Microscopic dust mites are everywhere in the home – in our beds, clothing, furniture, book shelves and stuffed animals. For people with allergies or asthma, dust mites are a problem.
Here’s how to reduce the dust mite population in your home:
- Vacuum mattresses and pillows. For people with sensitivities to dust mite allergens, dust mite bedding is available with zippered, allergen-impermeable encasings designed to block dust mites.
- Wash bedding at 55 degrees Celsius (130F) or higher. Detergents and commercial laundry products have no effect on mites unless the water temperature is high.
- Keep books, stuffed animals, throw rugs and laundry hampers out of the bedroom of allergy sufferers. Wash stuffed animals occasionally in hot water.
- Tannic acid neutralizes the allergens in dust mite and animal dander. Dust problem areas with tannic acid powder, available at health food stores and pet centers.
- Cover mattress and pillows with laminated covers which prevent penetration by dust mites. Avoid fabric-covered headboards.
- Cover heating ducts with a filter which can trap tiny dust particles smaller than 10 microns.
- Avoid using humidifiers. Dust mites thrive on warmth and humidity.