How to keep dust mites in check for healthy living

Dust mites are tiny, microscopic bugs, that are commonly found in human habitats, such as your house, couch, bed or carpet. They are able thrive in our living environment, because they live off of our dead skin cells, and the dander from our pets.

Dust mites can pose a serious threat to our health as an allergen, and have been proven to trigger asthma, especially in children and the elderly. Clinical trials conducted by Cytos Biotechnology [2], showed a direct correlation between dust mites in your home and triggered allergies.

Studies show that an estimated 50-80% of asthmatics are affected by dust mites [3]. Other allergic reactions to dust mites may even include headaches, fatigue and depression.

Although dust mites are microscopic, there are some steps we can take to fight them. Here are several methods that you can use to minimize dust mites, as well as their cast skins and fecal droppings, from your home:

• Vacuum up dust instead of sweeping. Vacuum floors, furniture, carpet and upholstery with a machine that uses HEPA filter technology. It will capture the mites and their eggs.
• Get rid of their food sources. Remove dust from your home. Instead of dusting, use damp cloths that will attract and hold the dust you’re collecting.
• To minimize pet dander, run a wet cloth over pet fur each day, especially after animals come in from outdoors.
• Keep your home humidity levels low. Use a dehumidifier to keep your air below 50% humidity because dust mites don’t like dry air.
• Wash bedding weekly and use water at about 130° Fahrenheit. Very hot water kills the dust mites. Use natural laundry detergent and add essential oils (like eucalyptus) to help kill any living mites left behind. Dry your bedding on high heat as well.
• If you have cloth curtains, clean them regularly with the vacuum and a damp cloth. Light-weight materials hold fewer mites than heavier materials.
• Make sure to hang clothes up in a well-ventilated closet or wardrobe.
• Carpet can be replaced with non-toxic wool or non-toxic hardwood or cork flooring. If you use carpet, be sure to clean them regularly.
• Get rid of the clutter! Clutter collects dust, and by now you know that it also collects dust mites.
• Children’s stuffed animals can also carry mites. To kill mites, you can place the toys in the freezer for 24 hours before you wash them, or simply wash them in very hot water and place in high heat dryer. • A good idea is also to invest in a quality air purification system that employs a HEPA filter and UV and negative ion technologies for best results when cleaning your air.