Dust mites. The tiny little bugs live in bedding, carpets, or any upholstered furniture and love to feed on dead skin cells. Dust mite infestations are found in 4 out of 5 American homes and they can cause an abundance of allergy- or asthma-related health issues, along with some skin reactions.
Some signs you may have a dust mite infestation include sneezing, runny nose, red, itchy, or watery eyes, congestion, itchy nose, throat, or roof of the mouth, cough, facial pressure or pain, and swollen, blue skin located under the eyes. People who have asthma will experience difficulty breathing, chest pain, wheezing, trouble sleeping, and an increased susceptibility to colds. (source)
Vacuuming and consistently washing sheets are a good way to keep dust mites out of the home, but some items like throw pillows and mattresses are not so easily cleaned. Also, if your vacuum does not have a hepa filter, most of the dust mites will end up back where they started.
One great way to kill and repel dust mites is to spray them with an eucalyptus oil solution.
Eucalyptus Dust Mite-Killing Solution:
- Spray down all items that cannot be washed.
- Hang them up to dry in a warm, dry place. (Humidity should be avoided as it will foster the growth of mold spores.)
- Repeat 3 times a week to remove all dust mites.
Studies have shown eucalyptus and other essential oils to be effective in fighting dust mite infestation, but the reasoning behind it is still unclear. Basically, eucalyptus oil will remove your dust mite infestation with no harm to you. (source)
Unfortunately, eucalyptus essential oil is not safe for children under the age of 10. However, there are other oils that are safe and will also remove dust mites, such as clove and fennel essential oils, and they are safe for use with children over the age of 2.