29 Dust Mites Facts: Everything You Need to Know

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29 Dust mites Facts and Frequently Asked Questions! Everything you need to know.

1. What are dust mites and where do they come from?

Dust mites are tiny microscopic arachnids that feed off dead skin, pet dander, and other dust materials.

Dust mites come about naturally and can find a home in any residence. Dust mites are attracted to moist, warm areas of your home.

2. Are dust mites visible to the human eye?

Dust mites are not visible to the human eye. Under a microscope, dust mites appear to be tiny translucent bugs.

Detect dust mites with camera

3. Do dust mites fly?

They are in the arachnid family (the same family as spiders). They have eight legs and no wings. No, they can’t fly.

4. A typical bed usually houses how many dust mites?

An average mattress can hold 100,000 to a million dust mites depending on how long you have used the mattress.

5. Do dust mites bite humans?

Dust mites do not bite humans, although some people have claimed to have been bitten. The bites they describe are usually red itchy bumps, which look like insect bites most probably bed bug bites.

Although there are most likely dust mites in your mattress, if you experience what look like bites, you might have bed bugs, too.

6. What color are dust mites?

Dust mites are usually white in color with a clear to creamy variation. They are quite small to notice with naked eyes, and you can only confirm their presence by checking dust samples under a microscope.

These microscopic mites are round, and they have hairy legs and body.

They feed on human skin scales and mostly found in humid places such as beds, carpets, clothing and soft furnishings or anywhere accumulating dust in your home or office.

Although they are considered harmless, they can lead to some allergic reactions in humans and pets.

7. How to kill dust mites?

There are several ways to kill dust mites naturally and with chemicals.

  • Extreme cold or extreme heat is the easiest ways.
  • Freeze pillows and stuffed animals for 24 hours.
  • Wash bedding in hot water of at least 130 Fahrenheit (54.4 Celsius) degrees or use a laundry detergent additive such as DeMite which works with cold water or hot water.
  • Use a Vacuum with a HEPA filter.
  • You can also use pesticides if you choose. Some brands include Agrodust and Fortefog.
  • A more natural remedy is Ecology Works Dustmite and Flea Control Powder, which is non-toxic and dissolves without a trace in water.
  • Another natural remedy proven to work is eucalyptus oil, which can be used as a laundry detergent additive.

8. What do dust mites look like?

dust mite on a carpet

They are tiny bugs that appear translucent under a microscope. They have eight legs similar to spiders since they are part of the arachnid family. They do not have wings.

9. Do I have bed bugs or dust mites?

dust mite vs bed bug

The main difference between bed bugs and dust mites is what they eat. Dust mites feed on dead skin particles, pet dander, and other dust materials while bed bugs feed on blood.

Therefore, bed bugs will bite while dust mites do not bite. If you notice red itchy bumps that look like insect bites, it is probably bed bugs.

Although neither one of them are fun to share a bed with, dust mites are pretty harmless except for the allergic reaction they may cause asthmatics or those with sensitivities to the protein they excrete.

10. What is the size of a dust mite?

Dust Mites are microscopic measuring only 0.2-0.3 millimeters in length.

11. How do you know if you have dust mites?

Since dust mites are too small to see with the human eye, the only way to see them is with a handheld microscope.

However, there are also test kits that measure allergens in a dust sample that can indicate how many dust mites there might be.

12. Where do dust mites live?

Dust mites live in moist warm places where there is a lot of dead skin and pet dander. Prime examples are fabric chairs and couches as well as beds, bedding, and carpet.

13. How do I know if I’m allergic to dust mites?

The only way to know if you are allergic to dust mites besides a good guess is to get tested. An allergy skin test is when an extract of an allergen is pricked into your skin.

Depending on how severe the skin reaction is to the particular allergen determines how bad the allergy is.

14. What do I do if I’m allergic to dust mites?

If you are allergic, try to decrease the number of dust mites in your home.

This can be accomplished by regular cleaning and vacuuming as well as washing bedding regularly. Remove carpet if possible and use a hypoallergenic pillow and mattress covers.

Although this may help, it is nearly impossible to eliminate all allergens from your home environment.

Medications or immunotherapy (allergy shots) may be necessary to control the dust mite allergy but should be prescribed by your physician.


15. Can dust mites cause skin irritation?

Yes. You can develop a rash if you are allergic to allergens caused by dust mites.

16. Can dust mites live in your hair?

Dust mites do not live in human hair; however, there are other types of mites, like the follicle mite, known to make a head full of hair their home. One of the ways follicle mites spread is through the dust.

17. What kills dust mites naturally?

Extreme heat and cold can kill dust mites without using chemicals. Some other more natural methods include using eucalyptus oil or tea tree oil as a laundry detergent additive.

18. Can dust mites make you itch?

It is possible for dust mites to cause skin irritation; although, most allergy symptoms include upper respiratory problems or runny, itchy nose and eyes.

19. Can you feel dust mites crawling on your skin?

You would not be able to feel dust mites on your skin since they are too small.


20. Are dust mites harmful to people?

Dust mites are only harmful to asthmatics and those sensitive to dust mite allergens.

21. How do you kill dust mites in mattresses?

An old mattress can hold millions of dust mites and their fecal matter. One way to reduce the number of dust mites in a mattress is to spread baking soda on the mattress.

This will help soak up excess moisture. Vacuum it up using a vacuum with a HEPA filter.

Professional exterminators can also get rid of dust mites.

The easiest way is to prevent them all together with a dust resistant mattress or mattress cover.

22. What are some dust mite allergy symptoms?

Allergy symptoms include: A runny nose, itchy eyes, tightness in the chest, difficulty breathing, sneezing, coughing, post nasal drip and skin irritations.

23. Can dust mites cause asthma?

Yes, according to Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), long-term exposure to dust mites can trigger asthma attack as well as a sinus infection.

The enzymes present in the dust mite dropping is responsible for creating a number of irritating and allergic reactions in both pets, and human and more than 20 million people in the US are affected by this the same way it triggers an allergic reaction and eczema.

24. Dust mite life cycle

Dust mite life cycle varies depending on its species and environment. The average life of a male house dust mite is 10 to 19 days and for female dust mite; it could be up to 70 days.

A female dust mite can lay 1 to 3 eggs per day, and the eggs usually hatch within 6-12 days with 6-legged larva. These larvae will go through 2 nymphal stages in its life before becoming an adult.

An adult and mated female dust mite can lay sixty to hundred eggs in the preceding five weeks over her 70 days’ life.

25. Can dust mite allergy cause eczema?

Yes, dust mite allergy can lead to eczema and increase the chances of triggering eczema symptoms in the human body. Atopic Dermatitis, and Contact Dermatitis, both types of eczema are closely related with dust mite.

The enzymes in house dust mite dropping act as an irritant and allergen on human cells and leads to bacterial infection and triggers eczema.

A proper dust mite control in home and office can drastically reduce your chances of getting eczema infection. Research on the correlation between house dust mite and eczema is still ongoing.

26. How to get rid of dust mites in pillows

You should regularly clean your pillows and do not keep any feather pillow which is a breeding ground for house dust mites. You can also use anti-allergy pillow covers to get rid of dust mites.

However, regular cleaning of your bed and pillows after 2 to 3 days is a must if you want to get rid of house dust mites.

You can also use a steam cleaner to clean your pillows and just simply leave it in the sun for 6 hours until there is no humidity in it.

27. How to get rid of dust mites in couch

You can get rid of dust mites in your couch by keeping it in the sunlight for at least 6 hours. The sunlight and heat will kill the bugs. You can also use a vacuum cleaner to clean the couch or apply aerosol spray.

Also, you can also use a steam cleaner to kill the dust mites and regularly clean it. You should also use alternative couches made from wood which does not have places to accumulate dust.

Also, controlling the room temperature and humidity will reduce house dust mite in your couch.

28. How to get rid of dust mites in carpet

The best way to get rid of dust mites in your carpet is to use a vacuum or steam cleaner that will kill the mites. Also, you can sun dry your carpet once in a month to get rid of a dust mite.

You can also terminate the mites by controlling your room temperature and humidity.

However, the best option is to replace the carpet with wooden floors. You should also consider cleaning your carpet on a regular basis. Make sure that pets are not allowed in the room, and there is no dust under the carpets.


29. Where are dust mites commonly found?

Beds and other furniture are prime locations for them since they feed on pet dander and dead human skin cells. It’s difficult to clean areas where dust mites hide such as mattresses and couches.

Having indoor pets that are allowed on the furniture can also increase the number of bugs in your home.



Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 3 comments
Mark - January 30, 2018

Wow, This is great info on dust mites, I am helping my son do a report on dust mites and found your link. Keep up the good work.

    PabloTar - May 4, 2018

    I confirm. So happens. We can communicate on this theme. Here or in PM.

Valarose - October 19, 2019

Can mites live in your brain and nose? I was living in a mite infested house for 10 years. Brokedown my immune system and I finially had to leave this sick house. I’m living in an apartment now and I am sicker than ever. The apartment is new and clean. I feel like I am THE HOST of mites crawling inside and outside of me. My nose runs CONSTANTLY and it feels like my brain is draining. I feel bugs crawling all over me inside and outside (face-hair-skin-inside my nose- inside ears). My throat and lungs feel like they are coated with a dusty coating (mites?) I cough so hard it makes me throw up because my lungs are so full of____??? Am I DE-TOXING now that I’m out of that house? Am I now a walking host of these mites that have taken over my body from that “Sick house” I lived in for 10 years? “YUCK!” It’s like am living in a horror movie.

I am sitting in the sunshine daily to build my immune system. Drinking lots of liquids (water – organic tea). I am eating fresh vegetables and yogart is good. I am SO WEAK and lathargic it is hard to get through the day.


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