When a person wants to kill dust mites, one of the easiest ways to do so is by washing what they have infested. If they are on pillowcases, sheets, and other linens, a good washing in water that is hotter than 130° Fahrenheit (54.44° Celsius) can get the job done. Washing items in cooler water will not kill mites, no matter how often they are washed and what type of soap is used.
Often, discussions of ways to kill mites focus on one type of mite — the dust mite. These microscopic bugs take up residence on the dead skin cells people and animals shed. Since dead skin cells are often found in abundance on pillows, other bedding, furniture, and carpets, dust mites may be found in abundance in a typical home. While they aren't dangerous, they can trigger allergic reactions in many people.
Freezing can also help to kill mites. While washing may be easiest for bed linens, things like stuffed animals and pillows may be harder to launder. To kill mites in these things, you can place them in the freezer for a full day. After taking them back out again, it's best to wash them to remove any lingering allergens.
Long-term exposure to sunlight can sometimes kill mites too. For this reason, it might help to place mats, small rugs, and similar items outdoors on a hot, dry day. It's best to avoid placing them in even partial shade, however; the items have to be placed in direct sunlight for this to work.
It is estimated that dust mites spend at least one-third of their lives in beds. In fact, some experts think that the average used mattress is likely to have anywhere from hundreds of thousands of mites to up to 10 million of these creatures living in it. As such, it's a good idea to concentrate much of the effort there.
To help control the mite population in a bed, place a plastic or polyurethane cover over the mattress. This cover should enclose the whole mattress, so that any mites already in it cannot get out and any other mites cannot get in. Follow up by vacuuming the bed pillows or washing them.
There are some chemicals that kill mites. For example, benzyl benzoate, which is normally used as a food additive, can be used to kill them. This may be found as an ingredient in sprays or dusting powders. It can even be found as an ingredient in some detergents.