Dust Mites: Enter Fright Mite

The Unwanted Guests Lurking in Your Home

Do you really want to scare somebody this Halloween? Actually, not scare. Do you want to totally freak them out for a few days or weeks? Well, we’ve got the perfect Halloween costume for you. It’s not Freddy Krueger. It’s not Jason. It’s not even a politician. Are you ready? This Halloween, terrify your family, friends, and neighbors by dressing up like a… dust mite.

Cue scary music! Cue panicky screams!

Yes, it’s true: Nothing is creepier than dust mites. These tiny creatures are everywhere. Everywhere! They crawl on your body. They eat your skin. Worst of all, they can cause allergies and itching and breathing problems – especially when you’re TRAPPED inside with them for an entire winter.

Fear not! Follow this plan to beat the microscopic monsters. Here’s how to destroy dust mites:

Start where you sleep.

Dust mites love bedrooms. Studies show they spend lots of time on your mattress, comforter, sheets, pillow cases, and, thus, you. Once you realize you’re sharing your bed with a zillion Dermatophagoides (our science teachers would be proud!), you might be tempted to burn the entire bedroom down to the studs. Don’t! Just cover it all up. Mattresses and pillows can be zipped up in dust-proof covers, from the less expensive plastic or vinyl covers to more comfortable fabric “allergen-impermeable” covers. As for blankets and sheets, wash them weekly in hot water.

Expand your search-and-destroy mission.

Now that your bed is more hypoallergenic, think about everything else in the room that has fabric. You know, carpet, rugs, curtains, upholstered furniture. Then take a quick jaunt around the house. You’ll soon discover that your home has lots of fabric in it. This, my friend, is enemy territory. It’s time to get serious. It’s time to suck up the suckers, either by steam cleaning or vacuuming. For steam cleaning, it’s a good idea to hire a professional to get the best results. But you can do it yourself. Most box stores carry various steam cleaners, chemicals, and accessories. There are many online how-to videos to help. Of course, a powerful vacuum with a quality HEPA filter may be all you need to kick the dust out your mite problem. Shop-Vac® offers a wide range of vac filters and accessories that will help get the job done. You can also find numerous vac and filter options online, at allergy supply companies, and even at specialty vacuum stores. Regardless of which method you choose, be sure to go deep inside the crevasses of sofas and chairs and everything else so all the mites bite the dust.

Check out even more dust mite tips:

•    Avoid wall-to-wall carpet. (If you must have carpet, keep it a short, tight pile style.)
•    For hardwood, tile, and laminate floors, mop. And mop often.
•    Dust all hard surfaces weekly with a damp soft cloth, microfiber dusters, or electrostatic dusters.
•    Dry cleaning is a very effective method of killing dust mites, if applicable.
•    Your house humidity level should be as low as possible, ideally less than 50%.
•    Hip-hip-hooray for HEPA. These filters are vital for vacuums, but also can be used for the entire house through your central HVAC system.

Now that you’ve got your house dust-critter free, you can start worrying about the next scariest thing about Halloween: running out of candy.

Cue scary music! Cue panicky screams!