We share our homes with millions of microscopic organisms including dust mites.
What are Dust Mites?
Dust mites are a member of the arachnid family and live almost exclusively in human homes. They are invisible to the naked eye – only 0.2 to 0.3 millimeters long with translucent bodies. Although numerous, dust mites are fairly short-lived with the male lifespan being 10-20 days and females living up to 70 days.
Dust mites thrive in warm, humid conditions and set up home in areas that attract the most human traffic such as carpets, rugs, couches, beds, and soft toys. This is because their food source is the dead skin cells we shed every day. Fortunately, dust mites are not parasitic in nature and don’t bite humans. However, their droppings and the body fragments of deceased mites can cause allergic reactions.
How to Get Rid of Dust Mites in Your Home
Keep all sleeping areas in your home clean to prevent a buildup of dead skin, thereby denying dust mites their main food source. Kill dust mites by regularly washing all bedding in very hot water and dry on the hottest setting.
Replace your pillows every two to five years and replace mattresses every 10 years. Dust mites like to live in the deepest parts of your pillows and mattresses. Replacing these items may be expensive, but it is the best method to prevent dust mites from accumulating over time.
Invest in hypoallergenic pillow and mattress covers. These covers offer an additional barrier between you and dust mite allergens. Also, leave your bed unmade. This allows your bedding to air dry, which can significantly reduce the number of dust mites calling your bed home.
Dust mites love warm, humid environments, so reducing the humidity and temperature in your home can lessen their numbers. Use your air conditioner when it gets hot and use a dehumidifier to keep the humidity low.
Feather dusters do not get rid of the dust in your home; they just sweep it into the air. To remove dust, use a damp rag to clean surfaces. By eliminating the food source, you have a greater chance of eliminating the mites.
Mites are not picky about whose dead skin they eat. Groom your pets outside to keep old hair out of your home. Regular baths are recommended, as well as vacuuming pet beds.
Direct sunlight kills dust mites, so allow as much sunlight into your home as possible. Occasionally hang bedding, clothing, rugs, etc. outside in direct sunlight.
Reduce clutter. The fewer things you have collecting dust, the better. Get rid of items you haven’t used in the last year or store them in a plastic tub.
Reduce the number of stuffed toys in your home. Stuffed toys provide the perfect safe haven for dust mites as they collect dust easily. If your child cannot part with the toys, freeze them for 24-48 hours every two weeks to kill the dust mites and then wash and dry thoroughly.
We can help
No matter how intimidating or pervasive your pest problem, you can trust that Amco Ranger knows exactly how to handle it and make sure it doesn’t happen again. Give us a call today if you need help getting rid of pests in your home in Cottleville, St. Peters, O’Fallon, St. Charles, and surrounding communities.