“Dust mites”. Just the word brings up feelings of icky itchiness, yet you may not even know what they are. They’re millions of little mites that love to cuddle up in the dark, humid spaces in your home–thriving in temps between 75°F and 80°F. In order to provide a less hospitable environment for these pests, set your thermostat to a temperature below 70°F and try to keep humidity below 50%. Air conditioning, dehumidifiers and fans are all great sources for controlling humidity.
It Begins With Your Bed
One of the best things you can do to reduce your dust mite count is stop making your bed. Think of it this way: you’re making a yummy little sandwich for them by trapping dead skin in between the warm sheets they’re inevitably living on. If the thought of not making your bed makes you feel uncomfortable, then at least give it some time to breathe and air out after sleeping in it and before making it.
Additionally, take into account the type of bedding you’re using. It’s been shown that feather pillows tend to hold less dust mite allergens than synthetic pillows do, and it’s suspected that the components involved in feather bedding and their washing process gives mites less of a chance to survive. Because of this, you may want to consider investing in tightly-woven bedding that makes it difficult for mites to travel through. This includes dust mite impermeable fabrics, as well as repellent fabrics such as bamboo, wool and silk.
Reduce the Fluff
Think of all of the excess “fluff” you have in your home that can harbor mites. Rugs, carpet, curtains, books, stuffed animals, cloth-covered headboards…all of these are prime real estate for dust mites. To mitigate this, you can switch to hardwood floors, swap out blinds, and get rid of any fabric items that you don’t really need. However, if this seems unreasonable to you, you can focus on cleaning all of these things regularly and solely invest in materials and items that are easily washed and cleaned. A cleaning service is also a great way to take care of dust mites in your home.
Invest in a good steam cleaner that can take care of fabric couches, rugs and curtains. Mites are unable to survive extreme temperatures, and a steam cleaner heats up high enough to take care of them. Also, wash your bedding on the highest temperature or on the “sanitize” setting in order to rid it of any dust mites. If you’re having trouble with dust mites, call Housekeeping Associates today to find out how we can help you get rid of these unwanted guests!