Dust mites are tiny creatures found in carpets, bedding and upholstery, and they can cause eczema, asthma and allergic rhinitis. Most dust-mite allergies are actually caused by the creatures’ droppings. Each mite sheds around 20 droppings each day, which continue to trigger allergies after the mite is dead.
Houses do not need to be particularly dirty to produce an allergic reaction, as dust mites are too small to see, and vigorous vacuuming can exacerbate allergic reactions. Instead, try the following methods to reduce this pesky allergen in your home.
Mites feast on dead skin and thrive in moist environments, making your bed their dream destination. Easy steps to reduce dust mites include using anti-allergy covers to enclose your pillows, mattresses and duvets. Wash your covers, bedding and pillows once a week at 60 degrees.
Depending on the severity of your symptoms, you may want to start from scratch and buy new bedding – after two years, up to 15 per cent of your pillow’s mass could be mite droppings. Alternatively, for items that cannot be washed, place them in a plastic bag and freeze for 12 hours, killing the dust mites.
Curtains, Carpets and Upholstery
Carpets are another perfect place for mites. Vacuum at least once a week and ensure that your cleaner has a HEPA filter. This traps allergens inside the vacuum. There are also cleaning products available with chemicals that reduce mites, but to kill them effectively, try using a high-temperature steam cleaner on carpets. Or better yet, book an appointment with a professional. Companies such as www.sooperclean.co.uk can treat carpets with anti-mite chemicals to stop the dust mites returning.
If you suffer particularly severely, you may wish to remove your carpets, which trap moisture and allergens, and replace them with linoleum or hardwood flooring. Lastly, use washable curtains and clean them frequently. Non-washable curtains can be treated by professional curtain cleaners in London and across the country to remove mites.
Alternatively, you could replace your curtains with stylish Venetian blinds, as dust mites cannot live on plastic, no matter how dusty it is. Mites require a moist environment, with fabric and upholstery their prime locations, so reducing these in your home will make it less hospitable for the pests.