Methods I have Researched… & My Own Conclusion
I did so much research into dust mites. As I read through each page and scientific paper I became ever more stunned… these mites are evil and so difficult to kill. But there’s an easy way.
So, here we go. These are the dust mite control methods you’ll find on the net. Let’s go through them…
Vacuum your Mattress
Vacuuming the mattress will suck up quite a few dust mites. However, I discovered that the little vermin have very sticky feet. This means that many will be missed by the vacuum. So vacuuming your mattress..? well, It knocks their numbers back a bit but it’s only temporarily and it’s a lot of work So vacuuming is not a solution to the problem. Also, my vacuum cleaner, of standard power, pulls threads out of my mattress. So vacuuming is no good for me even if it did control them.
This might work, but again, it’s only temporary and it’s a lot of work. Pillows can go into the washing machine or be hand washed. though many pillows cannot be washed in this way. You must check the cleaning instructions on your pillow label. Once washed, they take ages to dry.
Putting Pillows in the Dryer
This will knock back the dust mites but they need to be in the dryer for up to and hour. That can be heavy on the electricity use. You need to do this regularly, every fortnight for everyone’s pillows.
Sprinkling baking soda over the mattress and leaving it there for 24 hours can also reduce dust mite numbers, temporarily. You’ll have to sleep elsewhere for a night and again repeat this control method this every fortnight.
Spraying with chemical pesticides is something I’d really not recommend. These will likely be harmful to you and your family and may not even kill all the dust mites. Even if it does kill them you have to keep spraying bedding with chemicals regularly to ensure they don’t come back. That means the chemicals are almost always present for you to breathe in while sleeping.
Spraying with vinegar may deter dust mites and possibly kill a few. It may cause them to temporarily retreat deeper into your pillow or mattress. The vinegar smell may not be pleasant for you and this is only a temporary method of control, so again, you’ll have to spray regularly. I don’t find this an effective method of control.
My Conclusion: My Best Dust Mite Control
Two main points: I decided that I don’t trust the control methods above to completely get rid of dust mites. Also, I don’t have time for them. That leaves one option; covering all my bedding so dust mites couldn’t get in or out of my bedding.
I use synthetic, cheap pillows and cover them immediately from the time of purchase. I air them on the line in the sun every month or so but otherwise they always stay encased in the dust mite proof covers. If you have expensive pillows you love, you could wash and fully dry them or have them dry-cleaned before you encase them (chech the washing instructions!).
Washing all sheets and pillow cases in at least a 140°F/60°C every week, as you should anyway… ok, honestly sometimes I leave it every 2 weeks with no problems. This will kill mites and bed bugs
Washing the dust mite proof covers: The covers I use can be washed in the machine, so that’s easy. I do that every few months. You can also wipe down the mattress covers with a damp cloth and vinegar and let them fully dry. That will remove the mites and allergens that collect after in the sheets and fall through to the covers. It will also remove the skin cells that collect there, which are the mites’ food source.
(eBay link to bed covers)