It is not possible to completely rid a home of dust mites or bed mites, but reducing their numbers is possible by frequently washing blankets and bedding in hot water or freezing non-washable bedding overnight, replacing wall-to-wall carpeting with wood, tile or linoleum and removing any upholstered furniture and fabric curtains. Feather or wool bedding should also be replaced with items made from synthetic materials.
Running the air conditioner and a dehumidifier to keep the humidity level in the home at 50 percent or below also helps reduce the bed mite and dust mite population. Pillows and mattresses can be encased in allergen-proof covers to seal mites out. A damp rag or mop can be used to remove dust, and a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter or double-thick microfilter bag may also reduce mites' numbers.
Wearing a mask while vacuuming can prevent flare-ups from allergens. After vacuuming, allergic persons should avoid the vacuumed space for 20 minutes to allow allergens to settle before re-entering the room.
Dust mites are related to the spider family. They live on bedding, mattresses, carpets, curtains and furniture, feeding from the flakes of skin shed by people and indoor animals. A humid environment is an ideal home for a mite.