Identifying a Dust Mite Infestation in Your Home: An Expert's Guide

Dead skin and other dust mite residues are a major cause of allergies and worsen asthma symptoms. Allergy symptoms associated with dust mites include sneezing, runny nose, itchy nose, and nasal congestion. If you have asthma, dust mites can cause you to wheeze more and you may need more asthma medicines. You may have more asthma symptoms at night when you're lying on a bed infested with dust mites.

Reducing the number of dust mites in your home is an important step if you or someone in your family has allergies or asthma. Dust mites are microscopic creatures that can be found in almost every home. They are so small that they can only be seen under a microscope, measuring between 0.2 and 0.3 mm when fully developed. These tiny creatures feed on dead skin cells and other organic matter found in dust, which is why they are often referred to as “dust mites”.

Humidity is the most important factor in determining if a home has high levels of dust mites. This is because dust mites don't drink water like us, but they absorb moisture from the air. In areas with low humidity, such as deserts, dust mites cannot survive. Any swelling (also called inflammation) of the nasal passages caused by dust mites is considered a dust allergy.

Continuous exposure to dust mites in the home can affect the health of people with asthma and those who are allergic or sensitive to dust mites. Dust mites have tick-like bodies, have eight bristling legs, no visible eyes, and a mouth that looks like something out of the worst nightmare. Mother Nature creates dust mites naturally in dusty environments, and that's why they can be found just about everywhere - on the bed, sofa, carpets, under appliances and books, where dust often collects. Dandruff (skin flakes), saliva, and urine can cause an allergic reaction, especially when combined with household dust.

To reduce the number of dust mites in your home, it is important to take certain steps. Washing sheets, blankets, and other types of bedding every week with hot water (no more than 120°F) can help kill dust mites. Using a dehumidifier to reduce your home's humidity below 50% can make it a less suitable environment for dust mites. It is absolutely impossible to remove all dust mites from your home, but at least you can try to reduce their number and reduce the risk of allergic reactions.

Tiny cockroach particles are a common component of household dust and may be the real cause of dust allergy.

Brittany Kleck
Brittany Kleck

Typical food practitioner. General tv scholar. Hipster-friendly tea geek. General reader. Infuriatingly humble tv fanatic. Passionate zombie junkie.