Dust mites: eliminate and prevent
Did you know that there is a very small animal that eats human dander and then defecates in your bed? I'm talking about the house dust mite, a really small creature that lives in house dust. The house dust mite can mainly be found in the bed, the mattress, pillows and curtains.
Many people can experience an allergic reaction when they come into contact with the feces of dust mites. In this guide, I'll tell you everything you need to know to fight and possibly prevent dust mites.
What is dust mites?
Let's zoom in on the dust mites first. Because, what kind of animal is this anyway? House dust mites are one of the most common allergens in house. The real name of this creature is ‘Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus'.
The house dust mite feeds on dander from humans and animals. Since a person loses millions of dander a day, the bed is a good place to feed.
The house dust mite feeds on dander from humans and animals
Where can dust mites be found in the house?
House dust mites like warm and humid places. It is not without reason that these creatures are mainly found in the bed and mattress. But not only there: a damp bathroom and moldy walls are also places in the house where dust mites can often occur.
Favorite places for house dust mites:
- Bed linen
- Moldy walls
It is good to know that dust mites can also be found in clean homes. So it has nothing to do with hygiene.
Why eliminate dust mites?
As I mentioned earlier, dust mites are one of the most common allergens in the home. Many people experience an allergic reaction to dust mites. This is due to the feces of the house dust mite. If you are hypersensitive to this allergen, you may experience symptoms.
Symptoms of a dust mite allergy
There can be various complaints with an allergy to house dust mites. You can get a stuffy nose or itchy eyes. The extent of the complaints depends on how sensitive you are to the house dust mite.
House dust mite allergy symptoms:
- Stuffy nose
- Itchy eyes
- Sneezing and sniffling
- shortness of breath
- Asthmatic complaints
To know for sure whether you are allergic to house dust mites, your doctor can order a blood test. However, this is often not necessary and the doctor already recognizes by the complaints whether there is an allergy.
Eliminate dust mites
You can combat dust mites in different ways. This way you can prevent the risk of an allergic reaction by preventing a lot of dust and humidity in the home. But not only that: replacing materials can also be a good pesticide against house dust mites.
Vacuuming and Dusting
It is smart to make your home as dust-free as possible. As the name suggests, dust mites mainly live in house dust. Less dust often also means less house dust mites. Weekly vacuuming of carpets, mattresses and curtains can already make a significant contribution to combating dust mites.
Vacuum at least once a week:
- Carpet and rugs
- Fabric furniture
It is important to use a vacuum cleaner with good filters. Good filters ensure that the dust emission – the dust emission – remains low. In other words: the air that is sucked in is properly filtered before it is blown out again. The presence of at least a HEPA filter 13 is necessary in my view.
Do you already have a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter? Make sure that the filter stays clean: read more information about cleaning a HEPA filter.
You are not there yet with regular vacuuming. Washing and cleaning materials that may contain house dust mites is also essential for effective control. It is good to know that washing from 60 degrees Celsius is only effective in combating house dust mites. It is therefore important to have bed linen and other fabrics that can be washed at this temperature.
- Sheets, pillowcases, duvet covers (weekly)
- Duvets, blankets and pillows (monthly)
- Curtains (annual)
As has just been read, dust mites can often be found in damp places. Controlling moisture can reduce dust mites in the home. Especially in the kitchen, bathroom and in the bedroom (the bed) it can sometimes be more humid.
Tips for a less humid house:
- Open a window daily for good ventilation
- Cold and damp outside? Turn on the heating
- Hang wet laundry outside or use a tumble dryer
Replacing materials and stuff
In addition to washing, vacuuming and combating moisture, it is sometimes also necessary to replace various materials. For example, it is better to opt for less fabric furniture or a wooden floor instead of carpet.
And as I just indicated, washing at 60 degrees Celsius is necessary: no bed linen that can be washed at this temperature? Then it is smart to replace it.
Replace these materials and items where necessary:
- Textiles: buy textiles that can be washed at 60 degrees Celsius
- Vacuum cleaner: choose a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA 13 filter
- Floors: replace carpet for smooth floors
- Cabinets: go for cabinets with doors that you can close
- Bed: choose a bed with an open slatted base
More information about vacuum cleaners for dust mites?
We conduct daily research into the best vacuum cleaners. A good vacuum cleaner cannot be missed when combating house dust mites. A vacuum cleaner with a good filter, low dust emission and strong suction power is a must in my opinion. Do you have additional questions about choosing a good vacuum cleaner? Please feel free to contact me.