There are many different allergens and particles that can be found in our house that have a negative impact on our lung health. This can include anything from the smoke from scented candles, to mold or dust. But did you know that another common household lung-irritant is actually a bug that is invisible to the naked eye?
The bug in question is the infamous dust mite, and I’m going to tell how you to kill these lung-harming pests quickly, easily, and naturally.
What Is a Dust Mite?
A dust mite is a microscopic, insect-like pest that feeds off of human skin cells which are found in dust and on furniture such as carpets, curtains, couches and beds. They are incredibly common, and can be found in around four out of five homes in the United States.
Dust mites are so small that hundreds of thousands of them can be living on a single piece of furniture without you even knowing it.
Unlike other pests and parasites, dust mites don’t bite, sting or burrow into our bodies. Instead, their body releases are harmful allergen that can irritate the lungs and sinuses of many people and can also act as a trigger for people with asthma or bronchitis. These allergens are released from fragments of a dust mite’s body and also from their feces.
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Allergic reactions caused by dust mites can range from mild to severe. A mild allergic reaction to dust mites can consist of a runny nose, watery eyes, sneezing and other common allergenic conditions. In severe cases, these symptoms are constant and don’t go away, and can lead to persistent coughing, congestion, facial pressure and even an asthma attack.
Unlike most allergens, the ones produced by dust mites do not stay airborne. They cling to particles that are too heavy to stay in the air (such as dust) and usually settle back down after being disturbed. People are most commonly exposed to dust mites when they are sleeping or when cleaning furniture.
How To Get Rid Of Dust Mites
Dust mites thrive in warm, damp environments. This is the reason why your bed is a perfect breeding ground for these pests.
You sweat a lot when you sleep, especially if you prefer warmer temperatures. Some people can even sweat up to two or more liters a night! This allows dust mites to thrive in your sleeping space, making your bedroom one of the worst places for you to be in terms of lung health.
However, there is one simple trick you can do to reverse the contributions you made to dust mite breeding during your sleep, and it all comes down to the way you make your bed.
When most people make their bed, they flatten their blanket out across their mattress, covering it completely. Although this may be the easiest way to make your bed look neat and tidy, it also traps the moisture and heat that you produced the night before which allows dust mites to thrive.
Instead of completely covering your mattress with your blanket, simply fold your blanket in half or into quarters, depending on the size, and place it at the end of your bed. This will allow the body heat previously being trapped in your bed to be released and will also dry your bed out, effectively removing all of that dust mite-producing moisture.
Other ways you can naturally kill dust mites and prevent them from breeding include:
- Opening windows on dry days
- Using dehumidifiers and air conditioners
- Frequently washing bedding
- Mopping floors with damp mops or cloths (prevents dust from rising)
- Getting rid of infested furniture (mattresses, carpets, curtains etc.)
Overall, the best way to get rid of dust mites is by reducing the humidity of your house and thoroughly cleaning (or replacing) furniture that you think is infested with them. For more ways to naturally get rid of the pests in your home, click here.
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