Mites are microscopic beings that proliferate in humid and warm environments. They are present in our houses and, although as a general rule they do not cause us problems, there are allergy sufferers who are affected significantly in their daily life, since they can cause asthma, rhinitis or conjunctivitis, among other discomforts. Completely ending them is very difficult. However, we can keep them under control with certain household hygiene measures. Do you want to know how to get it?
Humidity and heat, the paradise of the mites
Don’t look for them, because you won’t see them. However, the mites are there, in your own home. They accumulate, above all, in the bedroom: on the mattress and bedding, although they are also found in other fabrics and upholstery throughout the house, from the rugs to the sofa. To finish them off, cleaning these textile elements is essential.
For mites to live and develop, special conditions must be met. They like warm and humid places, so they tend to proliferate more in coastal areas. In fact, they roam freely in environments with more than 60% humidity and disappear if it is less than 45%. Therefore, the first recommendation to combat them is to ventilate the house thoroughly. Open the windows every day for at least 30 minutes and let the sun in, as its rays fight mites by decreasing humidity. In addition, it is important not to abuse the heating (that the temperature does not exceed 22º C) and to use dehumidifiers if necessary, especially in the bedroom.
To control mites the most important thing is to adopt certain hygiene measures that go through the thorough cleaning of our house. This is key if there are allergy sufferers. Declare war on dust and remove it daily in the morning, while the windows are open and the air is renewed. The vacuum cleaner will be your best ally, much more than the broom, or the brush since it collects dust and does not spread it around the environment. And you should also use a damp cloth to clean furniture and other surfaces instead of a feather duster, for example. Giving up non-essential rugs, blankets, cushions, and textiles is a good way to combat mites at home. And if you have them, try to vacuum them at least once a week. One trick: sprinkle the rugs with baking soda, let it sit overnight, and vacuum thoroughly the next day. A tip: do not forget to clean the filters of the air conditioning or heating system.
A mite-proof vacuum cleaner
To finish them off and make them disappear from our house, the vacuum cleaner is a fundamental tool. However, not just anyone. The best ones are those that are equipped with HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filters, capable of trapping the smallest dust particles and not returning them to the environment, so the air is purified. There are different types of HEPA filters, depending on their filtering power (from HEPA 10 to HEPA 14, this being the one with the highest capacity). A tip: for your HEPA vacuum cleaner to work properly you have to maintain it properly. Clean it after use and change it from time to time according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
The mattress on your bed is one of the favorite places for mites. They love! To remove them it is necessary to clean it very often. How? You will have to vacuum it thoroughly once a week, using a special accessory that will make your task easier. It is also advisable that you aerate it once a month and that you spray it with an aerosolized acaricidal product, capable of killing mites, then vacuuming to remove the remains. A tip: when choosing the mattress, especially if you suffer from asthma or allergies, it is best that you decide on a compact latex or fiber. The spring mattresses are hollow inside and it is much easier for mites to accumulate on them.
Bedding under examination
Although the usual frequency to change the sheets is once a week, in the case of asthmatic or allergic people it is best to do it twice. Choose natural fabrics, resistant and easy to wash, that withstand high temperatures. It is also advisable to opt for mattress covers and anti-allergy pillows. In addition to being made with natural fibers, they have a very fine and narrow weft that does not let mites pass.
It is important to wash the bedding in the correct way, choosing a washing program that uses hot water, at least at 60º C. That is why it is important that the sheets and duvet covers are made of 100% cotton, and can resist washing. frequent and high temperatures. A solution for delicate sheets? You can put them in the dryer for about 15 minutes at 60º C and then wash them at a lower temperature. Tip: Do you have to change the washing machine? If there are allergy sufferers at home, it is a good idea to buy one with an allergy program. Steam removes most of the mites and allergens present in the tissues.
Acaricides that work
There are cleaning products that kill mites. These are chemical acaricides, usually in aerosols, that is not toxic to us and that can be used on mattresses, upholstery, and most surfaces. Its use is advisable in case there are allergy sufferers at home, although they do not prevent us from having to clean up afterward. It is true that they kill the tiny bugs but do not eliminate the remains, which are also allergens.
According to the Spanish Society of Allergology and Clinical Immunology (SEAIC), allergy to mites affects 70-80% of children living in coastal areas. If your child is asthmatic and allergic, you should take certain precautions in his bedroom. The best thing is that your room is as sunny as possible since mites love dark places and that you bet on a simple decoration. In addition to choosing the most suitable mattress and bedding, it is advisable to do without carpets, cushions, and other elements where dust can accumulate. Also, avoid upholstered headboards and wallpaper. Advice: In case your child likes stuffed animals, choose those that you can wash in the washing machine at high temperatures.
Your best friend
We know you love animals, but I am sorry to tell you that if you have an allergy to mites, it is not convenient for you to live with pets. Dog hair, for example, is a perfect refuge for these tiny creatures. If you still decide to have a dog at home, you will have to keep it very clean, bathing it once or twice every week, as well as brushing it thoroughly. You should also prevent it from entering the bedroom, you know that it is a space that must be protected to the maximum.
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