How Do You Know If You Have Dust Mites: Detection Techniques and Tests

There are several detection techniques and tests which can help you tell whether you have house dust mites or not.

Can you see dust mites with the human eye?

Dust mites are microscopic and translucent arachnids, which can not be seen by a naked human eye.They measure between 0.2–0.3 millimetres (0.008–0.012 in) in length.

Their microscopic nature makes their detection difficult without using a microscope or dust mite test kits.

There are several Dust mite detection techniques and kits which are used to check if you have dust mites in your house.I will discuss them thoroughly in this article.

House dust mites picture high resolution

The photo above was shot using Nikon Microscope Objective lens (Nikon M Plan 20x 210/0.4 ELWD) on bellows by Gilles San Martin.

Detect dust mites with camera

Dust mites belong to the same biological family as spiders. They have 8 legs and feed on organic materials, especially shed human skin cells. An average human sheds a million skin cells a day—enough to feed millions of dust mites.

Enzymes present in dust mite faeces cause allergic reactions in some people. People react by having runny noses, itchy, watery eyes, and sneezing—especially during the mornings.

You can also use a microscope objective lens, together with your camera, to take photos of dust mites, as shown in the previous photo. Learn more on how to hook up your camera with the objective lens.

Using a microscope to detect dust mites: Dino-Lite

As I mentioned earlier, dust mites are microscopic creatures which cannot be seen by a naked human eye. However, they can easily be seen under a microscope with at least a 10x magnification lens.

Most standard microscopes have 10x magnification eyepieces.

If you happen to have a microscope around, you can try to experiment with it. Dust mites are found in huge numbers in mattresses, carpets, and pillows.

You can also purchase the USB Handheld Digital Microscope with 10x-220x magnification, which is perfect for detecting dust mites and other invisible bugs in real time.

Unlike the traditional microscopes you see in laboratories, the USB Handheld Digital Microscopes don’t have eyepieces; rather, the image is displayed on a computer or mobile phone screen through a USB port, using software which comes with them.

These microscopes can take photos and videos and give you the option to save them on your computer or mobile phone.

They are relatively cheap in price, compared to traditional microscopes, and their sizes make them portable for some fun projects.

Some lack the precision and quality of traditional microscopes, but they get the job done.

Below is a video of a dust mite, recorded using the Dino-Lite USB Handheld digital microscope at 200x magnification.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YYE2ZmPT_LY

If you are planning to buy a USB handheld digital microscope, check our recommended top picks of the best ones below, based on image quality, magnification, ease of use, construction, ease of software installation, and cost.

The Best USB Handheld Digital Microscope Cameras Review

Since USB handheld digital microscopes are cheap and easy to produce, the market is full of them— which makes it difficult for a new buyer to choose which one to purchase.

We have done the hard work for you, and we have picked only the best USB Handheld digital Microscopes which meet the below criteria.

  • Image quality:Does the image degrade in higher magnification or not?
  • Magnification:Does the microscope zoom to the magnification it claims or not?
  • Ease of use:Is it easy to use or not?
  • Construction:Is the construction cheap or sturdy?
  • Software installation:Is the software installation easy to do or not?
  • Cost:Does the cost match with the specifications?

Below is a table with our four best picks.Enjoy!

MicroscopeMagnificationLens and ResolutionOperating System

Plugable USB 2.0
10x to 250x

See it in action on Youtube!
Our Best Pick
*Lens: 2.0 Megapixels
*Resolution: Snapshot 1600 x 1200 Video 640 x 480
*Illumination: 4 SMD LEDs (dimmable)
*Captures:Images and videos
Supports Windows (XP SP3 and later), Mac OS X / macOS (10.5 and later), Android (requires OTG cable), Chrome OS,Linux (requires GTK+ UVC Viewer)
* DOES NOT WORK WITH IOS*

Dino-Lite AM2111
20x to 50x and 220X

See it in action on Youtube!
*Lens:0.3 Megapixels
*Resolution:640 x 480 Pixels
*Frame rate:Up to 30 FPS (video)
*Illumination:4 white LED lights
*Captures:Images and videos
Supports Windows (XP/Vista/7/8/10), Mac OS 10.4 and above

Celestron 44302 Deluxe
10x to 40x and 150x using a 19" Monitor

See it in action on Youtube!
*Lens:2.0 Megapixels
*Resolution:1600x1200 Pixels
*Frame rate:25 FPS (video)
*Illumination:6 white LEDs
*Captures:Images and videos
Supports Windows (7/Vista/XP) and MAC 10.4.9 and later

CrazyFire Digital
10x to 200x

See it in action on Youtube!
*Lens:1.0 Megapixels
*Resolution:1280 x 720 Pixels
*Illumination:8 white LEDs (adjustable light)
*Captures:Images and videos
*The camera head is water resistant(IP67)
Supports Windows (XP/Vista/7/8/10), Mac 10.6 or later,Android 4.4 or later.

Carson MM-940 zPix 300
86x to 457x

See it in action on Youtube!
*Lens:2.0 Megapixels
*Resolution:1600x1200 Pixels
*Illumination:LED lights
*Captures:Images and videos
Supports Windows (10/8/8.1/7/Vista/XP SP2+) and Mac OS X 10.11.x – 10.4.9
* DOES NOT WORK WITH TABLETS *

More detailed review and microscopes in action videos here.

Using Dust mite test kits to detect dust mite allergen levels

Dust mite test kits, unlike a microscope, will not show you dust mites in real time, but rather they will detect the levels of allergens present in a dust sample.

Most of these kits will have colour indicator lines, which show you whether the sample contains Low, Medium, or High levels of dust mite allergens.

You will need to have a vacuum cleaner for collecting dust samples from different places of your home for analysis.

By using a dust mite test kit, you can determine the level of allergens present in household dust. This information will allow you to decide whether to fight against dust mites or not.

Dust mite test kit 1:Ventia™ Rapid Allergen Test kit (RT-DM-1)

Ventia™ Rapid Allergen Test (RT-DM-1) dust mite test kit

This dust mite kit has the following features:

  • You can perform ONLY 2 tests
  • Easy to use
  • No dust handling
  • Detect dust mites allergens within 10 minutes

You can watch a detailed video below on how to use it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-gkNsGskXKM

Also, you can find more detailed information from the manufacturer website.

Dust mite test kit 2:Acarex House Dust Mite Test kit

dust mite test kit Acarex

Acarex House Dust Mite Test is similar to Ventia™ Rapid Allergen Test kit, as it allows instant test results, which will reveal the level of dust mite infestation or a number of allergens present.

You will also need to have a vacuum cleaner for collecting samples.

Acarex House Dust Mite Test kit has the following features

  • Easy to use
  • Immediate results
  • Good price
  • You can perform up to 10 tests

Dust mite test kit 3: Dust Mite Screening kit 

Dust mite screening kit

Unlike the previous dust mite test kits, where you can get the results instantly, this dust mite kit only allows you to collect samples; afterward, you mail the sample to the Environmental Diagnostics Laboratory (EDLab) ), who will provide the final results.

The cost of the lab report is included in the cost of the Dust Mite Screen Check.

Similar to the previous kits, you will need to have a vacuum cleaner to collect samples. The kit comes with a cone-shaped filter device, called the Bio-Scan DM (or Dust Sock), which is to be connected to the intake end of your vacuum cleaner’s hose for sampling.

Once EDLab receives the samples for analysis, your lab report will be generated and emailed within 3-5 business days.

Concentration levels of dermatophagoides dust mite allergens are reported in micrograms and are compared to what is considered to be normal.

Conclusion

Dust mites faeces cause allergic reactions for many people. Being able to detect their presence will help you to plan campaigns for fighting dust mites and getting rid of them.

If you have any questions, please feel free to comment below.

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