Dust mite allergies affect nearly 1 in 4 people in industrialized countries. They can cause symptoms such as runny or stuffy noses, itchy or watery eyes, or in severe cases, even weakness or tired feelings. Unlike other seasonal allergies, dust mite allergies tend to be a year round problem for many people as at least some dust and dust mites are present in households year round. What are the best ways to prevent dust mite allergies and how do you kill dust mites and keep them from coming back?
Prevention of dust mite allergies
The best way to prevent allergy symptoms is to avoid contact with triggers, in this case dust mites. Some easy ways to help control the problem are:
- Wipe bedroom floors with a damp cloth.
- Use mite-proof mattress covers on all mattresses.
- Try to remove items that trap dust to the extent possible.
- Wash bedding regularly in hot water. (Above 140 degrees F)
- Excess humidity attracts dust mites. Avoid using air humidifiers in bedrooms.
- Plants tend to attract dust mites, avoid having plants in bedrooms.
How to kill dust mites
So the question is, how to kill dust mites and prevent them from causing these types of allergic reactions?
One study suggests the use of steam cleaning is an effective way to kill dust mites and keep them from coming back for quite some time. In a study entitled, The use of domestic steam cleaning for the control of house dust mites. Researchers used steam cleaners to clean carpet squares which has been preseeded with specific numbers of dust mites. Control carpet squares were also used to compare results.
In the days a months following the experimental cleaning and control cleaning, “no live mites were found at any time in the treated carpet squares, whereas in the control squares geometric mean mite population density rose from 11 after 3 days to 39 after 1 month, 66 after 2, 122 after 3 and 185 after 4 months.”
Researchers concluded that ”steam cleaning has considerable potential as an highly effective and efficient method of killing dust mites.”
The bottom line, furniture and carpet steam cleaning not only keeps carpets and furniture stain free but can be an effective way of killing dust mites and potentially preventing some of the allergic reactions they might be causing. If you or a family member suffers from year round allergies, they could be related to dust and dust mites. Consider hiring a professional cleaning service to steam clean your carpets on a regular 4-6 month schedule to kill dust mites and prevent them from coming back as quickly. In between regular carpet cleaning, use the dust mite prevention tips outlined in this article to help reduce allergies and keep your family healthy.