Dust mites: teeny tiny invisible pests that live in our mattresses, carpets, upholstered furniture and elsewhere in our homes. Why should we worry about them if we can’t see them? Several good reasons! Read on to see why we should do our best to eliminate dust mites from our homes, and 6 effective ways to do so.
What Are Dust Mites?
Dust mites are microscopic mites that live on dead human skin cells, which are found aplenty in common household dust and surfaces that are soft and hard to clean. It is no surprise then, that our carpets, mattresses, furniture, and anything not washed very often harbour thousands of these unwelcome inhabitants.
Why Should We Care?
Just because we can’t see them doesn’t mean these mites are not affecting our well-being. The biggest reason we should care about their presence is the allergen they produce. It comes from their fecal matter and their dead-body fragments, which is gross enough in itself! But this allergen is also one of the biggest triggers of respiratory ailments like asthma, and it can cause allergic reactions in both asthmatic and non-asthmatic individuals alike. In fact, over 50 percent of all allergic asthmatics are sensitive to house dust mites, according to the Asthma Society of Canada.
How to Get Rid of Dust Mites
Take heart! Surprisingly enough, despite the fact that they congregate in your home by the thousands, dust mites are fairly simple to get rid of. All it takes is some thorough cleaning and constant diligence. If your home has a mite problem, or a family member has asthma, use these 6 tips to help control the dust mites in your home.
1. Get Allergy Proof Covers for Your Mattress
Mattresses and box springs are some of the most common places dust mites like to hide. Since we spend hours lying on our beds, mites are most problematic for people while they are asleep. This is why many experts recommend that you cover your mattresses and box springs with allergy-proof covers. These can help stop dust mites from settling into your bedroom, and keep them from irritating you while you are asleep.
2. Keep Things Dry
Dust mites are similar to mold and mildew in that they love moisture and humidity, so one of the best strategies for keeping dust mites under control is to keep your house dry. Consider running the air conditioning on hot humid days, and make sure your home is properly ventilated year round. And of course, any spills and stains on your carpets should be dried thoroughly after you have cleaned them up.
3. Vacuum Regularly
Dust mites love carpets almost as much as they love mattresses, so you can keep them under control by vacuuming on a regular basis. Depending on your home and lifestyle, twice-weekly vacuuming should be enough. Be sure to use a vacuum with a HEPA filter for a better, more effective clean.
4. Steam Clean Your Carpets
It has been demonstrated that steam-cleaning carpets is one of the easiest and most effective ways to keep your carpets free of dust mites and looking their best. How often you steam-clean depends on your home and lifestyle. Generally, you should have your carpets professionally steam-cleaned with a disinfectant once per year, and more often if you have kids, pets or allergies.
5. Do Your Laundry
Bedsheets, pillow cases, couch covers, piles of dirty clothes – all of these things can house these little mites and all can be put through the wash on a fairly regular basis. Regularly doing laundry is one of the easiest ways to keep dust mites at bay, and it’s something we should all be doing more frequently anyway! Keeping your home clean, dry, and properly maintained is your best defence against dust mites.
6. Steam-Clean Your Mattress
While using a good mattress cover and regularly washing your sheets are both excellent everyday strategies to keep dust mites at bay, there is another step you can take to ensure your mattress is dust mite free. AmSteam steam-cleans mattresses! When it’s time for the annual steam-clean of your carpets, remove your bedding and we can clean your mattress in place at the same time. You spend a lot of time in your bedroom, so let AmSteam help you ensure that this space is a mite free zone.
At AmSteam, we employ technicians certified by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC). You can therefore be confident that when you hire AmSteam, you can count on exceptional service. To find out more or to book an appointment, request a quote today!