Dust mites are annoying little vermin. They feel most comfortable in high humidity. Read here how you can effectively control dust lice and how to get rid of dust mites at home.
Dust mites: what makes them special?
Dust mites can be found almost everywhere. They live under leaves, bark, in damp cellars – and under certain circumstances you will also find good living conditions in the apartment. With the naked eye, dust mites can hardly be seen, the insects usually only grow to between 1 and 2 millimeters. Other external features include: a light body and long, thin antennae on the head. Because dust lice can jump, they are sometimes mistaken for fleas. Some species also have wings.
The lifespan of dust lice is approximately ten to twelve weeks. However, since they reproduce in buildings all year round, you have to take active action against the small animals to get rid of them. The main food for dust mites is mold , spores and lichens, but the small insects also eat flour, rice or muesli.
Where exactly do we find dust mites at home?
As mentioned earlier, dust mites prefer moisture . Accordingly, the bathroom is a popular place for dust mites, as is the kitchen , damp window sills, basement rooms or indoor plants. Even new homes that are not completely dry or freshly wallpapered are places where dust mite can be found again and again. “The animals there eat the barely visible mold from the wallpaper and leave behind fine paper dust,” according to the German Pest Control Association. As soon as the building fabric has dried out, the problem usually resolves itself here.
Fighting dust mites – this is how it works
Dust mites are not dangerous to humans . Alone: If they occur in large quantities, you can trigger allergies. The good thing is that dust mites are relatively easy to control. The easiest and fastest way to counter dust mite is with a vacuum cleaner. The most important means, however, is to lower the humidity . Dust mite prefer a relative humidity of around 70 to 90 percent; if it falls below 60 percent, the death rate increases dramatically. And this is how it works:
Ventilate regularly and correctly
Many people at home permanently tilt their windows. Frequent forced ventilation would be better. Two to four minutes a day are ideal, and it can be more often in the kitchen or bathroom. Especially after cooking and showering, you should make sure to let the additional humidity escape.
Using lids when cooking
Sounds banal, but if you use lids for pots when cooking, less water vapor will be released into the environment – and you will also save energy.
Disposing of indoor plants
You may need to be strong now, but: Indoor plants such as cyprus grass, green lily or house linden increase the humidity in rooms. If you hold your house plants responsible for the increased humidity, it is better to part with them.
Setting up a bowl of rice or salt
Distribute small bowls of rice or salt around the house or apartment as required. Why? Both are water-absorbent and thus remove moisture from the air.
Mold is one of the most common causes of dust mite to appear. The dust lice aren’t even the biggest problem. In the worst case, severe mold growth in the house or apartment can be harmful to health and, for example, lead to breathing difficulties or even asthma. It is therefore imperative to take active action against and eliminate mold. You can find more information in our article: Removing mold in the apartment.
How to prevent dust mite infestation at home
Anyone who has read this far already knows the answer to how a dust lice infestation can be prevented – namely exactly the way you fight it (see section above). The be-all and end-all is and will remain to ensure the correct humidity in the individual rooms.