Knowing how to kill dust mites can help prevent your asthma and allergy symptoms. Dust mites are microscopic bugs related to spiders that feed on the dead skin cells that collect around your house, including in bedding and on your carpet. Although it's impossible to kill all the dust mites in your home, you can take certain measures to reduce their presence.
- Wash your bedding weekly. Use hot water (130 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit), as cold or warm water won't kill dust mites. You can also freeze bedding overnight to kill dust mites.
- Tear up wall-to-wall carpeting. Replacing carpet with bare floors and area rugs will give dust mites fewer places to live and make it easier to kill them by washing the area rugs regularly. If you can't tear up your carpet, use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA (anti-allergen) filter regularly.
Reduce the humidity in your home. Dust mites need a humidity level of 60 percent or greater to survive. Using a dehumidifier or air conditioner to reduce your home's humidity to 30 to 50 percent will help kill dust mites.
Clean your house with a bleach-based solution. Cleaning regularly will help remove the dust that dust mites feed on, and bleach kills dust mites.
- Lower the temperature in your house. Maintaining a room temperature of 77 degrees Fahrenheit or lower will help prevent dust mites from reproducing, lowering the population of dust mites in your home.
- Glycoproteins in dust mite feces are a major cause of indoor allergy and asthma symptoms, including runny nose, itchy eyes, wheezing and skin rash. Killing dust mites can help reduce these symptoms.
- People with allergies should leave the house while you are vacuuming and cleaning, as it may stir up dust and dust mites, aggravating allergy symptoms.
- Pesticides designed to kill dust mites may have harmful effects on your health, including respiratory problems and irritated skin.