Everything You Need To Know About Dust Mites Pest Control

Dust Mites and how to exterminate them

Let us ask you this, how long has it been since you’ve changed your pillows? How about when was the last time you got a new mattress? If you’re anything like the majority of folk in the country, it’s probably been quite a few years, right?

Mite Dust on the Floor from Bed

What if we told you that your pillows and mattress could be the source of your allergy problems? You might think we are a little off our rockers, right? Well, if you have dust allergies, then you might be a victim of dust mites and may require dust mites pest control.

Before we go into how to get rid of dust mites, we want to explain what are dust mites, where do dust mites come from, how to know if you have dust mites, and then how to kill dust mites.

Ready? Let’s get started!

What Are Dust Mites?

A dust mite, also known as a bed mite, are microscopic pests that closely resembles insects. They are the most common source of indoor allergens that cause allergic reactions and cause asthma in people. These minuscule pests tend to live in bedding, your mattress, upholstered furniture, carpeting, and even the curtains. They are pretty much everywhere!

Zoomed in Dust Mite Picture

Although these pests feed off of human skin cells that are found in the dust around your home, they aren’t parasitic, as they won’t actually bite, sting, or burrow into your body. The allergic reactions that they cause is a result of their body fragments and the fecal matter that they create. As gross as it may be, the scary reality of it is that four out of five homes have at least one bed that has detectable levels of dust mites on the mattress. Yikes!

Dust mites are natural occurrences in the home, especially in homes or areas where it is quite humid. Dust mites do not drink water as we do to stay hydrated. Instead, they absorb moisture from the air, therefore making arid and dry areas like deserts completely inhabitable for the dust mites.

How Do You Know If You Have Dust Mites?

There’s nothing quite as comforting as knowing that you could be sleeping on top of a massive toilet for dust mites, right? Now, you might be wondering to yourself that you are very diligent in your housekeeping, so how is it possible that you could have these pests in your home, right?

Well, since you can’t actually see the pests, you may not know what signs of dust mites to look for. We’ve got you covered. In truth, the symptoms you experience with a pollen allergy is the same as you would experience with dust mite symptoms.

Common Dust Mite Symptoms

  • Eyes that are red, itchy, and watery
  • A runny, itchy, and stuffy nose
  • ​Regular sneezing fits
  • Nasal congestion
  • Children will rub their nose upward
  • Swollen skin under the eyes
  • ​​Facial pain or pressure
  • ​Postnasal drip

Dust Mite Allergy + Asthma

  • Hard time breathing
  • Tightness or pain in your chest
  • ​An audible whistling or wheezing while exhaling
  • Difficulty sleeping throughout the night because of coughing, wheezing, or shortness of breath
  • ​Coughing or wheezing that has been made worse as a result of a cold or flu

There’re several simple steps you can take that will help you determine if you do, in fact, have dust mites.

  • Dust mites can be found around your home in the warm and damp spots, especially if there is a lot of dust present. Dust mites choose these areas because there is probably a good amount of dead skin cells in the dust. You’ll want to collect a sample of this dust, be it on a table or hard surface, but your best bet would be collecting dust from the edges of an old mattress, pillows, blankets, or other fabric that has a lot of pet dander on it.
  • To collect this dust sample, you will want to use a strip of tape. This is the best method if you feel like there is something crawling on your skin. Though the dust mites are microscopic, they will stick to the tape.
  • ​When you place your dust sample, be it actual dust or the strip of clear tape with dust on it, under the microscope, you’ll be able to see the mites. The dust mite is translucent and has eight legs. If you don’t see the mites themselves, you may be able to see the dust mite feces, which will look like tiny, brown pellets, usually in a rectangular shape.
  • When you place your dust sample, be it actual dust or the strip of clear tape with dust on it, under the microscope, you’ll be able to see the mites. The dust mite is translucent and has eight legs. If you don’t see the mites themselves, you may be able to see the dust mite feces, which will look like tiny, brown pellets, usually in a rectangular shape.
  • If you don’t actually want to see the mites, or if you experience any of the symptoms above for longer than a week, you will want to go to the doctor and have a dust mite allergy test performed. The test involves the doctor placing a tiny bit of dust mite extract under your skin, then the area is pricked so the extract is able to seep into the tissue. If the area turns red or it swells, then you are allergic to the mites.
Dust Sampling

How To Kill Dust Mites

If you take an allergy test and you do have dust mites, you’ll want to get rid of them as quickly as possible. Unlike other pests, dust mites are relatively easy to manage, as long as you have products that are designed for dust mites pest control, which include:

How To Kill

Dust Mites

  • Dust mite fumigation systems and foggers
  • Dust mite powders
  • ​Dust mite sprays
  • Dust mite killer kits for severe problems
Dust Mite Fogger

Depending on who you ask, some say these chemicals and physical barriers are adequate to reduce the exposure to dust mites. According to a meta-analysis that summarizes 54 studies on interventions used as means of dust mites pest control, “Chemical and physical methods aimed at reducing exposure to house dust mite allergens cannot be recommended.”

However, a study conducted by Dutch researchers concluded in 2002 that encasing a mattress actually does reduce the symptoms of dust allergies in asthmatic patients and it is a recommended way to contain dust mites.

How To Prevent Dust Mites

After you take the necessary action and kill the dust mites, you will want to continue to be proactive with your dust mite pest control by following these steps:

  • Use allergen-proof bedding. Instead of using your normal bedding, you will want to use allergen-blocking covers or dustproof covers on your mattress and pillows. These covers are made from a tightly woven material that prevents the dust mites from colonizing or migrating outside of the bedding. You’ll also want to wrap your box spring in allergen-proof covers, too.
  • Wash all bedding at least once a week. You are going to have to wash all the bedding in your house like sheets, blankets, bedcovers, and pillow cases in hot water that is 130 degrees Fahrenheit, at the minimum. This temperature will kill the mites and will remove any allergens. If your bedding can’t be washed at such a high temperature, throw them in the dryer for 15 minutes. After you do that, you can wash and dry the linens as usual.
  • Choose your bedding wisely. You don’t want to choose bedding that you cannot wash regularly or linens that will trap dust.
  • Only purchase stuffed toys that can be washed. The toys you buy for your children should regularly be washed just like you would with the linens—even more if your child insists on sleeping with the stuffed animal. Just note, it isn’t recommended the stuffed toys be on the bed.
  • Remove dust with a damp rag. By using a damp or oiled rag, you’re preventing the dust from becoming airborne and then resettle onto another surface which could turn into another dust mite breeding ground.
  • Vacuum your carpet and upholstery regularly. While you may vacuum on a regular basis as it is, you will want to use a vacuum that has a double-layer microfilter bag or a HEPA filter. These precautions are crucial if you want to reduce the amount of dust that is recirculated into the air from the emissions of the vacuum.
  • Cut the clutter. If anything collects some dust, it will also collect dust mites. You’ll want to remove trinkets, knickknacks, books, magazines, and other odds and ends from your bedroom.
  • Remove carpets throw rugs and other dust mite-friendly habitats. Carpeting, rugs, and the like are preferred habitats for dust mites because it collects your dead skin, but if it is over a concrete floor, it provides a humid space for the mites to thrive. If possible, replace carpeting with hardwood flooring, vinyl, tile, or linoleum. You may also want to consider removing upholstered furniture that cannot be washed.
  • Install a high-efficiency filter in your HVAC unit. You want to look for filters with a MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) of 11 or 12. Then leave the filter on so that the air in your entire house is filtered. Keep note of when you first put the filter in your unit, as it should be replaced every 90 days.

Dust Mite Pest Control Wrap Up

Dust mites, although they are invisible to the naked eye, they are all around us. Although these microscopic pests aren’t parasitic and they don’t feast directly on us or our pets, they still are an unwelcome guest in the home. If your home is exceptionally dusty and humid, chances are you will have dust mites, which is a contributing factor to bad sleeping habits, cold-like symptoms, allergies, and even asthma.

Dusty Home Cause of Mites

While you cannot remove dust mites entirely from your home, there are a few precautions for dust mite pest control that you can take. After you apply a dust mite killer, like a fogger, powder or spray, you will want to take the necessary precautions to minimize the chances of another infestation.

Mite under Microscope

People who have allergies to dust mites or their asthma is triggered by dust mite allergens want to pay special attention to dust and reduce any chance that there may be a mite infestation in their home. If you live in the older home, a home in a humid location, a low-income residence, or even in a home that smells musty or like mildew are also at risk of having higher concentrations of dust mites which can make your allergies flare up.

Humid Home Foggy Window

It’s true that dust mite allergens do not stay airborne like pet allergens, they can still make your life miserable because they will cling to fabrics on your furniture, bedding, and pillows. While you can wash your bedding, you may not be able to wash the upholstery or carpeting. In these instances, chemicals that are made for dust mites pest control can be incredibly useful in helping to reduce the risk of an allergic reaction greatly.

Dust Mite Vacum Control

Your home is supposed to be a safe haven where you can avoid sources of discomfort or allergens. Unfortunately, those microscopic dust mites can ruin all that and cause problems for you. Fortunately, when you take proper precautions and follow our dust mites treatment advice, you and your loved ones will be able to sleep better at night, and breathe easier. That kind of peace of mind is priceless!