Dust mites are insect-like creatures who are nearly everywhere, and unless you have a microscope handy, you can’t see them!! “Roughly four out of five homes in the United States have detectable levels of dust mite allergen in at least one bed,” says the American Lung Association.
What makes them so harmful is that they produce allergens from their fecal pellets and body fragments that can worsen or trigger allergies and asthma, among other conditions.
So, what’s the solution if you have dust mites in your home?
Well, an air purifier can definitely help, but you need one that’s made to help with this specific situation. Our guide will go into detail with the subject so you can plan your next move and live with cleaner air!
How Do Dust Mites Get Into Your House?
Despite taking up residency in many homes, there are certain conditions that dust mites prefer. For example, warm and humid places are their favorites! To be precise, the ideal conditions for these guys is anywhere from 75-80 degrees and 70-80% relative humidity. Dry conditions make it harder for dust mites to survive.
Dust mites don’t feed on human food. Rather, their food is humans. Okay, that sounded a bit too much like a horror movie, but their ideal food is skin flakes from humans and pets which means they’re often found in beds, couches, and pet beds.
Common Signs of Dust Mites in Your Home
So, how can you tell that there are dust mites in your home? Let’s go through the most common signs that you have some extra buddies living in your residence for free.
- Postnasal Drip
- Runny or Stuffy Nose
- Itchy, Watery Eyes
- Red, Itchy Skin
- Itchy Throat
While dust mites may cause an allergic reaction in your skin (resulting in a rash-like, reddish appearance), they don’t actually bite. Inhaling the mites’ skin and fecal matter can understandably cause symptoms that can be similar to, say, a pollen allergy or even a cold.
Depending on how serious your body’s response is, it could even trigger asthma!
Do Air Purifiers Help with Dust Mites & Dust Allergies?
Many of us wonder how to get rid of dust mites in the air. Many suggest just using a vacuum, but this works for surfaces – not in the air. Air purifiers, on the other hand, can eliminate dust mite feces, their body parts, and the entire mites themselves.
Moreover, they can help seriously minimize the amount of dust in your home, which is what they mainly consume! Take away their food source, and they’re going to leave your home to go looking for more.
Keep in mind that not every air purifier is going to be effective at getting rid of skin flakes and pet dander. What you need is one of the best air purifiers. There are 3 different types, so let’s discuss how they vary and how effective each one is for the purpose of dust mites.
- Ozone Air Purifier
Ozone air purifiers (also known as ozone generators) are effective at getting rid of dust mites, though ozone is not healthy for humans to breathe in. However, you can definitely run an ozone purifier while no one is home and then come back once it’s been finished for at least an hour.
- Ionic Air Purifier
These also produce a bit of ozone, but if you don’t already have a respiratory condition nor a baby/elderly person in your home, you’re probably going to be okay. However, some ionic air purifiers leave behind a film of dust after neutralizing, which dust mites love!
- HEPA Air Purifier
Ionic air purifiers work great if combined with a HEPA air purifier, as these actually suck in the dust particles before landing on any surface. This means that they’ll take the dust and dust mites away!
So if you’re wondering, do air purifiers help with dust? HEPA air purifiers absolutely do!
5 Other Effective Ways to Get Rid of Dust Mites
To keep dust mites away, there are many other methods that work well alongside the use of an air purifier.
1. Frequent Cleaning
Dusting and cleaning frequently are crucial, as dust is mainly comprised of skin flakes from humans and pets! While it’s virtually impossible to rid your house entirely of dust, you can try and keep it to a minimum by using a microfiber duster or damp cloth.
2. Frequent Vacuuming
Vacuuming carpets and rugs at least 2 times per week will further help with dust, paying special attention to those heavy traffic spots and places your pets tend to congregate.
3. Change/Wash Bedding Frequently
As we’ve mentioned a few times already, dust mites love places with a lot of dead skin, and our beds are usually the place that has the most! Not only that, but beds are warm and humid, making them the ideal environment for them to thrive.
To combat this, wash your sheets in hot water at least once a week in water 130 degrees Fahrenheit or hotter!
4. Place Mattress/Box Spring in Covers
It’s simply not realistic to wash every part of your bed, but what you can do is put them in allergen-proof covers. Place your mattress, box spring, and pillows in them to keep mites from getting to you.
5. Reduce Humidity/Temperature of Your Home
If you’re not someone who’s cold all the time, you may realistically be able to lower your home’s temperatures under 65 degrees and keep humidity between 40% to 45%.
People Also Ask (FAQ)
What should you look for when buying an air purifier?
When buying one of the best air purifiers, you should first look into the size and area it’s capable of purifying. Consider the square footage of the room you are going to use it in and refer to the model’s ACH rate.
The ACH is the number of times a purifier can filter the entire volume of air in a certain space per hour. Those who can clean at least 4 times/hour will be ideal.
- Small purifiers: are great for rooms up to 299 square feet.
- Medium: between 300 and 699 square feet
- Large: between 700 and 1,900 square feet
- Entire House: Greater than 1,900 square feet
Also, consider the filter type of the purifier. As we discussed, HEPA filters are wonderful as they get rid of the dust as well as the mites. However, there are filterless air purifiers that also work well, killing germs and destroying air contaminants in the process.
What kills dust mites on skin?
You can be prescribed medications that kill the mites in the form of a cream/lotion that is applied to the entire body and left on for 8-14 hours and washed off. Many people have reported that apple cider vinegar can also work.
How do I test my house for dust mites?
There are actually rapid air quality tests you can purchase that will tell you how many dust mite allergens are in your home!
Does Lysol spray kill dust mites?
It’s reported that it can kill up to 99% of dust mites; however, we now know that it’s more than just the dust mites themselves which cause allergens. You also have to get rid of the mites’ debris.
Does baking soda kill dust mites?
Yes, it does!
Now that you know all about dust mites, what causes allergens, and how to get rid of them, are you ready to breathe easier? We hope our guide has helped give you solutions and that you and everyone else in your home won’t have to worry anymore about them.
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