Dust mites, also known as lint mites, are tiny white lint-like bugs that feed on your dry skin and dander. That causes a bite-like sensation which leads to itchy red welts and rashes. Dust mites also trigger allergic reaction in people.
Read more to find out how you get dust mites and ways to get rid of them.
Dust Mites Identification
Dust mites are microscopic bugs that grow up to 1/3rd of a millimeter. They’re white bugs with eight legs and they are not insects. They belong to the arachnids family to which spiders and ticks belong.
It’s difficult to spot dust mites with your naked eye, especially when their numbers are low in your home.
But when there are too many of them, they appear as layer of white dust on the surface.
Dust Mites Season
Dust mites are active from May to October. It’s during these periods, dust mites enter homes and trigger allergic reactions in people.
Dust mites reach their peak when the weather is hot and humid. The ideal environment for dust mites to spread is when the temperature is above 65-70 degrees Fahrenheit and the humidity level in the air is 80%.
Dust mites die when the humidity falls below 50%. You won’t find dust mites in dry and cold climates.
Dust mites die in the winter months too. But dead dust mites are also harmful because they get suspended in the air as allergens and cause allergies.
Dust mites are naturally occurring creatures. No home is free from dust mites if the weather is suitable for dust mites.
How Dust Mites Enter Homes?
During the dust mites season, dust mites will sneak inside the house through any small little cracks and holes on the walls, windows, and doors.
Outdoors, dust mites will live in dusty and dirty surfaces. They’ll latch onto the dust particles and a gust of wind can also push them inside the house.
Anything with dust has the potential to harbor dust mites during the dust mites season.
As the weather becomes more humid, these tiny white bugs multiply, and their numbers increase.
Dust mites can also latch onto clothing and luggage and travel with you to your home.
If you’ve been to a place that has dust mites, then you’re most likely to bring them home.
Living Places For Dust Mites Inside The House
Dust mites can be on anything inside the house that get dust. Carpets, bed mattress, pillows and cushion, furniture, curtains, drapes, rugs, couches, clothes, and even soft toys are living places for dust mites.
Dust mites can spread in all areas of your home. But it’s the soft cushiony places where dust mites are more likely to nest and breed.
Damp walls and floors also aid in the spread of dust mites inside the house. And if your home is dusty, then dust mites will spread even more.
Dust mites look like white lint-like dusty layer on the thing they’re living.
Dust Mites Diet
Dry flakes from human skin and their feces and shed skins form the major part of dust mite’s diet.
They also feed on the dust that accumulates on things like clothes, furniture, and soft furnishings like couches, carpets, and bed.
Molds and fungi that form on damp surfaces are also food sources for dust mites.
Dust Mites Allergies
Dust mites inside the house cause allergies like sneezing, coughing, itchy red eyes, and running nose. Allergic reactions are the prime signal that you’ve dust mites in your home.
Dust mites also get inside your nose and respiratory system that can cause breathing difficulties.
That’s why dust mites are lethal for asthma patients. Dust mites can also trigger asthma attacks in them.
Dust Mites Bite
Dust mites typically don’t bite. They don’t insert their mouthparts inside your skin.
But dust mites use their saliva to liquify the dry skin so that they can feed on it. That causes intense itching.
Red welts and rashes also develop on the area of your body where dust mites fed.
Dust mites don’t live on people. They fall off from the skin after feeding.
Dust Mites Elimination And Prevention
Daily cleaning of your home vital to eliminate dust mites from your home.
Clean the entire home, especially the soft furnishings like carpets, bed, and couches with your vacuum cleaner.
It’ll be best to also clean your clothing storages like closets, wardrobes, and dresser drawers.
Wash bedsheets, pillow covers, couch covers, curtains, and drapes in hot water to kill the dust mites in them.
Control the moisture levels inside the house by installing a dehumidifier and ensure that the humidity level inside the house is below 50%.
Dust mites die if the humidity level is below 50%.
Also, fix any leaky pipes that are aiding to spike up the dampness levels on furniture, walls, and floor. And remove any molds on upholstered furniture, walls, and floor.
Maintain cleanliness in your home’s outdoors too.
Seal the gaps and cracks on the walls, windows, and doors to prevent these little white mites from entering the house.
If you buy any new clothes or fabric like bedsheets, wash them in hot water before using them.
You can also use essential oils to repel dust mites. Take two table spoons of peppermint or eucalyptus essential oil in three cups of water.
Shake the mixture well and pour it in a spray bottle.
Spray the mixture daily in places like bedroom and living room to prevent dust mites.
Air conditioning units aid the spread of dust mites by circulating them in different areas of your house.
So, use allergen filters on the AC units to capture the dust mites and to prevent them from circulating inside the house.
Use dust mite proof or allergen-proof mattress encasements on your bed mattress. Majority of dust mites flock to your bed because on your bed the chances are highest for accessing your skin.
Do not use pesticides or insecticide sprays to eliminate dust mites. They don’t work on dust mites.