There are various steps you can take to try to prevent allergic reactions in the home. For one thing, don't use humidifiers – and try to keep the humidity below 40 percent. "Too much humidity encourages mold growth and dust mite reproduction," says Stokes. Additionally, don't leave food out, as that can attract cockroaches (another common source of allergies), and frequently wash your bedding and fabrics (and stuffed animals) in hot water to kill dust mites.
Putting allergen covers on your pillows and mattress may help, but there isn't a lot of scientific data to back up this practice; the same thing goes with removing carpets and drapes, which are "reservoirs" for allergens. "It makes sense, but studies don't show that those isolated modifications to reduce dust mite reservoirs actually improve people's allergy symptoms," says Riedl. Unless you have severe allergies and are desperate for some relief, you may be better off saving your money.