Ways to Prevent Dust Mites in Your Home

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Dust mites are tiny insects that feed on the flakes of skin shed by people and animals. They live in curtains, carpets, bedding, mattresses and upholstered furniture. Dust mites do not just attract to homes that are dirty or filthy. In the cleanest of homes, they are not easily eliminated. While there is no sure way to get rid of them for good, there are ways to keep them reduced in numbers.

Keep Your Bedding Clean

You can minimize the infestation of dust mites on your bedding by washing all sheets and blankets once a week in hot water. This kills any dust mites that may have made a home in your bedding material. It is also a great idea to invest in mattress covers which protect your mattress from dust and other allergens. Mattress covers are also machine-washable. Having washable bed materials and covers make it easier to keep dust mites away, as opposed to synthetic or animal-stuffed materials.

Dust and Vacuum Frequently

Having a vacuum cleaner with a high-efficiency particulate air filter (HEPA), helps hold any dust and allergens that comes through the hose. Vacuum all carpets and all furniture that are covered with cloth to get rid of as much dust as possible. Since dust has a tendency to "fly" around, it is strongly advised to wear a mask while vacuuming and dusting. The dust contains substances that may provoke wheezing, coughing or even asthma, and is not to be inhaled if at all possible. Dust and vacuum at least twice a week to help reduce the buildup of allergens. Tables, counters and other furniture should be dusted with a dry cloth. Wet-vacuuming and steaming the carpet is a great way to consider cleaning the carpet; since both methods use water, the carpet is actually being washed. Steam is also known to kill dust mites in carpet since it contains heat.

It is important to keep bedrooms and play areas clean to help reduce the amount of dust mites. Keeping carpeted and upholstered areas clean, and keeping the humidity in homes to a lower temperature is the best way to adequately control dust mites in your home.

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