Dust mites are invisible pests that cause many allergy-related symptoms and that feast on the dust in your home. While they do not bite or live under the skin, dust mites cause itching and can contribute to asthma, eczema, hay fever, and a rash. Shop our selection of dust mite products for fast relief.
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How to Get Rid of Dust Mites
Tips for Effective Dust Mite Control
Dust mite allergies can cause sneezing, nasal congestion, itchy eyes, respiratory issues, eczema, and most severely, asthma. While you won’t find dust mite bites on your family members, exposure to dust mites in the first year of life can cause a lifelong allergy to this pest, so learning how to kill dust mites is important for your family’s health. A multi-step approach to dust mites treatment is the best course of action to rid your home and prevent dust mite accumulation.
Reducing humidity: Using a dehumidifier or air conditioner to reduce the humidity to at or below 50 percent humidity in the air and reducing the air temperature will slow and eventually impede the life cycle of dust mites, since the lower humidity makes it difficult for the mites to absorb water in the air. This is a very important step in getting rid of these pests.
Vacuuming: If possible, use a HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Arresting) filter compatible vacuum to trap the microscopic mites and particulates. Dust commonly contains other allergens, including pet dander, cigarette ash, mold spores, pollen, and other insect feces, so vacuuming can help alleviate many symptoms of allergies.
Bedding maintenance: Switching out woolen or feather bedding for synthetic materials, as well as replacing traditional stuffed animals with washable ones, can lessen the accumulation of mites. Washing all bedding at hot temperatures once a week, or freezing non-washables overnight, can kill the existing dust mites. Using allergen-impermeable dust mite covers for mattresses or pillowcases can help to prevent more mites to live in your bedding once you have gotten rid of them. Cleaning mattresses and box springs is also important, and deep cleaning with a steam cleaner can achieve this.
Insecticides: Some insecticides can be used as spot treatments for killing dust mites (and other pests) on contact and when used in conjunction with proper cleaning, a good dust mite spray can be a powerful tool against dust mites.
What are Dust Mites?
It is hard to identify dust mites (dermatolphagoides pternonyssinus) because of their extremely small size. They are only about 250 to 300 microns long with translucent bodies. When seen through at least 10 times magnification, they have simple striations across the top and bottoms of their bodies. They have long hairs on the margins of their bodies with short hairs covering the rest of the body. They are oval shaped with eight legs; they have no eyes and a mouthpart group that resembles a head. Often times, if dust mites are suspected in the home, they most likely exist there.
A dust mite’s life cycle is very short. Female dust mites lay about 40 to 80 eggs. The larvae go through two nymph stages before they reach adulthood that lasts from one to three months. However, the sheer numbers of dust mites make this short lifespan irrelevant to the control of these pests.
Since dust mites feed heavily on dander (human and animal skin flakes), and humans lose about 1/5 ounce of skin every week and the bedroom is where we spend most of the week the bed is a dust mite’s favorite place. They thrive in 50 percent or higher relative humidity and love warm, moist areas (like in a warm mattress when someone is sleeping). Also, anywhere pets sleep or spend lots of time or in areas of dust accumulation (like under furniture) is a good bet for dust mite habitation.
Do Dust Mites Bite?
No, Dust Mites do not bite. The itching sensation you can get from Dust Mites is from their feces and cast skins on your body. They do not bite humans, however.
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