Dust Mites


Almost every home has uninvited guests - the house dust mite. They are incredibly small so they cannot be seen with the naked eye. Feeding on dead skin cells shed from humans and pets they thrive in the warm and humid environment of modern homes. The mites themselves do not cause a problem, its their enzyme-covered droppings that cause the allergic reactions. The good news is that there are some very easy methods to controll the amount of dust mites in your home.

Where do They Live?

Dust mites like warm and humid conditions, mattresses and pillows are a prime location for dust mites. It is estimated that a typical matress can contain anywhere between 10 thousand and 10 million dust mites. A mattress and pillow provides everything that a dust mite needs, somewhere to live, a good supply of food from your dead skin cells and moisture as you sweat in the night.

Dust Mite LifeCycle

A male dust mite can live for up to 19 days and a female can live for up to 70 days. The female will lay up to 100 eggs during her lifespan. These eggs then hatch into larval nymphs with six legs, followed by two further nymphal stages with eight legs. Dust mites are related to spiders and are in the Arachnida class, being in the subclass of Acarina. Given the right conditions the population of dust mites can grow rapidly.

How to Get Rid of Dust Mites

The good news is that there are many effective ways to control dust mite populations. While you will never be able to completely eradicate dust mites from your home, it is possible to significantly reduce the population. Here are some simple and easy steps you can take to reduce the number of dust mites in your home and improve your health.

  • Regular cleaning - this might not be what you want to hear, but regular dusting and vacuum cleaning will make a big difference. When dusting use a damp cloth so the dust sticks to the cloth rather than spreading into the air. When vacuum cleaning dont forget to give the curtains and any upholstered furniture a good clean as well. Your vacuum cleaner should have a HEPA filter to minimise the amount of dust mite allergens being sent back out into the air.
  • Bedding - your mattress and pillows create to ideal habitat for dust mites, this is rather unfortunate as we each spend around 8 hours everyday sleeping. Wash bedding every week on a hot wash to kill dust mites and consider buying some allergen proof covers for your mattress and pillows
  • Reduce humidity - dust mites need high humidity to live, reducing the humidity in your home with a dehumidifier is a great way to reduce the numbers of dust mites in your home. See our dehumidifiers guides to learn more.
  • Air Purifiers - Remove dust mite and other allergens from the air you breath with an air purifier. You should visit this air purifier website to learn more about air purifiers.