Dust mites are microscopic bugs that infest mattresses, your most-used upholstered furniture and carpets. They don’t carry diseases, but if you’re allergic to dust, you’re probably allergic to dust mites.
Their favorite food is dead skin cells, and you shed yours at a rate of one-third ounce a week. Your pets shed even more.
So they live in the places where you spend the most time: your bed and your favorite sofa. In fact, a typical used mattress contains 100,000 mites. They also live where it’s hot. Where we live, it’s hot!
Dust mites are too small to see, so if you think you have them, call a pest-control company to make the diagnosis.
The best way to get rid of them is to get rid of the dust in your house and prevent it from coming back. Rosie also recommends:
- Zip all of your mattresses into airtight plastic mattress covers.
- Wash your sheets, pillows and blankets—and your child’s fabric or stuffed toys—at least every other week in super-hot water.
- Replace down or wool pillows, blankets and comforters with nylon, cotton or synthetic fabrics.
- Don’t make your bed. An unmade bed exposes your sheets to air and keeps them dry, which can reduce the number of dust mites. You needed an excuse not to make the bed anyway, right?
- Let the sunshine it. Sunlight kills dust mites.
- Change your a/c filter monthly. Buy pleated filters designed to trap allergens.