What Do Dust Mites Eat? You’ll Be Surprised

Dust mites are quite different than other mites.

Mites that bite humans, birds, and other mammals, suck their blood to survive.

But dust mites don’t.

So, what do dust mites eat?

Dust mites eat dust and the dead skin flakes shed by humans and animals.

Outdoors, dust mites eat pollen too. Pollen is the male fertilizing agent of flowering plants and trees.

But what about how dust mites look like? Where do they hide inside your home?

Keep reading to know the answers.

What Do Dust Mites Eat

How Do Dust Mites Look Like?

Dust mites are microscopic bugs that you can’t see with the naked eye.

Dust mites are 500 microns long, have eight legs, and whitish.

The dust mite eggs and larvae are even smaller.

Where Do Dust Mites Live Inside Your Home?

Dust mites can live on any dry surface in your home.

Dust mites live on furniture, curtains, fabrics, bed sheets, mattresses, cushions, pillows, carpets, stuffed animals, and even on your clothes.

Does Everyone Have Dust Mites?

Yes, everyone has dust mites in their homes.

But some people don’t realize it.

It’s because they’re not allergic to it.

People who’re allergic to dust mites have allergic reactions all year long.

Since dust mites survive on dust and feed on shed skin, it’s impossible to remove dust mites from your home permanently.

That’s the most challenging part of dealing with dust mites.

Where Do Dust Mites Come From?

As we said earlier, dust mites enter your home from open windows.

Humidity and warmth inside your home attract dust mites.

Moisture attracts dust mites inside not only your home but also many other bugs like bed bugs, roaches, and silverfish.

Do Dust Mites Bite Humans?

No, dust mites don’t bite humans.

But their presence can cause severe allergic reactions to some people.

If there are dust mites on clothes, then they may latch on to your skin.

Dust mites on your skin can cause rashes and itches. But they can’t survive on your skin for long.

How Can You Tell You’ve Dust Mites In Your Home?

As we said earlier, you can’t see dust mites

So, the only way to know that you’ve dust mites in your home is allergic attacks. 

Red rashes on your skin, running nose, sneezing, throat pain, burning, and watery eyes are all symptoms of dust mites’ presence inside your home. 

Dust mites also give asthmatic triggers to asthma patients.

So, if your home is always swanky clean and you’ve recurrent allergic attacks, then chances are you’ve dust mites in your home.  

How To Get Rid Of Dust Mites From Your Clothes?

Washing your clothes with a good allergen eliminator is essential to eliminate dust mites, pollen, and mold on your clothes.

Dust mites, pollen, and molds on clothes can cause allergies if you’re vulnerable to them.

Allergen eliminators remove dust mites and other microbes. It reduces the chances of getting allergy attacks from your clothes.

Are Dogs Allergic To Dust Mites?

Yes, dogs are allergic to dust mites.

Symptoms include excessive scratching and sneezing, red eyes, and snoring.

Do consult a vet if your dog shows any of these symptoms.

An anti-flea shampoo does an excellent job of getting rid of dust mites from dogs.

Does Vinegar Kill Dust Mites?

Yes, vinegar kills dust mites.

Vinegar is acidic. It also has insecticidal properties.

If you’re a hardwood floor, you can mix some white vinegar with water to mop your floor.

It’ll kill the dust mites living on the floor.

But vinegar smells pungent. It might discomfort some people.

How To Get Rid Of Dust Mites?

Vacuuming and steam cleaning are two of the most effective ways to get rid of dust mites. 

Dust mites are most active during the fall months. 

So, vacuuming your home and steam cleaning your upholstery and soft furnishings reduces dust mite infestation. 

If you’ve dry skin, make sure to use a quality moisturizer to keep your skin moist. 

Dust mites will not get much of your shed dry and dead skin flakes to feed on. 

Another way to deter dust mites from entering your home is by using a good quality dehumidifier. 

If your home has a high moisture content, then the chances of dust mite infestation are higher.

A dehumidifier reduces the moisture inside your home. 

Essential oils can help too in deterring dust mites from getting on to your bed.

Around your bed and upholstery, you can sprinkle a few drops of cold condensed essential oils like eucalyptus and neem. 

Both are effective in repelling dust mites. 

Many people confuse dust mites with wood mites. But wood mites are totally different.

They’re plant eaters and they can also sneak inside your home during spring and winter months.

Read our post on wood mites to know more.