Dustmites are microscopic creatures that live in dark, warm, and moist places. These are areas where temperature ranges from 68 °F to 84 °F and have humidity levels of between 70 and 80 percent. They thrive in bedding, furniture upholstery, sofas, couches, carpets and rugs because they get their meals from sloughed off human skin. People lose a few grams of skin each day, which is enough to feed millions of these bugs.
Dust mites love to hide in the dust. Dusty upholstery made of feathers, protein-based textiles, furs, and organic fibers are common dust mite havens. Polyester upholstery also provides a haven for the mites as they trap the moisture on perspiration.
When you look at them under a microscope, the dust mites look like white bugs that do not have the eyes. They breathe through the skin and look more like spiders not insects.
Regular steam cleaning of carpets prevents the growth of dust mite populations and reduces their numbers significantly. Cleaning experts estimate that as much as 87 percent of dust mites are killed in on steam cleaning carpet wash.
For furniture upholstery, couches, and carpets that cannot be cleaned using steam, you may have vapor cleaning. This method of cleaning makes use a small machine that cleans the surface with dry steam and kill pathogen as well as dust mites. Vapor has less than 10 percent of the water in the vapor and therefore do not make the surfaces wet.
Consider natural wool carpets
The lanolin in wool repels the dust mites, that is why the sheep are not infested with the dust mites. You may consider having woolen carpets and upholstery covers to get rid of the bugs.
Avoid wall-to-wall carpets
Avoid using wall-to-wall carpets especially on the concrete floors and other hard floors as they generate moisture. Washable throw rugs lower the dust mite population on the floor.
Consider allergen-proof covers
There are allergen-proof covers sold in the market. These covers prevent the accumulation of moisture and dust on the upholstery. Combine them with vacuuming, vapor, and steam cleaning to reduce the numbers of the dust mites.
If you experience high dust mite infestation regularly, you may also consider leather, plastic, vinyl, and wooden furniture as they can be cleaned with ease.
Regular cleaning and the right choice of materials is the only way to can keep the dust mite population low, as insecticides do not affect them.