As disgusting as it sounds, dust mites love to eat your dead skin and inhabit your pillows, mattresses and even your clothes. These tiny microscopic mites are so small that half a teaspoon of dust may contain up to 1,000 mites. Although mites don't actually harm humans and feed only a dead skin and hair cells, dust mites and their excrement are responsible for aggravating allergies and asthma. It is estimated that up to 80 percent of those who suffer from allergies and asthma may attribute the symptoms, at least in part, to dust mites. Keeping them at bay requires covering pillows and mattresses with mite proof coverings and taking appropriate measures in washing bedding and clothes.
Wash mite infested clothing or bedding in hot water. Regular washing does not kill dust mites; laundry must be washed at 130 degrees to kill mites. Many home washers do not reach this temperature. Turn up the temperature of your hot water heater or visit a public laundry mart to wash your clothes.
Store clean clothes in a cool dry place and be sure to close closet doors. Mites breed in warm humid areas where they have access to shed skin cells.
Use a dehumidifier in summer months. Mites need warm moist air to live and breed. Lowering the humidity level helps keep dust mites to a minimum.
Expose clothes to direct sunlight to kill mites. Drying clothes on the line on a sunny day will kill mites. Be sure that direct sunlight bathes all areas of the garment.
Freeze clothes to kill mites if practical. This is a great way to kill mites in jackets or sweaters. Place them in a plastic bag and store in the freezer overnight or place them outside when winter weather dips below freezing.