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Are you suffering from sudden bouts of itchiness all over your skin, redness and inflammation? If so, before you rush to the drugstore for medication, you might want to consider that your problem are actually mites. Invisible to the naked eye, these small Arachnids can be extremely annoying given their size. They affect humans, dogs, cats and birds alike. But there are ways of getting rid of them forever. Read below and find out how.
What are mites?
The first step in dealing with these pesky little bugs is to find out a few more things about them. Knowing how they appear, why, where they live and what they feed on will help you get rid of them and, also, create an unwelcoming environment so that they do not return.
Mites are closely related to ticks and that makes them tiny arthropods belonging to the subclass Acari, which is why sometimes they’re called Acariens, class Arachnids. This means they are cousins with the spider. What’s interesting about them is that they are one of the most successful breeds of living things on earth. More than 48 000 different species have been discovered so far.
They can live almost anywhere, in the soil, in water, on plants, animals and other bugs and inside the human skin. Some of them cause diseases in humans, such as grain itch, grocer’s itch or scabies, one of the three most common diseases in children. Other mites are known to be implicated in the human skin disease called rosacea. Other mites are the sole responsible for mange in dogs and cats. The ones called “chiggers” have itchy bites and spread the disease called scrub typhus. The house-mouse mite gives you rickettsialpox, while dust mites cause hay fever, asthma and eczema. Others live inside the house and even in beds where, after being inhaled, cause hypersensitivity reactions.
Symptoms that you have a mite problem
Most species of mites that live with us or on us are completely harmless. For example, we have mites right now living on our skin, at the basis of hairs and even on our eyelashes, but they cause no damage whatsoever. Independently of that, as shown above, there are some mite species that do harm us. And when they do, they cause the following symptoms to appear.
- Itching. If you have this symptom for no apparent reason, then you might have mites. They feed on blood, which means they have to bite you in order to get to it, just like a flea or a mosquito would do. In response to the bite, the skin itches.
- Burrows. If you have them on your skin, they are the clearest sign that you have mites, because female mites need to tunnel in order to lay their eggs, so they are the cause. Burrows usually come accompanied by rashes and violent itching, because human skin doesn’t take it lightly when mites want to deposit eggs in it.
- Crusting. In case your skin hardens, dries out and develops crusts, this might mean you have a large number of mites feasting on it at the same time.
All these symptoms are not to be taken lightly and anybody experiencing them should visit a physician. Mites can cause real diseases and damages.
Luckily for us, we can get rid of them pretty easily. Here are some tips on how to do that.
#1. Cosmetic products.
There are a number of facial washes and creams which you can use and which are very gentle on your skin while acting as a mite suppressor. A bonus is the fact that they also cure blemishes and black heads, leaving the skin clean and radiant. You can try the Ovante line, especially designed to combat mites. They offer a Demodex control face cream, which costs $29.95, a Demodex control facial cleanser, for the price of $34.95, Scabiesin body wash, $39.95 and Scabiesin anti scabies Medical Shampoo and Conditioner, which retail at $24.9.
#2. Vacuum as often as possible.
This may sound like a simple solution, but you’ll see that these are the best against mites. They usually live inside fabrics, where they also eat, nest and burrow to lay their eggs. This means you will find them in carpets, clothes, drapes, curtains and furniture. Vacuuming all these as many times as possible shows you how to get rid of dust mites and their eggs.
#3.Use bed covers.
This one is to help you on how to get rid of mites on humans. Beds hold the highest concentration of mites in your home. The bugs get trapped in the mattress and pillows and just live there, leaving droppings everywhere. One way to prevent that is by changing sheets and pillows cases as often as possible and by protecting the mattress itself with a special cover. In this way the mites will live in it rather than the mattress and you can simply take it off once a week and wash it, thus getting rid of the pesky microscopic crawlers.
#4. Dust as often as you can.
Again, this might seem like the most obvious and simple suggestion, but it’s also the easiest. Mites simply thrive on house dust, because they nest in it and they eat it. Remember to use special solutions when dusting stationery objects around the house or a simple wet cloth. This way you actually clean away the mites rather than just stirring them up into the air. If you suffer from allergies wear a mask or a scarf to cover your mouth and nose while you dust.
#5. Keep the humidity inside the house at very low levels.
It’s a good thing to know that mites enjoy humidity and warm places, so make it impossible for them to feel welcomed in your home. You can always use a dehumidifier to keep the humidity levels at 50 per cent of what they normally are and use your air conditioner to keep the house nice and cool.
#6. Use mineral oil.
This is a tip on how to get rid of mites in dogs. Fill a common earwax dropper bought at your local pharmacy and with mineral oil. Put a few drops in your pet’s ear to help them get rid of the dust mites that bother them. It’s good to know that animals are a lot more affected by mites than we are, especially when it comes to their ears, therefore it’s very important to know a natural way of how to get rid of mites on dogs. This also works if you were wondering how to get rid of ear mites in cats.
#7. Predator mites.
This might sound weird, but it’s actually a good way of getting rid of spider mites in your garden. They nest there and kill and eat many of the plants, destroying your lovely garden and your lawn. What you can do is purchase a small colony of predator mites, which will kill off the pests. Another alternative here are chemicals, but they might prove unhealthy for the plants and the surrounding environment, so maybe it’s better to stick to natural ways.
This particular solution is for how to get rid of mites in birds. It’s very important, as mites are usually carried by birds and dropped everywhere. So you can’t really control the environment there. Spreading some insecticide might just do the trick. Move bird nests away from your roof or garden and cut down those specific tree branches that are too close to your house and your windows. If you have a farm and raise chicken, for example, replace their nests as often as possible and place cloves of garlic here and there to keep the mites at bay.
#9. Clover mites.
These particular types of mites are reddish in color and they are not very dangerous to humans or animals. However, should you ever find them a nuisance there are solutions to how to get rid of clover mites. They are visible with the naked eye, therefore, when you see them, you can spray some solution make of borax and warm water on them. They will die instantly and the good thing is that the place you sprayed will remain protected. Which means no more clover mites in your house.
#10. Use extreme temperatures to your advantage.
When it comes to high heat and intense cold, mites are especially vulnerable.
Scorching hot water makes short work of these little nasties without damaging most types of clothing and furniture materials. You can use boiling water to complete a machine wash cycle if your washer handles such temperatures safely or simply wash by hand (without burning yourself!) using sufficiently hot water.
As for the cold approach, you can actually kill mites by freezing them too. If you have a large freezer, you can freeze wet clothes and stuffed animals to deal with mites more effectively.
And last, but not least, make spiders your friends. These particular arachnids feast on mites. Which means they will naturally help you keep the dust mite population in your house under control. Of course, you are not supposed to go out and buy some spiders or go looking for them in your garden and bring them in, but rather, when you see some in your house, let them be. There are certain species of house spiders which present no threat to humans or animals, like the very common daddy longlegs, the domestic house spider, the hobo spider or the southern house spider, which is actually often kept as a pet by arachnid lovers.
These are the top eleven ways of keeping house mites at bay so that you’re never bothered by them again.