How to Avoid Dust Mites

You can make your home less friendly to tiny dust mites.

Dust Mites Love People's Homes

You may not realize it, but your carpets, drapes and bedding may be crawling with some crazy creatures that look as if they came from outer space. Dust mites are so small, you can't see them with the naked eye. Yet they're everywhere. Their diet will make your skin crawl, since that's what they eat. Not while it's on you, of course: people shed about 1/5 of an ounce of skin a week, and it can become food for dust mites. They top off their meals with helpings of fungi, pollen, and pet dander. Most people aren't aware of dust mites unless they have allergies. If you're one of those people, here are some things you can do to keep dust mites under control.

Run the A.C.

Dust mites love warm, humid conditions. By running your air conditioning, you can keep temperatures and humidity low. In fact, keeping your temperature below 75 and your humidity below 50 percent will probably kill most of your dust mites. That might be because dust mites take in moisture by absorbing it from the atmosphere, and they can't get much when the humidity is low.

What to Do with Your Pets

Dust mites eat pet dander, and dogs, cats, and even birds produce it. Keep your pets out of your bedroom. If possible have them sleep in a room with hardwood or tiled floors and a washable throw rug for easy cleaning.

Other Treatments

You can also use Ortho® Home Defense® Dual-Action Bed Bug Killer to kill dust mites. Thoroughly vacuum the entire house, concentrating on areas where mites congregate, like mattresses, box springs, headboards, walls, floors, carpets and along baseboards. Then spray the surfaces until damp. Always follow label instructions for use.