Dust Mites

Dust mite. Photo by U.S. Food & Drug Administration.

How to Deal with Dust Mites

Everyone has dust mites in their home. These tiny bugs eat up the dander you and your pets shed naturally. That’s the ugly truth. Luckily, you can get rid of most of them by taking these tips:

  • Furnish your home with easy-to-clean items—leather sofas and floors without carpeting are best.
  • Use encasements on mattresses and pillows—make sure the label mentions dust mites.
  • Don’t let your home get humid.
  • Wash all bedding frequently—ideally every week. Use the high-heat setting on the dryer to kill both bed bugs and dust mites.
  • Wash stuffed toys along with bedding.
  • Don’t let pets sleep on the bed.
  • Have your rugs cleaned at least twice a year.

If you suspect you or a child is allergic to dust mites, see a doctor.

What they look like

Check out the picture—they’re harder to see than they are to describe. House dust mites are microscopic—20 of them could line up on top of a bed bug. All the more reason to make mite management part of your weekly routine.

Where they live

They love fabric because it holds dust and dander. Dust mite décor includes bedding, mattresses, pillows, rugs, carpet, curtains, upholstered furniture, and stuffed animals.

What they do

Many people are allergic to dust mite cast skins, feces, and secretions. Reactions vary from a stuffy nose to an asthma attack.


The StopPests Blog (sample newsletter article)

Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America

University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Dust Mite Research