How Can You Get Rid Of Dust Mites?

How To Get Rid Of Dust Mites UK (2024)

Last updated: 19.04.2024 Reading time: 5 Min.

Around 10% of the world's population is allergic to dust mites. 🪲

This means a house dust mite infestation can be a problem for those with allergies or asthmatic symptoms.

So, what can you do about it?

In this article, we explore how to get rid of dust mites effectively.

Let's dive in. 👇

anti dust mites

A quick overview on how to get rid of dust mites:

  • Wash bedding at high temperatures regularly
  • Reduce humidity in the home
  • Vacuum & dust the home often
  • Use allergy-friendly bedding & mattresses

How to get rid of dust mites

Let's explore the effective dust mite treatment measures you can start implementing today.

Wash bedding regularly

It’s crucial to wash your bedding at high temperatures as regularly as possible. 🌡️

washing bedding
Wash bedding regularly to remove dust mites.

We recommend washing bedding at least weekly or every two weeks to kill house dust mites and effectively remove allergens.

Washing your kid’s soft toys every few months or giving them a chilly timeout in the freezer can also help tackle those pesky mites.

You should also replace your bedding and pillowcases with new ones every year or so.

Our article on how to clean a mattress can offer further advice.

We’ll explore the best bedding options for keeping dust mites at bay a bit further down.

Reduce humidity in the home

Keeping humidity levels low, ideally below 50%, is key in making your home less inviting to mites.

Ensure proper ventilation, especially after activities like cooking or showering, to ward off excessive moisture.

Drying clothes outdoors and letting bedding air out before making the bed can help to reduce moisture. 🌬️

drying clothes outside
Dry clothes outside.

You can also invest in a dehumidifier or an air cooler to help create a drier, dust mite-resistant environment.

Vacuum regularly

A thorough vacuuming routine is crucial in the fight against house dust mites. ⚔️

Targeting carpets, floors, and soft furnishings at least once a week prevents these areas from becoming dust mite havens.

You should also ensure that the vacuum filter or dust bag is clean, to remove any dust mites that may have accumulated inside.

Vacuuming mattresses every two weeks can make a significant difference in reducing dust mite populations, leading to a cleaner and more allergen-free bedroom environment. ✨

vacuuming mattress
Vacuum your mattress regularly.

Consider upgrading to a vacuum cleaner with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter for an enhanced cleaning experience.

Remove dust

Regular dusting and polishing of surfaces ensure that your home stays welcoming and minimises allergens that can affect your well-being.

Begin with the basics by wiping and polishing surfaces regularly to keep dust at bay.

Paying special attention to areas that often get overlooked can also make a big difference. 🔍

dust mites in home
Dust areas of the home that are often overlooked.

Ornaments and decorative items, while they add character to your space, can also be magnets for dust.

Consider reducing the number of these items or ensuring they are cleaned regularly.

Use allergy-friendly bedding

Invest in a good quality mattress protector and opt for allergen-proof bedding to create a barrier against dust mites. 🛡️

mattress protector benefits
A mattress protector is essential for preventing allergens and accidents.

Look for duvet covers and pillowcases with zippers to prevent dust mites from getting inside, and choose bedding that’s easy to toss in the wash.

Machine-washable duvets and pillows are a must for those who are sensitive to allergens.

If possible, upgrade to an anti-dust mite mattress or one with a machine-washable cover for that extra layer of protection.

Our favourite anti-dust mite mattresses:

What are dust mites?

Dust mites are tiny, insect-like pests that make themselves at home in the cosy nooks and crannies of your house dust. 💨

They are so small at just a quarter of a millimetre long that they are completely invisible to the naked eye.

Despite their minuscule size, dust mites play a significant role in the ecosystem of our indoor environments.

For the majority, these tiny tenants are harmless, quietly coexisting without causing any disturbance. 🤫

Are dust mites harmful?

However, for some individuals, dust mites can become a bigger problem.

Asthma affects around 5.4 million [1] people in the UK.

Allergic and asthmatic symptoms can arise from breathing in allergens found in the dust mites' droppings, making these invisible house guests from benign to bothersome.

A dust mites allergy causes many symptoms.

Symptoms include sneezing and having a runny or itchy nose, throat or mouth. 🤧

These allergy symptoms are often worsened from a home infested with dust mites.

Understanding the nature of dust mites and how to prevent them is the first step towards creating a healthier home environment, especially for those sensitive to these allergens.

How do you know if you have dust mites in the home?

Wondering if dust mites are sharing your space?

Dust mite allergy symptoms include sneezing, a runny or stuffy nose, and itchy, watery eyes.

You might also find yourself coughing or wheezing, which is especially noticeable right after you wake up.

Moreover, skin reactions, such as redness and itching, can flare up if you come into direct contact with dust mites or their waste particles.

skin reaction
Red and itchy skin may be a sign of a house dust mite infestation.

These reactions are your body's way of telling you that dust mite allergens might be lurking in your bedding or elsewhere in your home.

Can you see dust mites?

Dust mites are completely invisible to the naked eye.

Regarding their size, adult female dust mites measure about 500 microns (0.05 mm or 0.002 inches) long.

dust mites
Dust mites are too small to be seen by the naked eye.

While we can't physically see them, the symptoms mentioned above may indicate a dust mite infestation.

Where do dust mites come from?

Dust mites are a natural part of our indoor environment, quietly setting up camp in our homes without an invitation.

These tiny creatures thrive best in warm, humid environments—conditions that many of our homes naturally provide.

The reason they choose to dwell with us is quite straightforward: dust mites feed on dead skin cells, which humans shed regularly.

This diet leads them to places where skin cells tend to accumulate, such as in bedding, upholstered furniture, and carpets.

mattress with dust mites
Dust mites can be found in mattresses and other upholstered furniture.

These areas offer dust mites not only a plentiful food supply but also the warm and moist environment they adore.

So, can you get rid of dust mites?

Yes, you can get rid of dust mites in your home.

Regular cleaning and maintaining low humidity in rooms where dust mites are likely to accumulate is key.

Don't let these tiny pests dictate your home's (and your) health and follow the tips in our article.

Frequently asked questions

  • Do dust mites eventually go away?

    Dust mites will not go away on their own, and if you have a dust mite infestation, you will have to take action to get rid of them. 

    We advise: 

    • Regularly washing bedding at high temperatures
    • Reducing humidity in the home 
    • Vacuuming & dusting the home as often as you can
    • Using allergy-friendly bedding & mattresses 

    Scroll up to our article for more advice on how to get rid of dust mites in the home. 

  • Can dust mites bite?

    Unlike bed bugs and lice, dust mites do not bite. 

    However, they can cause red and itchy rashes on the skin, which can be irritating. 

    Those with asthma or a dust mite allergy may also experience the negative symptoms of a dust mite problem. 

  • Dust mites vs bed bugs

    Dust mites and bed bugs are very different, although they tend to appear in the same areas of the home. 

    A dust mite is a microscopic type of spider, while a bed bug is a parasitic insect that is visible. 

    Brownish stains on your bedding or mattress and bites on your skin may indicate the presence of bed bugs. 

    Find out more in our article on how to get rid of bed bugs. 

  • References


Holly Matthews

Senior Content Writer

Holly has been a content writer at Sleep Hero UK since 2021. With an MA degree in literature and previous experience working at a leading UK bed retailer, she is committed to using her skills to guide others towards making better sleep choices.

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