We all have them and we’d all like to get rid of them. Though eradicating them entirely isn’t likely, dust mites can be controlled.

Dust mites are barely visible to the human eye and typically are no bigger than a millimetre. Detectable levels of dust mites are found in four out of five homes across Canada. For such a small bug, they sure do cause a lot of trouble. Unlike other mites, the dust mite does not bite or burrow. They feed off of pet dander and our own shed skin cells. They live in our beds, carpet and upholstered furniture. It is not the mites themselves that we are sensitive to but the fecal matter. (I know, gross) It is the number one contributor to allergies and asthma especially in children and the elderly.

mom and baby on carpet

So how do we control dust mites in our home? There are a number of things we can do that will greatly reduce the prevalence of these mites.

Reduce humidity to limit dust mites

Keeping the humidity in your house below 50 percent will keep your dust mites numbers down. If this is not comfortable or possible, consider just bring down the humidity in the bedroom, where our exposure is greatest. Also keeping the temperature of your house at or below 21 degrees will keep the dust mites down.

Cleaning dust mites

Frequently wash bedding in very hot water at least 130 degrees. This will kill any mites. Always use a damp cloth when dusting and cleaning. This will prevent dust and, therefore, mites from being spread around. Vacuum all carpets and mattresses regularly. Using a hepa filter will reduce your exposure while vacuuming. All air ducts, furniture and carpets should be cleaned.

Exposure to Dust Mites

It’s no surprise that a dust mite’s favourite season is winter. It’s during the fall and winter that our house is closed up tight. Dust mites like an environment that is dry, dark and warm. Open up those windows, let the sunshine in and don’t make your bed. That’s right, your mother was wrong. Leaving your bed unmade will air it out and destroy that cozy place for dust mites.

Other tricks worth mentioning

For a child’s room, place any soft toys in a freezer for 24 hours several times a year. Steam clean furniture and mattresses. Dust which is filled with pet dander and skin cells can be reduced with an air purifier and a quality filter on the furnace. Cleaning the dust out of your ducts is another strategy. Removing dust and dirt from your ducts gives dust mites one less breeding ground to spread from.

All these techniques will reduce or eliminate dust mites in your home but will not remove their residue. It is the residue that contributes to asthma and allergies. Regular vacuuming after a thorough carpet cleaning is your best defence. Because dust mites are fairly invisible and non-invasive, it can be easy to forget that they likely exist in our homes. If you suffer from asthma and allergies, you will be constantly reminded of them. Take precaution, be diligent and you will soon be breathing easier.

Contact Kleen Rite for Carpet Cleaning, Duct Cleaning and Upholstery Cleaning in the Hamilton, Oakville and Burlington area.

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