Though too small to be seen with the naked eye, dust mites are present in most homes and live in mattresses, pillows, upholstered furniture and carpet. They do not bite or harm humans, but some people are allergic to them and may experience asthma, dermatitis and other reactions when exposed to the mites. A study published in the "Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine" showed that exposure to ultraviolet C light -- UV-C -- can kill dust mites and their eggs. To reduce allergy symptoms, however, you must remove the dead dust mites and associated debris from your home via vacuuming or other means.
Things You'll Need
- UV safety glasses
- UV-C light wand
Put on safety glasses that offer protection from UV radiation. Many UV-C wands sold for household use automatically turn themselves off if the unit is held with the lamp up, but protect your eyes with goggles in case this safety device should fail for any reason.
Hold the UV wand as close to the surface to be cleaned as possible, with the lamp facing down, and then turn the unit on.
Move the UV wand across the surface you are cleaning slowly and evenly, keeping it as close to the surface as you can without touching it. Be sure to keep the wand level while you use it. For best results, repeat the process a second time.
Turn your UV wand off when you're finished using it, and store it out of the reach of children.
Sanitize the surfaces in your home when you clean them. Once you notice a fresh, clean smell in the sanitized area or see an improvement in your allergy symptoms, use the wand weekly to keep the dust mite population under control.
- Verilux, Inc.: UV-C Frequently Asked Questions
- AllergEnd Healthy Bedding Solutions: Tips to Reduce House Dust Mite Allergens -- Mite Dust
- United States Department of Agriculture: Integrated Management of House Dust Mites and Their Allergens for Prevention of Allergies and Asthma
- Bedford Hospital NHS Trust: Reducing House Dust Mites
- Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine: Effect of Germicidal UV-C Light(254 nm) on Eggs and Adult of House Dustmites, Dermatophagoides Pteronyssinus and Dermatophagoides Farinae (Astigmata: Pyroglyhidae)