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Does putting pillows in a freezer kill dust mites? The short answer is yes, but you cannot put everything that may contain dust mites in the freezer. Washing everything that is washable in the hottest water, especially bed linens is a must for killing the air-breathing arthropods. One ounce of dust can contain 42,000 minute arachnids. Everything else in the home that cannot be thrown in a freezer or washing machine takes a variety of solutions for eliminating the allergy-causing creatures.

Installing a HEPA filter on your AC/Heating unit is one of the first steps to getting the mites under control. These can be found at any of the local big box home-improvement stores. A vacuum sweeper with a HEPA filter is also necessary, especially for homes with pets.

Frequently brush your pet outside before it comes into the house, followed by running a damp cloth over its fur. This will cut down on the amount of pollen and allergens your pet carries inside. Regularly vacuuming around the baseboards of your home will help keep the mites from multiplying throughout the house.

Your child’s stuffed animals may also be put in the freezer over night, along with anything else that will fit, such as clothing that is dry-clean only. If you live in a region which dips below freezing in the winter, setting any large items outside for a day will kill them, as well. It takes more than killing the adult mites, though, to remove them all, and it will be a near constant battle because dust never ends.

The eggs and droppings cause an allergic reaction, too. Anything with feathers is a favorite spot for mites to lay their eggs. Rugs and carpets harbor the mites, eggs, and droppings, therefore de-humidifying your house may help decrease the number of adults laying eggs–they prefer a very humid environment. Using a mop or wet-jet after vacuuming tile, vinyl, or wood further removes any mites that escaped the sweeper. Avoid using a broom because the dust will fly through the air and land on other surfaces.

Cover your mattresses and box springs with allergenic covers. Eliminate knick knacks on every surface (the less is more approach to decorating is a great idea for those who suffer dust mite allergies) and frequently remove dust from all surfaces with a damp rag. Washing laundry with eucalyptus oil works wonders for getting rid of mites according to the University of Syndney.

The de-mite laundry additives work, too, but can become expense with regular washing, but you will not need to use hot water to wash everything. Putting items in the dryer will also kill dust mites. A UVC light kills dust mites, viruses, bacteria, and spores in less than a second and may be a good item to purchase for large items that cannot be thoroughly cleaned such as upholstered furniture and mattresses.