Dust mite is a tiny insect that is nearly invisible by naked, and they feed on human dead skin for survival. These insects can cause discomfort, skin irritation, and allergic reaction when your skin comes into contact with their enzymatic feces.
Dust mites in our homes are primarily found in beddings especially mattress. Human beddings provide a direct source of food and favorable condition for their survival and multiplication.
However, when they are not controlled, they become a threat to humans, especially those who are allergic to allergens. Below is detailed information about dust mites and how to manage them before your bed becomes your nightmare.
Why Are There Mites on Your Mattress?
Dust mites like invading and inhabiting your mattress because it provides the best niche and factors for their survival. It would be wrong to think that they are brought by dust because it does not provide a conducive environment for their survival. These factors include the following:
• Sheds dead skin
Dust mites commonly feed off of dead skin cells/flakes. Hence, you will likely find them in our beddings, especially on the mattress where the dead cells shed on.
Mites do not drink water, but they need water for digestion. Instead, they hydrate their body through our sweat. How does dust mite hydrate their skin from sweat?
The skin cell membrane of a dust mite is highly hygroscopic, which makes them survive even if the humidity is low. Thus, when they come into contact with skin, that little sweat on your skin would be absorbed by the dust mite cell membrane, thereby providing sufficient moisture for digestion.
• Warm and Humidity Condition
Mites do thrive and multiply well in warm and high humid conditions. Since outdoor and dust conditions are not favorable for them to thrive and multiply, you will likely find them in our homes because of warmth and high humidity. Besides, sweating and breathing also provide an excellent humid and warm condition for them to thrive well.
• Pet Hair
Our pets also contribute dust mites infestation on the mattress because their hair also carries dead skin, fibers, and pollen grains which triggers dust mites. Hence, they made their way to mattresses by sharing with them the same bed.
Why Are Dust Mites A Problem?
Dust mites may not seem harmful to humans, but their allergens can cause mild to severe health problems if they are not adequately controlled. Below are some of the issues caused by dust mites:
They cause an allergic reaction, especially to those who are allergic to allergens. Hence, leads to allergic rhinitis which mainly exhibits the following symptoms: running nose, sneezing, and watery eyes.
They excrete enzyme feces which causes skin discomfort, and irritation thereby causing the skin to look unhealthy and dehydrated.
In severe cases, it may cause an asthma attack, and the person may likely show the following symptoms: chest congestion, persistent sneezing, and coughing.
When they heavily infest on the mattress, they will also on infest the human body. Infestation of dust mites on humans is dangerous because they will lay eggs and feed on humans thereby causing scabies and chigger.
Hence, your skin becomes itchy with red rashes and pimples. Chigger and scabies are brought by dust mite bite during their larval stage of growth and development.
How Do You Get out Dust Mites in Mattress?
Dust mites are invisible and tiny, which makes them very difficult to kill. However, there is a lot of option or methods that you can employ to help you get rid of dust mites in Mattress. These includes:
• Use Dehumidifier
Dust mite mostly thrives well in a humid condition of about 80%, but below 50% makes it unfavorable for their survival. Therefore, reducing the humidity by almost 50% or below 35% will significantly help kill them.
The best tool you can use for this purpose is a dehumidifier. However, it does not remove the dust mite feces. These feces are responsible for allergic reactions.
To prevent that, you need to wash your beddings and mattress cover to remove the wastes and kill all the dust mites that might be alive.
• Steam mop
Use a steam mop to vacuum the mattress and remove dust mites in your bed. It would be best if you vacuumed your mattress, bedroom, and other rooms to get rid of them completely.
You should do vacuum cleaning once every week until you get rid of them completely. However, while using this method, you should wear a mask to prevent an allergic reaction from the dust mite allergens.
• Wash the beddings
Always ensure you wash the beddings weekly in hot water that is above 54.5-degrees Celsius to kill dust mite. Hot water destroys dust mite skin membrane making it less active to absorb humidity.
Besides, if you do not want to use hot water, you can use cold water with commercial detergents that contain essential oils. Non-washable beddings should be frozen overnight to kill them.
• Use Dust-mite bedding cover.
Using allergen-impermeable bedding covers will significantly help to get rid of dust mites in your mattress. Dust mite bedding cover kills dust mite by cutting the source of their food and also prevents dust mite from infesting into your mattress. (Read How to Get Dog Hair out of Carpet/ Rug/Bed?)
How to Kill Dust Mite in Pillow?
Dust mites are microscopic and are invisible, making them difficult to see with your naked eye. However, if you are allergic, you can quickly notice their presence since you will start experiencing symptoms brought by the allergens from dust mite enzymes.
These symptoms include; skin irritation, cough, nasal congestion, watery eyes, and many more. However, those who are not allergic or with skin sensitivity issues can use allergy skin tests, but it adds expense. The allergy skin test is practical because they show an allergic reaction on your skin even if your skin is not highly sensitive.
After realizing their presence in or on the pillow, you should take an immediate precaution to kill them. And the best way is to deep clean the pillow, which you can do through the following methods:
Remove the pillow cover to separate it from cushion/sponge, pre-treat with enzyme stain remover or peroxide ammonia to kill the allergens.
Then soak them in hot water for 15 minutes. The ideal and effective water temperature to kill the dust mite and remove the allergens is about 55-degrees Celsius.
You may deep clean your pillow in the washing machine at 55-degrees Celsius on a gentle cycle with a small amount of detergent for about 10-20 minutes. However, before using the washer to kill dust mites with their larvae, pre-treat the pillows to kill the allergens.
How to Remove Bed Bug Stains from Mattress?
The bed bug feces and blood from humans leaves behind the dark patches and spots on your mattress. Therefore, the best way to deal with bed bug stains is to adhere to the following tips. They include:
Step 1: Since these stains are organic, use warm water or cold water immediately to loosen the organic matter and wipe clean with wet rug to remove the stains.
Step 2: Use an enzyme-based stain remover to pre-treat the mattress by spraying directly on the spot and allow it to settle for about 20-30 minutes. Then use a clean and wet rug to wipe clean the surface. However, if the stain is stubborn, apply a solution of peroxide and ammonia directly on the stain.
Step 3: Air dry your mattress under the shade, use hand soap to spot clean with a wet rug. After that, pre-treat with a solution of ammonia and hydrogen peroxide for about 15-20 minutes until the stain is gone.
Step 4: For light stains, you can remove dust mite using mild soap and spot clean with cold water. But ensure it does not spread.
Can You Get Rid of Dust Mite with Baking Soda?
Yes. Baking soda can be used as an antiseptic or disinfectant; hence, it effectively kills dust mites.
Step 1: Take a cup of pure baking soda and mix it with a few drops of essential oil like tree oil, rosemary oil, or Eucalyptus oil.
Step 2: Then sprinkle the solution on the mattress and let it sit for about 15-30 minutes, and vacuum it all off using a HEPA filter vacuum cleaner.
Step 3: Using a vacuum cleaner helps to pick up every dust mite and prevent them from spreading further. However, it would help if you took precautions when using baking powder because of safety concerns.
Step 4: You should wear goggles and protective gloves to prevent baking powder from coming into contact with your skin and eyes since it causes irritation and itchiness.
Besides using baking Soda, you may also use Raw Apple Cider Vinegar by applying directly to the mattress and your beddings to kill the dust mites and the allergens.
How to Prevent Dust Mite and Bed Bugs?
It is our responsibility to prevent Bed bugs and dust mites earlier before they heavily infest your home. The only possible way to do that is to take earlier precautions and measures to combat their infestation in our homes. They include:
Method 1: Remove dust and clean the entire house frequently to remove dust, pet hairs, pollen grains, and dead skin flakes. For cleaning purposes, you may use a steam mop because the hot steam produced is efficient in killing germs and dehydrating the skin cell membrane of bed bugs and dust mites.
Method 2: Continuously regulate the temperature between 20-25-degrees Celsius or below that range which is an extreme temperature that does not favor their survival and multiplication.
Method 3: Your home should be well ventilated, especially if you are living in dry climatic conditions. This will help to reduce the humidity making the environment not suitable for their survival.
Method 4: Or you may use a dehumidifier to control the humidity below 35% to help get rid of Dust Mites.
Method 5: Always clean your pets and their houses frequently to kill the dust mite and bed bugs and their eggs and larvae hiding in the fur or on skin. Besides, it would help if you also keep your pets out of the bedroom.
Method 6: Wash the curtains, walls, and vacuum the upholsteries weekly to kill dust mites and bed bugs with their eggs and larvae hidden in the fabric.
Method 7: Sprinkle silica rock powder on the furniture, mattress, beddings, walls and the crevices, carpets, curtains, or anywhere you think they reside to kill them with their larvae instantly. You should use it frequently until you are sure of the conclusion.
Method8: Employ essential oil by spraying on areas they reside. Essential oils are natural and effective in killing bacteria, viruses, and fungus and are also disinfectants that can kill dust mites and bed bugs.
Dust mites do not only infest dusty or dirty places or homes. But they are also capable of invading hygienic places so long as the condition in the room favors their survival. Therefore, you should take extreme precautions and measures to prevent dust mite infestation.
To get rid of dust mites, I would recommend using Steam mop frequently for general cleaning purposes at home to vacuum the floor, carpet, window, mattress, furniture, and many more.