Dust mites are tiny bugs that commonly live in the dust that gathers in a home. Their favorite food is a skin cell, and people shed skin cells all day, every day like a dust-mite buffet. You can't see them, and they aren't a sign of a dirty house, but for people who have dust-mite allergies, commonly referred to as dust allergies, they can make comfortable living difficult. A dust-mite allergy causes eyes that water and itch, a stuffy nose, and sneezing. For people with asthma, dust mites can trigger asthmatic symptoms. Luckily, there are steps you can take in your home that will help alleviate the symptoms of dust allergies.
You spend a lot of time in the bedroom, so to get a comfortable night's sleep, it's a good idea to free your bed from dust mites. Bedding should be washed weekly in hot water and dried in a hot dryer. Consider covering mattresses, box springs, and pillows with dust-mite covers.
Wash throw rugs often and clean bare floors with a damp mop to get rid of dust. For carpeted areas, use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter. That same vacuum should be used on upholstered furniture, though people with severe allergies should consider replacing carpets with tiled or wood floors and replacing upholstered furniture with leather. Opt for window shades that can be rolled or accordion-folded at the top of a window instead of curtains. It's also a good idea to get rid of soft stuffed toys that collect dust. But if kids can't part with their beloved stuffed animals, be sure to wash them in hot water once a week.
All this cleaning will be for naught, though, if you don't do things around your house to keep dust and dust mites away. First, invest in regular air-duct cleaning. If you don't have an air-duct cleaning done, when you use your heating and cooling system, air from the system will pick up dust hidden within it and blow it around your house. After the air duct is clean, consider putting a HEPA filter in it to keep allergens from entering your home as they build up between cleanings. Also keep in mind that dust mites love warm, humid weather. If the air inside your home is humid, use a dehumidifier to keep the humidity from creeping up above 55 percent.
For more information, contact a company such as Smith-Mathis.