Dust mites are a very common pest, in fact, roughly 84 percent of households in the US have detectable levels of dust mites in them–that’s a little over 4 out of 5! (Source: Allergy Insider)
So, they’re clearly common, but the real question is, “What’s the best thing we can do to get rid of dust mites?”
A lot of peoples’ first instinct is to hire an exterminator to get rid of dust mites, but that might not be your best choice. Exterminators often end up returning to the same place time and time again to deal with the same issue. That is because they don’t always address the root cause of an issue.
In the case of dust mites, the root cause of the problem is high humidity and too many dead human skin cells laying around your home for the dust mites to feed on.
So, that probably leads you to think, “What can I do to take care of the root causes of dust mites, then?”
Well, it’s actually pretty stinking easy to take care of! Read on and I’ll walk you through the top five things that you can do to get rid of the dust mites that have invaded your home and made the air hard to breathe.
The 5 Best Ways to Get Rid of Dust Mites (For Good)
While there are many, many things that you can do to get rid of dust mites, these five, simple, steps are some of the best ones that you can take. The best part about them is that they won’t require you to hire some expensive exterminator who might fumigate your home with toxic gasses too!
- Lower the Humidity in Your Home.
- Wash Your Bedding in Hot Water.
- Vacuum Your Carpets Regularly.
- Dust Your Home Regularly.
- Steam Clean Your Carpets, Fabric Furniture, and Rugs.
There are many other things that you can do beyond this, as I’ve alluded to, but these five are some of the best ones out there. With that said, you might be able to get along fine by skipping the fifth option if you are able to reduce your home’s humidity far enough, but I won’t dive into that just yet.
Read on to learn a bit more about each of the things that you can do to limit the number of dust mites in your home.
1. Lower the Humidity in Your Home
This might sound like something that can be hard to do, but it actually isn’t.
A lot of people can get by with just doing one simple thing: purchasing a dehumidifier.
Dehumidifiers are machines that pull the moisture out of the air. They do this several different ways, but that isn’t what this article is about, so I’ll just leave it there.
You might be wondering how humidity impacts dust mites, so let me explain things a bit.
Dust mites, like every living creature, need water to survive. However, unlike most animals, dust mites absorb the water they need from the air around them. They have to have higher humidity in the areas they live in order to do that, however, which is what a dehumidifier lets you take advantage of–you can take away the dust mites’ water source.
Studies have found that dust mites need to have at least 40 percent humidity in order to survive. Humidity above 60 percent allows them to thrive. As such, you should strive to get your home’s humidity under 40 percent in order to make your home less appealing for dust mites to take up residence.
A simple dehumidifier should be able to do that. If you’ve got a larger home, then you might need several, additionally, if you live in a humid region of the world then you might need several as well. (Some people will try to sell you a dehumidifier for every room, but I can say from experience that that is unnecessary.)
If you do need a dehumidifier, then I highly recommend this Seavon dehumidifier on Amazon, which I’ve been using for some time now. It’s one of the best ones that I’ve tested and used, and has become my go-to whenever friends and family ask about them.
And, if you’d like to dig into this a little deeper, check out this article: Best Machines to Kill Dust Mites – Air Purifiers, Dehumidifiers, UV Lights, and Ozone Generators.
2. Wash Your Bedding in Hot Water
Dust mites and hot water don’t mix. Dust mites and soap don’t mix. Put together hot water and soap and you’ve got yourself the ultimate anti-dust mite attack.
Dust mites are known to live in our beds, and it is there that they feed on our dead skin cells and let loose their feces, which is what causes allergy flare-ups. Because of this, the best way to get rid of them is to wash them out and kill them in your laundry machine.
When washing, the water ought to be at least 130 degrees Fahrenheit (54 degrees Celcius) as that will ensure the dust mites die. The use of soap will further work to kill the dust mites since soap kills insects, germs, and so much more.
3. Vacuum Your Carpets Regularly
Whether you have a dust mite problem or not, vacuuming is a staple of housecleaning and has been for decades. Why? Well, you can’t have a dirty carpet. It smells bad, looks dirty, and it’s home to pests like dust mites.
Dust mites love carpets and they’ll live there, breed there, lay eggs there, and all of that.
On top of that, your carpets are the largest air filters in your house. (They actually do filter the air a bit!) Because your carpets are basically just giant air filters, that means that they get filled up with all the dirt, grime, dust, and dead skin cells that is in the air.
And remember, dust mites love dead skin cells.
Because of this, carpets are a great place for dust mites to live.
But, if you vacuum regularly, you’re cutting down on how much food the dust mites have access to and you’re sucking them up too! So, if you’ve got a dust mite problem or a dust mite allergy, then that’s yet another reason to be sure to vacuum regularly.
4. Dust Your Home Regularly
In addition to vacuuming regularly, you will need to dust regularly as well.
These reasons are very similar to the ones for vacuuming with dust (namely dead skin cells) being what dust mites feed off of and how you need to remove that food source as best you can. Because the reasoning is so similar, I’ll skip the deep dive there.
In short, however, just know that dust is not your friend no matter where it collects, be it hard surfaces or fabric ones. So be sure to dust those cabinets, hard-to-reach spots, and everywhere else.
5. Steam Clean Your Carpets, Fabric Furniture, and Rugs
This can be the hardest and potentially most expensive option, and it is one that I’ve never personally done, but hear works well.
Carpet steamers use boiling hot water to kill stuff and clean your carpet, meaning that dust mites don’t stand a chance. There are professional services that do this, or you can do it yourself, but, again, this can be expensive and it can be time-consuming as well.
Honestly, I’m only including this one because it’s like the nuclear button in dealing with dust mites and, if the other four things didn’t work, then this is almost certain to. (But there are still other more extreme things that you can do).
Again, this is not a recommendation for you to steam your carpet right off the bat, not unless it is some kind of emergency. Why? Well, I’m serious when I tell you that the other four things should take care of your dust mite problem 99 percent of the time!
However, there’s nothing wrong with super clean carpets and curtains, so I’m not stopping you from doing this either, I’m just telling you that it’s probably going to be overkill.
However, what isn’t overkill is getting an air purifier to compliment your efforts against dust mites. You know why? It’s because air purifiers capture dust out of the air before it can settle and hit the ground–that means that the air purifier can help to starve those dust mites out of your home!
If you’d like to buy an air purifier (which helps with so many things beyond just dust mite mitigation), then please be sure to check out my list of recommendations (of machines that I actually own and use) here: Air Purifier Essentials Top Picks: Best HEPA Air Purifiers on the Market. But, remember, an air purifier will only be a part of your efforts against dust mites. Cutting down on humidity and cleaning regularly will need to be the bulk of your focus.
And, with all that said, thank you for reading! I hope this short list helps! If you’d like to continue reading what I’ve got, be sure to check out some of the related articles I’ve got below!