What Kills Dust Mites Naturally? – 10 Natural Ways
On a scale of one to completely disgusting, dust mites are probably not as high on the list as roaches, bed bugs or other pest infestations.
However, for those who already experience allergies or asthma, dust mites can be a big problem. The mites feed off of our shed skin scales and pet dander.
Dust mites don’t bite; it is their decaying bodies and excrement that cause many people to have an allergic reaction.
Luckily, there are plenty of ways to prevent dust mites or kill them if they are already a problem. Although there are the usual methods with chemicals you can either buy at the store or have the exterminator bring, there are also plenty of natural ways to prevent and kill dust mites.
10 Natural ways to prevent and kill dust mites
1. Clean Regularly
The easiest way to prevent dust mites is to keep your home clean. This may be easier said than done, especially if you are short on time.
Since dust mites feed off of our shed skin scales and pet dander, vacuuming and dusting every day can make a big impact on the amount of dust mites in your home.
When dusting it is best to use a wet cloth rather than dry dusting materials since that will just move dust around in most cases. Using a vacuum with a HEPA filter will further remove the problem.
A HEPA filter will trap allergens better than a regular vacuum. Also, vacuuming more than just the carpet will help eliminate dust.
Ideally, you should vacuum upholstery, curtains and ceiling fans. Always start at the top and work your way down. It doesn’t make much sense to vacuum the carpet only to spread dust from the ceiling fan around afterward.
There is something to be said about becoming minimalist. Not only will you have less to clean, but you will have less places for dust mites and other bugs to hide if you have less stuff.
Getting rid of stuff can be difficult if you are a pack rat, or live with one, but imagine the relief of being surrounded by less clutter, and, possibly, less allergies.
3. Bathe pets often
Pet dander is one of the main food sources for dust mites. Bathing your pets regularly will help keep the dander to a minimum. Also consider washing pet bedding weekly.
For those who look at their pets as four-legged-children, it may be hard to limit their time on furniture and bedding, but this will greatly reduce the likelihood of a dust mite infestation.
When brushing your pets, be sure to do it outside to reduce the amount of dander that gets spread across the house.
4. Get a dehumidifier
If you live in a humid location, it is the ideal breeding place for dust mites. You may not be able to control the humidity outside, but you can buy a dehumidifier and control the humidity in your home.
You can find dehumidifiers at a cheap price online. Of course, take into consideration the size of the space it will be used in. You may need a bigger and, consequently more expensive, one for a larger house.
5. Buy furniture and bed covers
It may be costly at first, but buying some high quality hypoallergenic bed covers, pillow shams and furniture covers can help prevent dust mites.
There are covers available that are marketed to prevent dust mites, but even the ones that are not specifically for dust mites make it easier to keep bedding and furniture clean.
It is as easy as stripping them off and putting them in the washer, and while they are in the wash, it would be a good time to vacuum your mattress.
6. Diatomaceous earth
Diatomaceous earth is a natural silica sedentary rock that can be bought online or in stores. The way to use diatomaceous earth is to buy it in a powder form and spread it on carpets or bedding.
Allow the powder to sit for at least a half hour before vacuuming it up.
The way diatomaceous earth gets rid of dust mites is by sticking to their exoskeleton and causing dehydration. Diatomaceous earth can be bought in different grades and is even offered in food grade as a dietary supplement.
It is best to use it in a dry form as opposed to watering it down.
Washing sheets and other bedding in hot water of at least 130 degrees Fahrenheit (54 degrees Celsius) can kill dust mites.
Steam cleaning furniture at a high temperature can also kill dust mites and remove allergens. You should aim to wash sheets at high temperatures once a week for best results.
For things that cannot be washed or steam cleaned, freezing them will work just as well for killing dust mites. Put items, such as stuffed animals, in a plastic bag and place in the freezer for at least 24 hours.
9. Change air filters
Changing air filters monthly will help eliminate dust mites as well. Also, you should not skimp on price when it comes to air filters. Get high-quality filters that are designed to reduce allergens.
10. Essential Oils
Essential oils can be used as a laundry additive to kill dust mites. Eucalyptus oil and tee tree oil have been shown to reduce the number of dust mites by either using it along with laundry detergent in the washer or making a cleaning spray to spray mattresses and furniture with.
Some people will mix vinegar with essential oils to use as a spray as well.