Dust Mites: A Microscopic Threat to Your Family’s Health

by Dr. Edward Group DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM
Published on , Last Updated on

Dust Mite

Dust mites are tiny, microscopic bugs, that are commonly found in human habitats, such as your house, couch, bed or carpet. They are able to thrive in our living environment, because they live off of our dead skin cells, and the dander from our pets.

Regardless of how clean we try to keep our homes, we are still vulnerable to dust mites. Cleaning alone will not counteract the problem due to the fact that the average human gives off 5-10 grams of dead skin cells each week, about 3lbs per year.

Despite the most regimented of cleaning schedules, the dust mites in your home will have plenty to sustain. The average house dust mite reproduces at an astonishingly rapid rate. The effects of this plethora of dust mites in our homes can have a significant role in causing health problems.

Dust mites excrete an average of 20 droppings of waste each day. Many people are highly allergic to these droppings, and scientists are beginning to correlate dust mites to asthma, as well as other allergic symptoms [1].

How Am I Exposed to Dust Mites?

Dust mites thrive off of dead skin. Dust mites live in our sheets, clothing, stuffed animals, carpet, upholstery, towels and furniture. While your dryer will most likely kill the dust mites (from clothing, sheets and towels), many things like furniture and carpet are more difficult to control for mites and their excrement.

Their droppings are composed of protein compounds. When we breathe in these protein substances, or when they come into contact with our skin, our body tries to protect us by producing antibodies. In turn, our antibodies release histamine which is a chemical that causes the typical swelling and red color associated with allergies.

Dust Mites: Symptoms of Exposure

Dust mites can pose a serious threat to our health as an allergen, and have been proven to trigger asthma, especially in children and the elderly. Clinical trials conducted by Cytos Biotechnology [2], showed a direct correlation between dust mites in your home and triggered allergies.

Symptoms of dust-mite triggered allergies include itchiness, infected/inflamed eczema, watering eyes, runny nose, clogged lungs, hay fever, watery eyes, coughing, sneezing, and even breathing problems.

Very sensitive people even report getting red, itchy bumps on their skin after lying on a dust-mite infested rug or bed. It’s easy to see why eliminating dust mites from your home could seriously improve your overall health.

Shocking Facts About Dust Mites

  • The average bed is home to anywhere from 100,000 to 10 million dust mites.
  • Pets with large amounts of fur can greatly increase the number of dust mites in your home.
  • We inhale their droppings from our pillows as we sleep, lay on carpet, or breathe in airborne dust particles.
  • Common household dust is often heavily composed of, and contaminated with the fecal pellets and cast skins of dust mites.
  • Estimates state that 80% of the material you can see floating in a sunbeam is actually human skin flakes (dust-mite food!)
  • resting-puppy
  • Studies show that an estimated 50-80% of asthmatics are affected by dust mites [3]. Other allergic reactions to dust mites may even include headaches, fatigue and depression.
  • Dust mites are considered arachnids, which is the same class that includes spiders, ticks, and even scorpions!

Tips For Eliminating Dust Mites In Your Home

Although dust mites are microscopic, there are some steps we can take to fight them. Here are several methods that you can use to minimize dust mites, as well as their cast skins and fecal droppings, from your home:

  • Get rid of their food sources. Remove dust from your home. Don’t sweep or “dust” floors or hard surfaces. This only serves to circulate the dust throughout the house, giving you more chance to inhale them. Instead, use damp cloths that will attract and hold the dust you’re collecting.
  • Vacuum up dust instead of sweeping. Vacuum floors, furniture, carpet and upholstery with a machine that uses HEPA filter technology. It will capture the mites and their eggs.
  • It might be a good idea to invest in a good quality air purification system that employs a HEPA filter and UV and negative ion technologies for best results when cleaning your air.
  • To minimize pet dander, run a wet cloth over pet fur each day, especially after animals come in from outdoors. Another good way to contain loose hair is to brush fur in both directions and then follow with a damp cloth.
  • Keep your home humidity levels low. Use a dehumidifier to keep your air below 50% humidity because dust mites don’t like dry air. I suggest that you run a dehumidifier about 2 to 3 times per week in high humidity regions.
  • Wash bedding weekly and use water at about 130° Fahrenheit. Very hot water kills the dust mites. Use natural laundry detergent and add essential oils to help kill any living mites left behind. Dry your bedding on high heat as well.
  • Make an investment and purchase hypoallergenic bedding and furniture. You should replace your pillows, and even bedding, yearly. There are also mattress and pillow coverings that are dust mite-free and organic. Some suggest enclosing the mattress top and sides with a dust mite impervious cover.
  • If you have cloth curtains, clean them regularly with the vacuum and a damp cloth. Light-weight materials hold fewer mites than heavier materials.
  • Make sure to hang clothes up in a well-ventilated closet or wardrobe. If your closet or wardrobe can’t be ventilated, purchase a non-chemical moisture remover.
  • Carpet can be replaced with non-toxic wool or non-toxic hardwood or cork flooring. If you use carpet, be sure to use all-natural carpet cleaning products.
  • Get rid of the clutter! Clutter collects dust, and by now you know that it also collects dust mites. Think about removing (or at least reducing) knickknacks, unnecessary objects, piles of books, magazines and newspapers, as well as piles of clothes from your bedroom.
  • Children’s stuffed animals can also carry mites. To kill mites, you can place the toys in the freezer for 24 hours before you wash them, or simply wash them in very hot water.

Do you have any tips for eliminating dust mites? Please drop them in the comment section below.

References (3)
  1. United States Environmental Protection Agency. Asthma Triggers: Gain Control.
  2. Klimek L, Willers J, Hammann-Haenni A, Pfaar O, Stocker H, Mueller P, Renner WA, Bachmann MF. Assessment of clinical efficacy of CYT003-QbG10 in patients with allergic rhinoconjunctivitis: a phase IIb study. Clin Exp Allergy. 2011 Sep;41(9):1305-12. Epub 2011 Jun 14.
  3. Kemp TJ, Siebers RW, Fishwick D, O'Grady GB, Fitzharris P, Crane J. House dust mite allergen in pillows. BMJ. 1996 Oct 12;313(7062):916.

†Results may vary. Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. Global Healing Center does not dispense medical advice, prescribe, or diagnose illness. The views and nutritional advice expressed by Global Healing Center are not intended to be a substitute for conventional medical service. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician.

  • I’m allergy to dust mites and it’s crazy to follow your recommendations. I recommend to attack the reasons why you have the allergy.

    1.- Try the NAET therapy. I’ve really improved a lot with this therapy, the problem is that I’m allergic to almost everything, and I’ve been following this therapy already for a year and still there’s some things that make me allergy.

    2.- Improve your diet avoiding milk products, gluten products, and histamine containing products (chocolate, some non fresh fish, etc). Make you a test (ImuPro for example) to know your food intolerances.

    3.- Eat anti-allergy food: orange and vitamine C products, sweet potato, onion, etc.

    4.- Treat your allergy with homeopathy, both for a long term recovery with psore-like remedies and the acute attack with histaminum, allium cepa, etc.

  • Dust

    I used to have a dog and until I gave it away, I just couldn’t get rid of the dust mites. Wish I would have tried all the advices here.

  • Aaron Smith

    It is truly annoying to have dust mites affect your home and cause allergy after all. I guess it is best practice to prevent it beforehand.. thanks for good info.

  • Also it is really shocking to know that all the dust mites can live in my bed!

  • Diatomaceous earth works really well getting rid of these. We have 3 dogs, several cats, birds, etc. (we foster animals and are part of a rescue shelter). Once a month, we sprinkle DE over the carpets, take the day off to go do something fun, come home and vacuum. Since DE doesn’t harm people or animals (only bugs), it does a great job eliminating the problem. It also absorbs odors, so it helps a little that way too.

  • youmustbeawesome

    Are you serious?? Your recommendations are just AVOIDING the problem. You think it’s crazy?? You say to attack the cause of the allergy.. Umm, the cause of this particular allergy is dust mites soo how would avoiding getting rid of dust and mites and focusing on “taking homeopathy” or anything else help? You should not be giving advice since you obviously are speaking from personal opinion with no professional background . You use “NAET” therapy but you still have allergies.. Wow, great advice!! Don’t listen to natrummur, there are plenty of studies that show how filthy indoor air and dust can be… This person is obviously not getting the point… And milk only causes allergies when it is processed and taken from crowded cows with poor conditions. Raw, non-pasturized, non- homogenized, small scale fresh milk is one of natures most complete foods… Raw milk doesn’t even cause lactose-intolerance! All the studies on milk that show irritants and allergies have used HOMOGENIZED AND PASTEURIZED milk so of course the studies will say how “bad” milk is.

  • cleo jade sybil

    No wonder my roommate got an allergy on her face which she cant explain because she doesn’t have allergies before. We definitely need a dehumidifier, our room is a nest for maybe millions of dust mites. Even if we clean everyday, and wash linen every week, after we turn off the air-conditioner, mist is all over the room surface, it is very humid. Thank you for the idea.

  • Priscilla

    My dog is allergic to dust mites and storage dust mites. The vet is going to order allergy serum for him. We have carpet in bedrooms only but need to eliminate dust on the tile floors as well. Do you have any suggestions as to what I can wash the floors and baseboards with in order to help eliminate dust mites?

  • Gos


    Diatomaceous earth is NOT harmless. It is every bit as much a breathing hazard as dust mites.

    If looked at under a microscope, DE has sharp edges. The particles are made of silica, which means that if inhaled, they can embed in the tissues of the lungs and cause silicosis. (See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diatomaceous_earth#Safety_considerations)

    For people with allergies or asthma, DE can pose a particularly serious risk. I once visited in a home that had been dusted with DE to kill fleas. I was forced to leave after a short time, because I was having one of the worst asthma attacks I’ve ever had in my life.

  • SomeoneWHoDoesLikeToClean

    KAWASAKIS’s was thought to have been contracted by dust mites..

  • SomeoneWHoDoesLikeToClean

    I think by the comments most homosapiens here have a need for attention: does the term hypocondriac come to mind?
    Our society has people who are soooo into themselves…they cannot fathom anything else. OPRAH, The illegal occupant in the White House with his 37 Un Con stitutional Socilist CZARs, Hollywood in general: leave the animals alone and stop blaming them for your own mental deficiencies.

  • SomeoneWHoDoesLikeToClean

    PS We grew up with carpets, we have carpets, I haven’t changed the bed linens for three months: I never missed school from K-12 nor collge classes; I worked from age l5; my grandfather worked 57 years never missing a day.
    What does that say about your paranoia with just one example of non illness.
    Rarely, do I vacuum and we have visitors who remark: your home is so organized and clean…
    I simply smile…

  • Richard Carpenter

    Ozone generators kill mites and destroy allergens. There are some “toy” ozone generators and some industrial strength ones; I am talking about the latter. Ozone smells just like an indoor swimming pool with way too much chlorine. Ozone is, of course, dangerous to pets and all living things. Not for use by fools. Read the directions.

  • LibertyVini

    As an indoor air quality professional (and an allergy sufferer), I agree that source removal – eliminating as many dust mites and as much dust-mite food as possible – is the main way to attack the problem. Because we are ultimately the source of the dust mite’s food, however, the battle never ends. Removing reservoirs like rugs can help. HEPA vacuums and HEPA filters can help too. But DO NOT mess around with “ionic” filters, nor with ozone generators. I hear too many horror stories, not just due to direct ozone exposure, but due to the bad effects of ozone on things in the house that can make the problems worse. When it comes to ozone in houses, unless you REALLY KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING, JUST SAY NO.

  • LibertyVini

    Yes, DE contains silica, most of it is ‘amorphous’ as opposed to crystalline silica (the bad kind), and yes, using too much of it will increase your chances of getting silicosis. It is worthwhile to remember the advice of Paracelsus that all substances are poisons, that the effect is dependent upon the dose. DE may be helpful in some cases. Don’t overdo it.

  • Brian Armstrong

    Get rid of your mattresses entirely, and use a high-quality air-bed; they’re cheaper, more comfortable, and completely hypoallergenic because they’re air-tight, precluding skin from getting into it like with ordinary mattresses.
    You can also fold them up and take them with you on a trip.
    As for pillows, you can wash them in hot water just like everything else.
    Normal Mattresses are the #1 breeding-sites of dust-mites because you can’t ever get the skin-flakes out; and that can also breed types of other germs and bacteria.

    Also if you have duct-ventilation, get them cleaned out, and put filters on your ducts, furnace and air-conditioners; my younger brother had severe asthma as a child, and we only found out much later that it was because of dust-mites in the heating-ducts.

    As for a de-humidifier, be sure to set it at a low level and run it constantly, while running the hose to the drain.

  • Laure

    youmustbeawesome is mistaken about a few things. First of all, allergies/sensitivities can be mild or very serious, so anything you do to decrease an allergy can help. Particularly sensitive people can be allergic to so many things and combinations of things that NAET can be a long-term process – but it can have dramatic, positive results. In the meantime, allergy or not, some people just don’t metabolize certain foods as well as others – like dairy. We don’t know everything yet, and dairy may never be great for you, even if it is raw, organic, 100% grassfed, full of its own enzymes and all (I am a big proponent of raw milk, but even raw dairy isn’t perfect for EVERYONE).
    Some people gain a lot of relief from allergy symptoms in general by lowering exposure the triggers of all kinds – whether by using good housekeeping hygiene, by eating high/all raw, by using healthy supplements that your body doesn’t react badly to, by blessing your food before eating it and asking God to make it good for you, honestly, whatever works. Homeopathy is not to be sneezed at either; it has also produced excellent results for many people. Indoor air is not the only problem contributing to our troubling symptoms, as well. If you tried NAET and it didn’t work for you, it might be the practitioner, it might be that you had more work to do to be free of your symptoms. Ditto with homeopathy.

  • Laura

    You obviously don’t have any allergies in your family–consider yourself blessed. I would have totally agreed with you, until my son came along with asthma and allergies, which totally changed our life, home, and housekeeping.

  • talkalot

    Seeing a child suffering with asthma and allergies is not hypocondriac behavior. That is not the kind of attention anyone wants. You really need to wake up.


  • Ash

    buy a Kirby home care system. I no longer suffer from my allergies after buying one

  • Devin

    Buy a Rainbow email dkinman22@gmail.com for details.

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  • Pete

    thanks! really helpful

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  • meme

    hello, I have a “moderate” case of asthma (i take a Little medicine, most days). well, i know that everybody’s asthma triggers are different, but i left DE all around my apartment (along the base-boards and by the front door) for Months without any breathing problems whatsoever. the reason i did that was because my neighbor, in the adjoining apt, HAD a serious problem with various kinds of bugs (ewww !!!) i used the DE to protect my apt until her bug problem was gone. it didn’t trigger my asthma at all and ..my pets were safe also. it sure did the trick, i love DE!

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  • anonymous

    I have 4 cats and awful allergies. I shave the cats which helps a lot. I have 2 air purifiers. I also agree with the comment below that you need to adjust diet as well to reduce your allergic reactions. There’s a number of things that you can do and you should try to do as many of them as possible. Problems like allergies need to be attacked on multiple fronts. Also, I have plastic bags to vacuum seal bedding that I don’t use regularly since any sitting clothes causes an allergic reaction.

  • Rick

    Cleanliness is only part of the equation to help keep dust mites in check. Humidity above 50 percent and temps above 70 degrees are also contributing factors. Dead skin aka dust is a constant and should be managed from the standpoint of denying optimum conditions for dust mites. An infestation for someone who has sensitive allergies will react in different ways depending on the individual. I have seen chronic cough, watery eyes and even hives to the point of creating hypersensitivity to more than just the mites. These are called triggers and the longer the mite problem festers, the more triggers appear. Dust mites are a real problem only if ignored in an optimum environment and for people with sensitivities caused from both short-term or in our case long-term exposure. It is highly recommended by most credible sources that carpets be removed as these little devils simply can’t be vacuumed up without killing them first. This will substantially reduce the chance of infestation.

  • Rhonda Pope Maddux

    Wow, your comments are just astounding and hurtful. I am a nurse who is now disabled. I have seen what allergies do to my sick patients. I have an autoimmune disease that is greatly affected by allergens, that USED TO NOT BOTHER ME. People develop allergies and sensitivities over time. You are just lucky. Your condescending attitude is uncalled for. The itchy, red, watery eyes, feeling like your breathing pepper, inflamed, reddened skin, fatigue and aching are not in people’s minds. It’s miserable, and it’s real.

  • Claudia azzi

    Hi Dr, I am hearing conflicting advice about dust mites and wool. Do I get wool carpet do I not ??? Do I use a wool quilt do I not?? Some people have told me wool Is the best carpet to use if I was to get carpet is this true if I have a member of my family allergic to dust mites?

    Your response would be greatly appreciated

    Kind regards

  • I have heard too that wool can be a haven for dust mites.

  • Slim

    The person with the brazen remarks is not all that bad just needs better communicating manners. Probably how they were brought up. What they are trying to convey is the more you think about something the more it will have ill effects. Best advice is to live clutter free and have air circulate around your living space. Larger rooms are better for air circulation and less clutter gives more space for circulation. Good luck with your ailments.

  • Wzy

    My tip in terms of bedding is Silk. Silk duvets are entirely immune to dust mites, dander, and mildew. It’s an investment, of course. Stay away from any polyester bedding, sheets etc. Our skin scales are more likely to find homes in polyester. Also, put your pillows in bags and freeze them every second week. Throw out pillows at least every year or better yet, keep them out of the garbage heap and use a silk filled or buckwheat pillow.

  • Wzy

    So, because you do not have any allergies, the rest of us are paranoid? While you’re smiling, try to embrace empathy and some sense.

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  • Ashok Jaisinghani


    ★★★Using Cosmetic Products containing HONEY & MILK CREAM can cause TERRIBLE ITCHING! The CONSTANT ITCHING, which is caused by the application of some Creams, Balms, Soaps and Lotions can lead to INSOMNIA, depression, desperation, insanity and even to SUICIDE!!★★★

         Many creams, balms, soaps and lotions, which are used for treating pimples, boils, and other skin problems, contain different combinations of honey, milk, butter, yogurt, sweet almond oil, carrot oil, avocado oil, olive oil, coconut oil, palm oil, papaya paste, brown sugar and other edible products. They can also contain very pleasant aromas and flavors. 

         Besides attracting the bacteria and germs, these edible items in the creams, balms, soaps and lotions also ATTRACT the MITES to the persons who use these medications. Many of the MITES are very TINY INSECTS that can be seen only with the help of a microscope. As they are present everywhere, the MITES can be found in and on human bodies, clothes, handkerchiefs, towels, bedsheets, blankets, pillows, mattresses, curtains, carpets, books, pens, combs, brushes, phones, furniture, walls, floors, doors, foods, pets, plants, soil, etc. 

        To get the traces of edible particles left by the creams, balms, soaps and lotions on the faces and bodies of the users, the MITES can constantly CHEW their SKINS, which can cause the patients to suffer from UNBEARABLE and TERRIBLE ITCHING throughout the day and night. It is not easy to get rid of the MITES, as they are so tiny that they can even ENTER the PORES of the SKIN and MERCILESSLY CHEW it from WITHIN! 

         The MERCILESS MITES can produce an irresistable and uncontrollable urge in their victim to scratch the continuously itching skin. Scratching of the skin around the pimples and boils, or squeezing them, due to the constant irritation of itching, can cause HORRIBLE SCARS on the FACE and body. The incessant irritation and extreme discomfort from itching can also produce other disastrous and tragic results. The continuous itching can lead to chronic sleeplessness, depression, desperation, insanity and suicidal tendencies in the patients of pimples and boils who regularly use creams, balms, soaps and lotions, which contain different combinations of honey, milk, butter, yogurt, sweet almond oil, carrot oil, avocado oil, olive oil, coconut oil, palm oil, papaya paste, brown sugar and other edible products. 

         We should therefore use only the creams, balms, soaps and lotions that do NOT ATTRACT the MITES, as the medications should actually repel them. I feel that I have succeeded in identifying the pimple-curing formula, which can be used for drying and reducing the pimples and boils without producing any toxic side-effects. I cannot disclose the details about the formula at present due to some unavoidable reasons. 

         The following article written by me was 

    published about 11 years back. 


    ★★★Use Perfumed SOAP with MILK CREAM for BEAUTIFUL SKIN and You can even Think of SUICIDE!★★★

        Can the use of soap with milk cream lead to suicide? Can you believe that using perfumed soaps containing milk cream can even cause suicides? Most people, including many scientists and psychologists, would laugh boisterously at me if they hear that bathing with soap containing milk cream and perfume can lead anyone to suicide. It may seem a big yarn coming from me and many people are likely to make fun of me. But using perfumed soap with milk cream can actually lead some desperate persons to suicide! I am not bluffing and I still warn you not to use soap containing milk cream and some perfumes for bathing. 

        MILK CREAM on your skin ATTRACTS MITES to your body, and your SKIN can get CHEWED MERCILESSLY all over the body by the MITES. If you use any soap with milk cream to bathe daily, you can get itching all the time to make you keep scratching your body. There will be continuous itching all over your body, including the face and scalp, during the day and night. You may become sleepless and terribly depressed and frustrated with life due to the persistent itching, and you may even develop suicidal tendencies. Becoming sleepless and depressed due to the skin itching all over the body all the time during the day and night, one can really become desperate enough to commit suicide. Also, how terribly embarrassing it can be for anyone to be scratching all over his or her body in front of other people?

    ★★Should one Die an Early Fragrant Death?★★

        Should one be ready to die an early fragrant death just for chasing the mirage of getting a beautiful skin by using beauty soaps with milk cream? Only those men and women, who stay in highly sterilized mite-free homes, offices, cars, etc, like some rich people and celebrities, may be able to use perfumed soap with milk cream without getting constantly bitten by mites.

        You can STOP yourself from committing SUICIDE by AVOIDING the use of SOAP which contains MILK CREAM and some perfumes that attract mites. 

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