Fighting dust mites, bed bugs and more

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Don't fall victim to an army of dust mites
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Fight dust mites, bed bugs and home allergens with these five tips

Anyone who has every suffered from allergies knows that fighting dust mites can be key to creating a clean and healthy home environment. 

What exactly are dust mites? Dust mites are tiny, microscopic creatures that feed off the dead skin cells that exist in abundance in our homes and bedroom. Dust mites are particularly fond of fibrous materials found in fabrics such as bedding, carpets, drapes and upholstery.

Although dust mites are invisible to the naked eye, they can cause serious health issues for many people. From minor ailments such as runny nose, congestion, watery eyes, to skin conditions such as rashes, re-current coughing fits, sore throats, bronchial infections and even serious asthma attacks.  

The first step toward fighting dust mites is keeping a home clean. Regular sweeping, vacuuming and shampooing of carpets and upholstery is the easiest way to keep dust mites to a minimum.  Investing in a vacuum with a HEPA filter can also help to control allergens while cleaning.  

Regularly washing sheets, bedding, linens and towels with detergent and hot water, and drying them on high heat will also reduce allergens. (130 degree heat will kill dust mites.) Some allergists and medical experts even recommend adding a cap full of Eucalyptus to the machine when washing sheets, towels and linens with. Eucalyptus oil is known to kill allergens.

While cleanliness is certainly important, there are some additional products and methods for dramatically reducing allergens such as dust mites in the home and bedroom areas.

Fight Dust Mites, Bed Bugs and Home Allergens with These Five Tips:

1.   Remove Carpeting:

Individuals who are particularly sensitive to allergens and dust mites should make a point of removing carpeting from any rooms in the home where substantial time is spent. For instance, the bedroom, family room, den or office area of a home. Carpeting, particularly wall-to-wall carpeting, can be a haven for dust mites. Instead, opt for hard wood floors, tile floors, linoleum or other hard surfaces. If you truly miss the feeling of stepping on to soft, warm carpeting when you get out of bed in the morning, opt for smaller areas rugs or throw rugs, which can be easily washed or cleaned.

2.   Steam Clean the Carpeting: 

If removing the carpeting is simply not an option, for instance in a rental property, ask if your landlord will chip in for regular carpet cleaning. Effective carpet cleaning is more than just vacuuming, and involves steam cleaning and specialized treatments. Look in the phone book for your local carpet cleaning service.

3.   Don't Use Upholstered Furniture: 

If you, or someone in your family is prone to serious allergies, help them to breathe easier by ridding your home of plush upholstered furniture, and heavy fabric drapes, which can be a feeding ground for dust mites. Instead, opt for leather, vinyl, plastic or hard wood furniture, where dust mites can not survive.

4.   Use Only Natural Linens and Bedding: 

Organic, natural materials such as 100% cotton, linen, wool, silk, etc. are less prone to dust mites than synthetic materials. Organic, natural bedding is also much softer, and certainly more comfortable than bedding made from synthetic fibers.

5.   Buy Dust Mite Encasings and Covers for Mattresses and Pillows: 

Dust mite mattress encasings and pillow cases are made of tightly woven fabrics that dust mites simply can't squeeze their way through. Zippered mattress encasings, pillow cases and even duvet covers have been proven as one of the very best methods for fighting dust mites. Allergists recommend buying dust mite encasings with pore sizes that range from 4-10 microns. These tightly woven encasings will prevent dust mites from living in the materials of your mattresses.

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