Originally published January 27 2009
Control Dust Mites Naturally
by Jo Hartley
(NaturalNews) Dust mites are mites that live in house dust. It is actually the feces of dust mites that are the most common trigger of asthma and breathing difficulties. Dust mites produce fecal matter approximately 20 times each day and these feces are light enough to float in the air. This means that this is easily inhaled. Approximately 40,000 dust mites can occupy one speck of dust so it is easy to imagine the amount of dust mite feces that are inhaled with every indoor breath taken.
A humid environment is the perfect habitat for dust mites because dust mites feed on plant materials, molds, and fungi and all of these menu items are abundant in humid environments. Dust mites also feed on dead human skin, something which is prevalent in every home.
If one has allergies or asthmatic health issues, minimizing dust mites in the home is a very important task. Reducing dust mites naturally is an effective option that is relatively simple to accomplish.
How to Reduce House Dust Mites:
Bedding: This is the favored home of the dust mite. For the allergy prone, it may be a good idea to encase bedding and pillows with special covers that are cleaned frequently.
Washing: Wash clothes and bedding regularly. Washing in 130oF water will kill all dust mites. Washing in cold water kills approximately 90% of dust mites. Adding several drops of eucalyptus oil to the wash water is effective as well. For those with sensitivities to eucalyptus, lavender or rosemary essential oils are also effective.
Heating: Heat will help minimize dust mites. Examples of effective heat include steam-cleaning carpets, tumble-drying in a dryer, direct sunlight, and electric blankets. Dust mites do not like direct sunlight. Hanging bedding or rugs outside in the sun is effective for removal of dust mites.
Air Conditioning: Air conditioning will dry out a humid indoor environment. This will reduce the food supply for dust mites and the result will be a reduced number of dust mites. It's important to realize, however, that air conditioning removes beneficial negative ions from the air so there is a trade-off.
Air Purification: A quality air purifier is an effective tool for reducing dust mites. Air purification technology that uses oxidation is effective at purifying the air of dust mites. Hydroxyl ions, hydro peroxides, oxide ions or negative ions remove pollutants from the air. Oxidation technology air purifiers can be placed throughout a home to be effective. These oxidizers can also penetrate upholstered furniture, carpeting, and bedding to destroy dust mites and feces.
Cleaning: Because dust mites exist in the fabrics, carpets, and upholsteries in a home, it is important to vacuum carpets and upholstery frequently and carefully. If breathing issues are particularly severe, removing carpets and installing hardwood flooring may be beneficial. Regular dusting is also important.
A spray of 1 cup vodka and 20-30 drops of eucalyptus essential oil can be made and used as well. Spray pillows and bedding several times per week. This spray can also be used on upholstery and carpets.
About the authorJo Hartley
Wife, Mother of 8, and Grandmother of 2
Jo is a 41 year old home educator who has always gravitated toward a natural approach to life. She enjoys learning as much as possible about just about anything!
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