5 Tips for Controlling Dust Mites

These microscopic spider-like critters are a leading cause of allergies and asthma. Here's how to fight back.

February 22, 2021
Laundry Room With Stylish Storage Containers

Laundry Room With Stylish Storage Containers

If your favorite dryer sheets' package clashes with your color palette, transfer the contents into a container that's more in line with the decor. Stacy Risenmay of the blog Not Just a Housewife chose an old metal box that adds the perfect patina to her laundry room.

Photo by: Not Another Housewife

Not Another Housewife

Found in nearly all homes, dust mites like warm, moist areas - such as your bed. Experts estimate that up to 2,000 of these microscopic cousins to spiders can live in just one ounce of mattress dust. And that could mean a lot of sneezing and wheezing if you're sensitive to them. A protein found in their feces and decaying bodies makes dust mites one of the leading causes of allergies and asthma. You can't eliminate these unwanted guests altogether, but you can take these steps to reduce their numbers:

Serta mattress bedroom

Serta mattress bedroom

1. Use allergen-proof bedding. Encase your mattress and pillows in allergen-blocking covers. These covers prevent dust mites from taking over your bed. Put a vinyl cover on your box springs.

Laundry Room With Wire Baskets

Laundry Room With Wire Baskets and Rug

Interesting pulls and playful tiles take the basic white backdrop of this laundry room and turn the look into something fun. A rug on the floor adds another cozy texture. Wire baskets make organizing linens a snap.

Photo by: Tessa Neudstadt

Tessa Neudstadt

2. Wash bedding weekly in hot water-above 130 degrees. Launder mattress pads, blankets and comforter covers at least once a month and more often if you suffer from allergies. If you can't wash in hot water, put the bedding in a hot dryer (at least 130 degrees) for 20 minutes, and then wash and dry as usual.

3. Deprive mites of moisture. Cover the vinyl mattress cover with a waterproof mattress pad. Cover the vinyl covers on pillows with zippered pillow covers. If necessary, use a dehumidifier to maintain a relative humidity of 30 percent to 50 percent.

vacuum with hepa filter

Vacuum With HEPA Filter

HEPA filters trap tiny allergens, so your home is free of dust.

Photo by: Hoover

Hoover

4. Use a vacuum with a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter. Or simply buy vacuum bags made specifically for allergens. If possible, use low-pile carpet in your bedroom or switch to bare floors with washable throw rugs.

Stuffed Animals in a Storage Basket

Stuffed Animal Storage

Open storage is the best choice for housing a toddler's most beloved toys. Industrial wire bins with washable linen liners are an excellent way to pack both function and style into a single storage solution.

5. Buy washable stuffed toys. You can kill dust mites in stuffed animals by putting them in a plastic zipper bag and storing in the freezer overnight, but this cold treatment won't get rid of the allergens. Instead, buy only stuffed toys that you can wash regularly with the bedding.

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