bed linens regularly. Some people do it weekly; others do it once every two weeks. But we often forget about mattress covers, although they also need to be washed as they become dirty, especially in summer. Regular care helps get rid of dust mites or at least significantly reduce their number. You will need:
- 4 cups of boiling water;
- freshly squeezed lemon juice (from one lemon);
- half a cup of white vinegar.
What to do
- Boil four cups of water, pour white vinegar with lemon juice into it and stir the mixture.
- Soak mattress covers and bedding in a mixture.
- Rinse them in an hour (you can do it in the washing machine).
To make the selected places unattractive for new dust mites, you can do a wet cleaning using alcohol. To do this, you will need:
- 4 cups of water;
- 1/4 cup of liquid soap;
- 1/4 cup of ethanol (or Ammonium hydroxide).
What should you do
First, you need to mix the soap with water, and then add alcohol. Wipe all the surfaces that gather dust with this solution. You can rub it into mattress and pillows. You can also add this mixture when washing bedding or clothes.
It is necessary to understand that processing bedding is not enough. These parasites can get to clothes, furniture, soft toys, and remain there until the environment becomes favorable. Therefore, it is crucial to treat all surfaces in the infected room thoroughly. Do not forget about hard-to-reach places like cabinet tops, refrigerator coils, and so on.
Even though dust mites are so small that we cannot see them, it doesn’t mean that they are harmless. They cause many allergic reactions, especially in kids. That is why we should not allow them to occupy our homes.
To prevent their appearance and get rid of them, you should use our cleaning steps. Clean your house thoroughly and regularly. It will decrease the amount of dust, and they will not survive.
Also, our list of natural remedies will help you make your home cleaner and safer, and win the fight with those tiny pests.
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