Get rid of dust mites

Is there a way to get rid of dust mites?

A few days ago I was chatting to one of the school mums at pickup and she told me she was buying a special mattress cleaner to try and get rid of dust mites as her son is having allergic reactions to them. To be honest I’ve not tried mattress cleaner, however there’s a reason this may not be a completely effective fix for dust mites. And here’s why.

Dust mites are nasty little critters that LOVE your body heat and, disgustingly, feed off dead skin cells and mould. They live inside soft furnishings – curtains, rugs, carpets, pillows and mattresses and they thrive in moist, warm conditions. What happens in pillows and mattresses is that when you’re sleeping, they rise up to the top of the mattress to get close to your body warmth and the skin cells you shed during the night, and after you get out of bed and the body heat dissipates, they burrow right back down into the middle of the mattress or pillow.

For this reason a surface cleaner may not get rid of dust mites.

The best thing you can do is to buy a really good vacuum cleaner with a hepa filter (my preference is a Miele that uses vacuum bags) and vacuum the mattress/pillow as quickly as possible after you’ve left the bed. Obviously not what most people feel like doing first thing in the morning while they’re still wiping the sleep from your eyes, but if dust mites are a problem, it’s worth doing.

Other excellent practices are to regularly put your mattress and pillows out into the sun, as this will also kill the little buggers, and anything that can be washed, like bedding, curtains etc, should be washed and sun dried regularly.

So why is it so important now, at this time of year, to try and get rid of dust mites?

Because both mould spores and dust mites are most active when the weather really starts to cool down. This means that Autumn and Winter are the seasons where those who are susceptible will become sneezy, runny-nosed miseries.

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