Dust mites are tiny bugs that are to the same family as spiders and ticks. This super tiny crawlies are so small that they can only be seen with the help of a microscope and are known to cause allergies and love to feed on the dead cells of humans and animals.
Since they survive on dead cells, they love to stay in places where they can be close to their hosts, provided that the environment is relatively humid and moderately warm, so their favorite spot is usually beddings and pillows.
Although they are not known to cause any severe health problems, once you are aware of their existence, your priority should be, “how do you get rid of dust mites in your clothes?” because they can populate within a very short period. This question is the basis for this post, so keep reading.
Do clothes get dust mites
Yes, clothes get dust mites.
One of the most likely places you are going to see dust mites are inside clothes, especially when these clothes are dirty and have been abandoned.
The reason behind this is not farfetched because that is the best place they can pick up dead skin cells shredded by humans and animals and the place where they can be least disturbed.
Although, this does not mean that you cannot find them in clean clothes as well because they can get to your closet and even infest your perfectly hanged clothes, and this is why sometimes people may experience itching when they put on clean clothes.
What kind of mites live in clothes
Mites may look extremely minuscule but they are as successful as almost every other known anthropoid and there are about 48 000, and millions of yet-to-be-identified species of mites across the world.
Although these creatures have differed in their choice of habitats and food source, sometimes nature may compel them to share similar boundaries with their keen.
Below is a list of might species that are usually found around houses and can also make their way to your closet in search of food and safety.
1. Clover mite
Clover mite is an oval-shaped arthropod with one pair of elongated legs. They are not biters and are not a carrier of diseases but their presence is likely to cause you a bit of annoyance.
Ordinarily, live in grassy lawns and feed on clover mites feed on clovers, ivy, fruit trees, and grasses, but during Autumn when grasses dry up, they can invade your interior and seek temporary shelter in your clothes.
2. Chigger mites
Chigger mite is an arthropod belonging to a family called Trombiculidae. Most times, they are the major cause of itchiness and bites people experience they walk through outdoor grasses and bushy paths.
Although their favorite place of habitats is moisty areas like swamps, rotten logs, and stumps because they have an appetite for the liquified human skin, formed as a result of injecting skin digesting enzymes into a tube that extends under our skin, they can find their way into our clothes and stay there for few hours.
3. Scabies mites
Scabies is also known as Sarcoptes scabiei is burrowing might cause contagious skin infection by penetrating the top layer of the skin to live and lay eggs.
From the above description, it is obvious that the primary choice of habitat for this species of mite is human skin. Although it is rare to see scabies mites in clothes, the possibility cannot be completely erased because they can survive without human contact for about 48 to 72 hours, which means they can survive for that much time in your cloth.
How long can mites live on clothes
Mites can live on clothes for close to 3 to 4 days.
Do dust mites make holes in clothes
No, dust bites do not make holes in clothes. Dust mites don’t bite humans and are most likely not capable of biting through clothes which could cause holes in them.
Some insects that are capable of making tiny holes in clothes after washing, like cockroaches, crickets, termites, and firebrats can do so because they feed by biting. Dust mite on the other hand does not bite but only suck.
Why do my clothes have dust mites
The favorite place for dust mites to be are inside beddings and pillows, therefore, you happen to have dust mites in your clothes, you must have picked them up while you sleep in your bed and dump the same dust mite infested cloth where you keep other clothes, thereby transferring dust mites to the other clean clothes in the process.
How to identify dust mites in clothes
Dust mites are microscopic organisms, which means you cannot see them with your naked eyes unless you use a microscope.
Identifying dust mites can be tricky, technical, and simple, depending on how knowledgeable you are about the use of scientific techniques. But first, you are going to need a microscope, and if you already have one with at least a 10x magnification lens, let me take you through the whole process.
- Take dust samples from your clothes with clear tape and examine them under a microscope.
- While you are examining the sample under the microscope, have it in your mind that you are looking for a minute spider-like, lightweight, 8 legged creature. If you can’t find that, look for its feces. They are usually very small and look like brownish rectangular pallets.
If you have dust mites on your cloth, they are most likely to notice their presence in these two forms.
Will cloth dryers kill dust mites
Yes, cloth dryers can kill just mites. If you have a cloth dryer in your house, you are already a step closer to getting rid of them once and for all if you are fortunate enough to capture them all at once in a laundry.
Although dust mites like to stay in warm or humidified environments ( they thrive at room temperature between 20 degrees to 25 degrees and a humidity of 70% to 80%), they cannot survive extreme weather conditions. Whether it be extreme coldness or hotness.
If the temperature in their environment rises beyond 55 degrees, they are going to die. Fortunate enough, this is a level of temperature that can be reached with the modern dryer and all you need is to run your dryer in the hottest setting and you will be good.
What can get rid of dust mite in cloth
If you don’t have a dryer, do not fidget because there are lots of other effective, inexpensive ways of curbing the menace of dust mites. You can make use of essential oil and dust mite detergents.
1. Essential oil
Essential oil is a hydrophobic liquid that contains easily evaporated chemical compounds extracted from plants. Although essential oil is used worldwide majorly for medicinal and health purposes, but can also be used to completely exterminate dust mites in your house if properly used.
There are various types of Essential oils in the market today, the most popular of them all which is the Eucalyptus is effective but not as effective as one other variant called fennel oil. Fennel oil over the years has proven to be the most potent essential oil that can be used to fight against dust mites.
2. Dust-mite detergent
As opposed to using regular detergents, you consider buying and using a dust mite detergent specially designed to get rid of don’t mist in any form. Asides from completely riding your clothes off dust mites, it will also help you take care of caused by them.
Examples of dust mite detergent include; Allersearch Allergen wash, Allerseaech ACARIL, Hygea natural, Eradicator laundry treatment, Moldergent Hypoallergenic detergent, Demite laundry Additive e.t.c.
How to get rid of dust mites in your clothes
You can get rid of dust mites in your with the following methods to be discussed below.
Use Diatomaceous earth
Diatomaceous earth is a natural smooth powder manufactured from silica rock. It works by breaking down the exoskeleton system of the dust mite and ultimately killing them while they crawl through the sprinkled powder.
How to use Diatomaceous earth
Diatomaceous earth is very easy to use, all you have to do is sprinkle the powder generously on the affected cloth and leave it there for as long as you desire.
Just make sure you leave enough time so that creepy crawlies can crawl over the powder and kill them. Dust away the powder after you are convinced you have waited long enough to get it to work.
Diatomaceous is safe for both humans and animals, so it is up to you whether you want to wash after treatment or not.
How to prevent dust mites in clothes
You can prevent your clothes from having dust mites using any of the following methods.
- Ensure that you always clean your clothes after use and avoid piling dirty clothes.
- Always keep the temperature and humidity level of your room low if it will confusing for you.
- Use Anti-Allergy protective cover for your mattress and pillows.
“Your home is a representation of yourself, and it should only be filled with clean items that you enjoy and use”
Professional cleaning expert