Dust mites–minute flesh-eating insects too small to be seen by the naked eye–inhabit your carpets, curtains and bedding. Their faeces can be a significant cause of allergies. The best way to deal with dust mites is to starve them of the dust they eat–which is mostly made up of old skin cells.

Actions you can take around the home

 

Repel Allergens

Cover your mattress, bed base and pillows with covers made specifically to repel allergens. These covers are sold in most department stores.

Vacuum Efficiently

Vacuum your carpets regularly. Buy a vacuum cleaner that uses a double bag and a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter, which filters out microscopic allergens. If you have a wood or tile floor underneath your carpets, think about getting rid of the carpets altogether. Wear a mask while vacuuming, and then leave the house for a few hours afterwards, if possible.

Regular Washes

Change your sheets once a week and wash them in very hot water – at least 60ºC – to kill the mites.

Bye-Bye Clutter

Clear away clutter, which can gather dust and harbour dust mites. Remove any soft toys from the bed.

Keep the Air Dry

If you don't have a dehumidifier, it's a good idea to get one. Keeping the air in your home dry will significantly reduce the population of dust mites, which die when humidity levels fall below 45 per cent.

Mouldy Bathrooms

Laundries and bathrooms are havens for moulds, mildew and dust mites, because of damp and humid conditions. Wipe away any obvious mould using a solution of diluted bleach (make sure the room is adequately ventilated).

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