Unlike bed bugs, dust mites cannot be seen by the naked eye – they are a microscopic, parasitic insect living in human dwellings feeding on flakes of skin. While they are most often found in bed mattresses and sheets, the common household dust mite can migrate to carpets and other areas of the home. Their name refers both to their size and food they eat, meaning that they do not have a direct contact to our bodies. The problem with these pests is their fecal matter, once in contact with the human skin it can cause allergic reactions and in some cases respiratory problems. How can you get rid of them then?
Use high temperatures
While hard to spot, they leave traces all over the surface of the carpet, showing where they are. Like any other insect, dust mites don’t take kindly to high temperatures, meaning that a high powered steam machine or a thorough carpet washing can do wonders. What is more, by removing their food source – skin and hairs, you also reduce their chance of survival even further. There are commercial versions of the professional steam cleaning machines and investing in one might save you more than a couple of quid. If you don’t have access to such a machine and don’t want to invest, you can wash the carpet in high temperature waters, however, this isn’t optimal for natural fibered fibers, as they might shrink.
Vacuum sealing your carpets
This might be a bit of an overkill, however, you can never be too certain when dealing with these pests. To get the proper results, you’ll need a large vacuum bag capable of fitting your carpet in. It is used to seal the carpet once you have cleaned it to ensure that no dust mites migrate from the fibers of the carpet. You can clean the surface of the carpet with a vacuum machine. This will remove the dust particles which the insects use to nourish themselves.
Get the carpet inside the vacuum bag and draw all of the air out. Seal the bag and leave for a couple of days while the dust mites die from starvation. Once done you can reclaim your carpet as your own once again, simply vacuum once more, you may use a detergent to extract them as well, and you are good to go. This treatment is suitable both for synthetic and natural carpets, as it does not use neither heat nor moisture to clean.
Use Lavender or Basil
A lavender extract can be found at any pharmacy, or you can make your own concoction using the real plant, some lemon zest and water.
- If you do manage to get your hands on an extract – use lemon zest, 5-7 drops of the extract and a full water bottle with a spraying nozzle – any more of the lavender will over saturate the carpet and might make the job more unpleasant than you think.
- If you want to use the plant itself – get the entire thing, roots included, the juice off of half a lemon and 2 liters of water. Slightly chop and break the stems and leaves of the lavender so it releases its smell. Combine all of the ingredients in a suitable container and leave it for 1-2 days, after that you can use as you see fit.
Bed bugs, dust mites and insects of all kind run from this thing, so results are almost guaranteed.
Remember that you can always opt for a professional’s help, there are affordable, quality options out there, with guaranteed results.