What are dust mites and how to get rid of them

A Spring Cleaning Question – What Are Dust Bunnies?

By on March 19, 2015
Clean those dust mites

There’s actually an answer for that. Huffington Post’s recent article asked Robin Wilson, an eco-friendly interior designer and author of the forthcoming book, Clean Design (Greenleaf, 2015).

According to her, “Dust bunnies are made up of many things, Including dead skin, hair, particles of fiber, paper and feathers, and lint from textiles. Dust bunnies are held together with static electricity. And in homes with many pets or lots of people with shedding hair, they can get large as they collect under furniture such as beds and sofas.”

WebMD  shares that, “the big problem with dust bunnies, though, is dust mites. In a gram of dust, there may be hundreds or even thousands of these tiny, eight-legged bugs that live off shed skin. Everywhere dust mites go, they leave behind waste that triggers sneezes and sniffles in people who are allergic to it.”

They can be harmful to those with allergy or respiratory issues.

Where to look for dust mites:

  • Under and behind furniture, like the bed, refrigerator, and couch
  • In the corners of molding
  • Under carpets
  • Inside mattresses and pillows
  • In the stuffing of upholstered furniture
  • Inside the pleated tops of curtains
  • In between lampshade pleats
  • Between appliances

It’s recommended you move your furniture once or twice a year, clean underneath to ensure that surfaces do not build up debris.

WebMD suggests trying these cleanings tips:

  1. Use a vacuum cleaner with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter, if you can. It is better at sucking up dust so you don’t just spread it around.
  2. Use the vacuum attachments to get into cracks and crevices where dust hides. Run them over the couch and other upholstered furniture to suck up dead skin cells.
  3. Pull out the refrigerator and move furniture to get into all the corners.
  4. Wet or spray your dust cloth with a little furniture polish or cleaner before you use it. Otherwise, you’ll just send dust particles floating back into the air.
  5. To keep dust mites out of your bed, regularly wash bedding in hot water (at least 130° F).

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