You have dust mites. As well as kitchen cabinets full of bits and bobs. So why wouldn’t you be searching for home remedies for dust mites? It’s just a smart thing to do.
Especially since the fight against dust mites is an ongoing battle. It simply makes sense to try and save as much money as you can in this war.
Lucky for you, you’re not alone in this war against dust mites. And because we’ve been fighting this pervasive pest for so long, we have a very good idea of exactly what works and what doesn’t.
Let’s dive in.
Does Everyone Have Dust Mites?
Here’s a little fact to illustrate how pervasive dust mites are in the average household: Did you know that you may be shedding 140 mg of dead skin each and every day? Probably not; it’s a weird fact to know by heart.
Unfortunately, that’s not enough to help you reach your weight loss goals. But it is enough to feed a very unwelcome guest in your home.
Dust mites eat dead skin. As disgusting as that is, it has its advantages. For one thing, it stops us all getting buried in our own shed skin cells. It also means that dust mites don’t bite since they’re not after our blood.
However, it’s not all good. The droppings of these creatures contain substances that can trigger allergies and asthma.
There’s more bad news. These creatures are everywhere. At 0.33 mm in size, they are too small to be seen with the naked eye.
But they travel easily on people’s clothing, and can be brought into your home from almost anywhere you come into contact with other people.
In fact, it’s probably already happened. The vast majority of homes have dust mites. And it’s nothing to do with being clean or dirty. We all have skin, which means we are all a food source for these bugs.
So what do we do? Well, home remedies for dust mites are a good place to start. Here are the best, most simple ones that actually work.
What Home Remedies for Dust Mites Work?
So how do you get rid of them? Well, realistically, you probably don’t. These creatures so small, so widespread, and have such a high rate of reproduction that you may never get them out of your home entirely.
But all is not lost. What you can do is reduce the population significantly. And this is especially important if you or someone in your family has allergies. Cutting down the numbers of these creatures will greatly reduce the allergic reactions they can cause.
So how do you do it? Here are the top 3 home remedies for dust mites that you do right now using just the things you already have around your house.
Does vacuuming get rid of dust mites?
You bet it does. In fact, one of the best home remedies for dust mites is the humble vacuum. A thorough vacuuming can greatly reduce the number of mites in your home.
And not only that, the vacuum also removes the dead skin cells that dust mites thrive on. So with one simple tool you can get rid of the actual dust mites and make it harder for them to live in your home.
But due to the allergens these creatures create, you need to make sure that the vacuum won’t merely spread the problem around. And for that, you need to make sure you’re using a vacuum with a HEPA filter. Check out our top recommendations for dust mite vacuums here.
Does laundry get rid of dust mites?
Here’s another simple but effective home remedy for dust mites that doesn’t cost you much at all, washing your bedding regularly will also help to kill any dust mites on the bedding and remove their excrement, along with the allergens it contains.
Hot water kills the mites and removes the allergens they create. So try to get on a weekly wash cycle at the minimum to keep the dust mite population under control.
The dryer is also brilliant for killing dust mites – just make sure you run it at over 130 degrees for at least 15 minutes.
Does dusting get rid of dust mites?
Seahorses aren’t actually horses. Kansas City isn’t in Kansas. Some things seem named with the deliberate intention of confusing us. But dust mites aren’t one of those things. They take their name from the fact that they are mites that eat dust.
More specifically, they eat the skin cells that every human sheds every day. This is a major component of the dust you find around your house. Yes, it’s an upsetting thought. But it’s the truth. If it makes you feel any better, some of the dust in your house comes from space and the residue of burned up meteorites. But mostly, it’s skin. And that means it’s dust mite food.
So wipe up dust wherever you find it – and be sure to wipe up, not simply spread the dust around. Removing the dust mite’s food source will reduce the size of the population and help to bring your allergies under control.
Not to mention, you’ll also end up wiping up – and killing – a bunch of dust mites in the process.
Tip: If you want to get the most dust mite-busting results from your dusting, use an enzyme cleaner like Kleen Free to wipe up with. This special formula contains enzymes that break down the allergens produced by dust mites, effectively neutralizing them.
7 More Home Remedies for Dust Mites
The above home remedies are natural ways to get rid of dust mites using what you already have at home. But there are more home remedies that work – except you’ll have to spend a bit of money.
The good news is that it doesn’t have to be expensive at all. Most of these solutions are ones that you get once and you never have to do again, like…
Switch your fabrics
Dust mites aren’t necessarily attracted to certain fabrics over others. But there are fabrics that are more prone to collect dust. And you already know that dust attracts dust mites.
So if you’re willing to do a little interior re-design, this might be the time to switch to more dust mite resistant fabrics.
For bedding, avoid fabrics like wool and fleece. While warm, these fabrics have large pore sizes and are more prone to attract dust and thus, dust mites. Switch to fabrics that are much less attractive to dust mites like silk, cotton, linen, and satin.
If you have a cloth couch and you are open to upgrading it, your allergies will thank you. Leather and synthetic leather couches are the least likely to attract dust mites.
Cover up your bed
Sometimes the simplest solutions are the best. Using a dust mite cover on your mattress will trap any dust mites inside and make it so they no longer have access to your sweet, sweet skin.
Make sure to get a dust mite cover that is certified to be effective against these bugs. And that means a good mattress cover that closes tightly shut with a zipper to keep these tiny bugs inside and with a tight enough fabric weave to prevent the mites from escaping.
The lifespan of a dust mite varies according to temperature and humidity, but they never live longer than 140 days, so it’s possible to starve them out of your bed with a good dust mite cover. Don’t hesitate. Get one.
Use a dust mite laundry additive
Hot water is an excellent weapon to use against dust mites. But if you have items that need to be washed in cold water, try adding a laundry additive that neutralizes allergens or an essential oil proven to kill dust mites to the wash cycle.
Tip: Don’t forget about your drapes and blinds, especially the ones in the bedrooms. Dust mites can easily hide in these places, so you should make sure to wash these regularly too.
Essential oils for dust mites work too
If you’re looking for an environmentally friendly way to kill dust mites, consider using essential oils. But be warned: you have to use them right. Only certain oils are effective at killing these creatures.
So which essential oils are the most fatal to dust mites? Clove, rosemary, eucalyptus, cinnamon, and citronella have all been proven to kill dust mites.
And it’s super simple to use as well. Simply mix the essential oil with water in a spray bottle and apply it to any surfaces where dust mites could be hiding.
This could be upholstered furniture, your bed, the carpet, shelves – almost anywhere. But pay particular attention to areas of high humidity and darkness.
You can even use it in the laundry as a natural dust mite killing additive. Simply add around 20 to 30 drops of the oil to your detergent before running the wash.
HEPA is your friend
When it comes to dust mites, HEPA filters are a must have. These filters are capable of trapping particles as tiny as 0.3 microns in size. That means any vacuuming you do should be with a HEPA vacuum. But it doesn’t stop there.
HEPA filters are for more than just the vacuum. You can make use of them in the form of air filter that you can place over your furnace or air-conditioning vents. These will trap the dust mites and the allergens they produce, preventing them from getting recycled in the air in your house.
Another smart way to make use of HEPA filters is with an air purifier. Placing one of these in your bedroom is a smart way to quickly filter dust mite particles out of the air.
Get rid of carpet
This may seem like an extreme move but it is one of the most effective home remedies for anyone who struggles with a dust mite allergy.
Getting rid of all-to-wall carpeting alleviates dust mite allergies immediately and prevents future dust mite infestations. If you must have some carpet around, choose low-pile carpet instead of deep-pile. And preferably, choose rugs and carpet that you can wash and dry on the highest setting.
Lower the humidity
Last but not least, one of the most brilliant home remedies for dust mites is a simple dehumidifier. This goes double if you live in an area with high humidity.
Dust mites thrive in damp, humid conditions but they cannot survive when humidity levels fall below 50%.
Consider investing in a dehumidifier to draw the moisture out of the air. It’s a smart, passive way to instantly reduce the dust mite appeal of your home.
Tip: Alongside a dehumidifier, we highly recommend a hygrometer. These affordable devices allow you to measure your indoor humidity levels.
Home Remedies for Dust Mites That Don’t Work
The Internet loves home remedies. The trouble is that the majority of remedies floating around out there simply don’t work.
Here’s what we mean by that: All of the below home remedies will kill dust mites. But simply killing dust mites is not enough because it does nothing to remove the bodies and waste particles. And as long as those are around, you’ll continue to suffer allergy symptoms.
That’s why we don’t recommend you waste your time on these home remedies. So here are the ones you shouldn’t bother to waste your time on – and why.
Dust mites don’t like to be out in the sun. They prefer dark, damp hiding places. But that doesn’t mean sunlight is an effective tool for killing dust mites.
Here’s what we mean. Yes, direct sunlight does kill dust mites.
But it won’t do anything to remove the allergens they produce. So while you’ll get rid of a lot of bugs, you will still suffer from the symptoms of allergies.
Not to mention how annoying and time-consuming it is to drag your furniture and bedding into and out of the sun. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
Your freezer could be a dust mite killer. In fact, simply freezing items at −15°C for 48 hours is enough to kill dust mites and their spawn.
The only problem is that it doesn’t do anything to remove the allergens caused by these dust mites, like their bodies and waste products. The most it will do is render dust mites inactive.
Every homeowner has a bottle or two of bug spray laying around. So could you just spray these dust mites to their doom?
Well, yes, you could. But here’s the thing: Regular bug sprays may kill dust mites, but they are not going to solve your problem. Pesticides will kill but to remove the allergens? You’ll need something a little more special for that.
The best dust mite sprays are actually anti-allergen sprays. These are non-toxic to you but devastating for dust mites as they contain alkaline ingredients or enzymes that break down the proteins in dust mites and waste products.
Because dust mites are so small, lightsabers are largely useless against them. For this reason, dust mites are extremely popular with Sith Lords. But as you search for dust mite remedies, you may find some ultraviolet ones that look like the next best thing to a Jedi weapon.
Now, UV light does kill dust mites. It does so by disrupting their DNA, which is great if you’re looking for that mad scientist vibe. But it’s not the quickest way to kill them. For UV lights to be effective, you must use a germicidal UV-C light and hold it at a distance of 10 centimeters for a full 60 minutes.
And honestly – who has the time and tools to do that? This is why we don’t recommend UV to kill dust mites, especially as a home remedy.
Other home remedies for dust mites that don’t work
There are a lot of home remedies that will kill dust mites but again, they don’t remove the allergen. Here’s a list of other ones to skip:
- Baking Soda
- Boric Acid
Overall, stick to the home remedies for dust mites that both kill and remove the dust mite allergens. And if you want more solutions, check out our complete guide to get rid of dust mites. Your allergies will thank you for it.