10 Tips to Get Rid of Dust Mites in Your House

Updated on April 25, 2016

Get Rid of House Dust Mites With These 10 Suggestions

Dust mites are the scourge of allergy sufferers everywhere. There are literally millions of them living and feeding inside your bed, carpets, soft furnishings, clothes and anywhere where dust tends to accumulate. Dust mites are tenacious little critters that breed prolifically: getting rid of them is no easy feat.

Over the course of its life, a dust mite can produce up to 200 times its own body weight in waste produce. This is bad news for us humans because dust mite debris can trigger a range of health complaints and allergic reactions such as breathing difficulties, coughing, nasal congestion, itching and watery eyes. They can also have a detrimental effect on your sleep, causing you to wake several times during the night.

Although completely eliminating dusts mites from your home is virtually impossible, there are several precautions you can take to drastically reduce their numbers and neutralize their threat. Let's take a look at ten of the best ways to get rid of dust mites in your house.

# 1. Wash Bedding Regularly

A bed is a warm, dark and humid place making it a perfect habitat for dust mites to prosper. Additionally, the flakes of dead skin which humans shed during the night become ideal food sources for these little pests. It's not a pretty thought.

Fortunately, dust mites don't take too kindly to hot temperatures. Putting your bed sheets through a 140°F (60°C) wash is usually enough to kill them and remove their fecal matter and skin particles. If you have a tumble dryer, put the sheets through a spin-cycle until they are fully dry. The heat from the dryer should take care of any mites that survived the wash. Try to do this on a weekly basis to keep dust mite population to a minimum.

Eeek! It's a good job we can't actually see dust mites.
Eeek! It's a good job we can't actually see dust mites.

# 2. Use an Anti-Allergy Mattress and Mattress Cover

Estimates as to how many dust mites actually live in an average mattress vary wildly from 10'000 to over a million. Whatever the exact figure, one thing is certain: even the cleanest of mattresses are teeming with these microscopic vermin. Sadly, it just isn't possible to make a mattress completely dust mite free. But you can take a few measures to ensure that mite populations are kept low, and their feces and decaying body matter are kept away from your body.

If you don't have one already, consider investing in a hypoallergenic mattress or, for a cheaper alternative, get yourself an anti-allergen mattress protector. A mattress protector acts as a barrier between yourself and the critters in the mattress, preventing your body moisture and skin from dropping into their feeding zone; likewise, the mattress protector stops dust mite allergens from infiltrating your sleeping zone.

# 3. Don't Make Your Bed in the Morning

Here's some great news for anyone who hates making their bed first thing in the morning: don't bother! Instead, give your duvet and bed cover a good airing. This gives the moisture excreted from our bodies time to dry.

Dust mites love moisture. They can't drink water in the normal sense but instead they absorb it through the air. By reducing moisture and humidity within the bed, we're making life difficult for them.

# 4. Get Rid of Feather Pillows and Duvets

Considering that you'll probably spend eight hours each day with your face resting on it, your pillow needs to be soft, comfortable and free of allergens. Traditional feather pillows aren't really suited to the task. Not only are they lumpy and difficult to wash but they also provide an ideal home for dust mites. The same is true of duvets.

Try using hypoallergenic synthetic pillows and duvets instead. They provide a less cosy environment for dust mites and you can blast them through the wash at 140°F (60°C) which is the magic temperature for killing the mites.

To really help drive those mites out of your bed, buy a hypoallergenic pillow and duvet cover as well.

***Update***

There is a growing body of scientific evidence challenging traditional beliefs about the relationship between dust mites and feather/synthetic pillows and duvets.

# 5. Replace Carpets with Hard Flooring

Like beds and soft furnishings, carpets are a paradise for dust mites. Carpets trap dead skin and pet dander which the mites feed on.

Rip up the carpets in your bedroom (or ideally, the whole house) and replace them with hard flooring such as linoleum, laminate or tile. This is one of the most effective ways of instantly getting rid of dust mites. Hard flooring eliminates their most fertile breeding ground.

If getting rid of your carpets is impractical or too costly, try to vacuum regularly - at least two or three times each week. If you suffer from dust allergies, wear a dust mask and open the windows when you vacuum, or ask someone else to do it. Using a vacuum with a High-Efficiency Particulate Arresting (HEPA) filter might help reduce your exposure to some airborne allergens when vacuuming, however, HEPA filters have been proven to be less effective against dust mites.

You can purchase carpet sprays and treatments that get rid of dust mites and other carpet allergens. But in the long term, it might actually work out cheaper to install some hard flooring and throw your mite-infested carpets in the trash.

Source

# 6. Control Temperature and Humidity

Dust mites love living in an environment where the temperature is between 75°F and 80°F (24°C and 27°C) and the relative humidity is around 70% to 80%. Anything outside this range won't necessarily kill them but will push them outside their comfort zone and slow down their breeding.

Set the temperature inside your house to no higher than 70°F (21°C). This is considered a normal and healthy environment for a human, but is very slightly below optimal for a house dust mite. If you can comfortably live at a few degrees below this temperature, you'll not only save money on heating costs but you'll make life tougher for your unwanted house guests.

Another way to control dust mite population through indoor climate control is to monitor the humidity in your house. Unfortunately, dust mites live comfortably in a temperature similar to humans but they actually prefer a higher humidity. Anything lower than 70% relative humidity reduces their reproductive rate. Try to keep relative humidity in your bedroom and home to less than 50%.

You can test humidity in the home with an electronic humidity monitor. If you find that relative humidity levels are greater than 50%, try to get air circulating through your house by using vents and fans and by opening windows often. If this doesn't work, or is too inconvenient, It's also possible to control humidity with air conditioning units and dehumidifiers.

# 7. Keep Pets Out of the Bedroom

Dust mites love pet dander. Make pets sleep outside or in the garage if possible and limit their indoor freedom to one or two rooms. Make an extra effort to keep pets out of the bedroom.

# 8. Get Rid of Curtains, Cushions and Soft Furnishings

Curtains and soft furnishings are a dust mite's paradise. Fabric traps the dust and mositure which they feed on and shields them from potential threats. Each time you drag open the curtains or sit down on a fabric couch, dust mite debris is discharged into the air. If you suffer from dust mite allergies then this is a scenario to avoid.

Get tough with dust mites by:

  • Replacing curtains with easy-to-clean blinds.
  • Throwing away fabric cushions or exchanging them for leather/artificial leather cushions.
  • Trading fabric couches and arm chairs for leather/artificial leather versions.

Perhaps you don't want to part with your soft furnishings? Then you'll need a steam cleaner (see tip # 9.).

Cuddly toys are another dust mite trap. Short of triggering a tantrum in your child, try to reduce cuddly toys on display in your house. If that beloved teddy bear really has to stay, give it a regular airing. Every so often, stick it in a plastic bag and place in the freezer for 24 hours. This will kill the dust mites.

# 9. Use a Steam Cleaner

Steam cleaners are a great way to clean items and objects that aren't suitable for a washing machine. You can use them on carpets, curtains, cushions, kitchen/bathroom surfaces and a thousand other places. The steam kills bacteria, dissolves dirt and yes, kills dust mites.

# 10. Clean Regularly

This might seem like an obvious tip but you should never underestimate the power of dust mites to colonize and breed in your home. With the average human shedding enough dead skin each and every day to feed one million of these pesky critters, maintaining a frequent cleaning schedule is vital.

Make a note of all the places in your home where dust tends to accumulate and wipe these areas several times a week with a damp cloth or a microfiber duster - basically something that actually picks up and contains the dust rather than simply moving it about.

What are YOUR most effective methods for getting rid of dust mites?

Please share your suggestions and tips in the comments section below.

Questions & Answers

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        Farrukh Hussain 9 days ago

        Any chemical control on dust mites?

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        home care 11 days ago

        Well I don't think about you folks, however, I'm simply going to wash my sheets and cover and see what happens at that point ....are dryer is broken so would I be able to simply hang it out at stake??

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        Jesse 3 weeks ago

        Yeah Aubrey that’s nasty....you need help.

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        Batorski 5 weeks ago

        I wanted to comment on the post from Audrey Kelley. The bugs you have sound like bed bugs. Thats pretty gross that you would be spitting them out of your mouth daily and finding them in skin. That is definitly an issue. This sight is incorrect for what you are dealing. you need to look up bed bugs Spray them all down with tea tree oil. Apply pest control spray around the entire home, inside and out. To make this spray: Mix 18 oz of water with 18 drops of tea tree oil and spray the entire house with it––the carpets, beds, and furniture. Use wintergreen alcohol to kill bedbugs and their eggs instantly. you could also check a scabies website. Scabied burrow under the skin

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        Christoff 6 weeks ago

        @ Karen, move asap. Dont tolerate second best, life is too short.

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        Christoff 6 weeks ago

        Great, so all I have to do is replace most of my flooring, curtains purchase a HEPA vacuum, new mattress cover, pillow case, and AIR-conditioner and humidity monitor.

        So that's at least $5,000, plus vacuuming an extra two times per week, washing sheets twice a week, monitoring my temperature and humidity and generally become obsessive about my room, all to kill some friggin mites!!@ ! You gotta be kidding me, Doc!! I'd rather suffer some slight mucus in the morning that turn my life upside down and have to freak out about everything, everywhere I go!! thanks for usless article!!

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        Karen 6 weeks ago

        I have had a problem for2 years now it all started when my housing gave the go ahead for wallcavity insulation the problem is I still haven't had conformation it is dust mites I have wooden flooring all through my house I have replaced my beds I have purchased a new leather sofa I have thrown out so much stuff it unbelievable. my poor chocolate Labrador has bald patches all over her pawsi have rash on my eyes under my nose and round the hair line of my head I called the council out but because I have never had a issue with any sort of mites I didn't know what it was I told them also I had samples of whatever it was to show them I also was spitting out little tiny white objects that must have invaded my mouth at night time when I go to put my clothes on i have to Hoover them as my flat is so dusty even though I damp dust every day my hands look like they belong to someone of the age of 90 any way I told the council this and this was the reply of the housing officer .she said at first I was hallucinating then she said do you have mental health issues then have you got O.C.D. she left me feeling so be litted that all I have done is cry I now hate if I have a problem with my house I hate phoning them It has got to the stage I feel like I want to end it all maybe i do have mental health issues but not that i know of has anyone else got tiny white or fawn bits of Wouldn't say insect more like a skin I have not got moths which I thought was the issue the council said dust mites don't attack your hands face and they dont bite I know there are much more going on in the world and this may sound over reacted but it is driving me insane please please help .

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        Doc Wordinger 2 months ago from Manchester, UK

        Audrey - Everything in this article is accurate and can be verified. At roughly a quarter of a millimeter in size, dustmites are not visible to the naked eye under normal circumstances (eg on your bed covers or pillows). An isolated dustmite on, say, a piece of coloured paper may be perceivable to someone with good eyesight but you would need a microscope to actually identify it as a dustmite. What you are describing in your comment is almost certainly NOT dustmites. Bed bugs seem more plausible.

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        Audrey Kelley 2 months ago

        I don’t know what kind of mite is being discussed here. The kind I’m dealing with can certainly be seen. After dealing with them on my body for six months, they moved into my mouth. I spit hundred of them into my sink every day and have many samples. I even dug a black one out of my husband’s arm. So please don’t be spreading incorrect information.

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        Sally 2 months ago

        #7 is a joke right...keep your dogs outside to sleep you must not be an animal lover at all.....I can't say any animal lover would ever think of letting their furkids sleep in the garage let alone outside....SMH

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        kathy williams 3 months ago

        I have bought the mattress covers & pillow covers. Im also using a light sprinkling of diamateous earth inside the pillows & on mattresses & then covering them with the allerease covers. The D. Earth is suppose to dry up any living thing it touches. We used it to get rid of a small patch of bed bugs one year, it was quite easy to get rid of them that way. BUT BE CAREFUL, the D. Earth is very bad if you breathe it in so always wear a mask when using, its harmful to lungs. So when I use it Im always encasing it in something like the mattress or pillow. You cant just sprinkle it around like salt, it would harm any pets & you if inhaled. It dries up the skeleton of any pests, but only use it inside encased items!!

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        M Jenkins 3 months ago

        Found that inexpensive hydrogen peroxide helps! Spray furnishings, clothings, beddings and even itchy spots on body! This is a temporary fix though.

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        Robert 4 months ago

        Regarding dust mites: permethrin cream works very well to cure a red skin infestation.”Off” keeps mites away from arms, hair, sheets, and furniture. Vaseline stops the biting at nite and a lite coat on dog helps stop scratching. Leather furniture doesn’t help. Steroid pills, creams don’t help. To help breathing at nite, place pillow in dryer with dryer sheets and wet wash cloth once a week. Mites move upward towards head, shoulders, back of couch, and top of arms and legs. And, mites like moisture like eyes, nose, lips and private parts. Hope this helps.

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        Amanda 4 months ago

        You should NOT be encouraging people to have their pets put outside or in the garage fair sleeping and limiting their access to one or two rooms. Both are cruel. I understand that pets increase dust mite issue so report that! People can then make an educated decision about having pets but to advise treating them as you have in this article is horrible.

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        Reginald Thomas 7 months ago

        Very nice article with valuable information. I look forward to reading more.

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        Danny 7 months ago

        Can dust mites live on human body?

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        Marianne 9 months ago

        Does any one have a way to get rid of dust mites in paper? I have papers that needs to be sorted and are giving me allergy problems.

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        Suzy Q 9 months ago

        Thank you for all of the posts they have been so helpful to me. Unfortunately I can relate to everything.

        I have a friend who has gone through the same thing and I will share what she shared. We bag up things in plastic with dryer sheets seal out as much air as possible. It truly does kill them.

        I have filled up four dumpsters getting rid of stuff to thin out my house. Cardboard boxes seem to hold the most dust mites. I have some books that I wanted. I bagged them up with dryer sheets. I sucked out all the air from the bags and laid them in the sun. After several weeks the dust mites were definitely dead. My friend said she even did the same thing with her couch wrapped it totally in plastic with dryer sheets and after a while the dust mites or gone. I have not gotten that far yet. Although I have bagged up other things that I want with the dryer sheets and I am anxiously waiting for the dust mites to die.

        In trying to keep these mites under some control I daily go through a half gallon of 91% alcohol just to kill some of the dust mites. This is not enough but it has helped until I can fog the house with Hot Shot flea spray, which my neighbor used and said it worked for her.

        When I take a bath at night I get in the tub and then take my clothes off I rinse them off and put them in a bucket that I brought into the tub and soak them overnight and Lysol. I wash my hair first with Dr. Bonner's Tree Tea soap amped up with extra tree tea oil. Then I wash it again with Head and Shoulders. If this is not enough I wash it again. Sometimes I just can't get out all of the dust mites. Then finish my shower with the Dr B tree tea soap.

        I wash my clothes minimum of two times in a sterilization load setting, first with Lysol, the one in the brown bottle with the yellow label. Then in DoTerra On Guard laundry soap Then I bag them up spay them with alcohol.

        I even wear a mask when I vacuum.

        But to be honest I can't wait to give the cats a flea bath rated for Dust mites and next on the same day fog the house. Then have the ductwork vacuumed, then steam clean the carpets. Then fog the house again.

        It has already been 4 months and I am Tired!

        The cats and I are waiting for this to be over.

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        Mary 10 months ago

        I live in the country in a small quaint cottege for a little over a yr., few months now. I recently planted a garden of various plants. Corn being one. I have never had a problem with mice until now, believing the corn has attracted them. Everything (food wise) is either in plastic or jars. I have a blow up mattress (I move alot). I just found out a few days ago that I have mice in my ceiling. I'm a cleaner and make my bed everyday (-don't make got it ). I have three bites. 2 on my ankle one on my thigh within a three day span. I've delt with bed bugs at a family members home so I know it's not them. The mice were bedding low near my kitchen. I used moth balls/flakes to humanly remove them. They resorted to my crawl space in the attic. As I distributed the mothballs around the house, I noticed pungent odor and saw many Nats and Flys once I distributed the mother balls. Most likely primary bed. Now they've moved as I said earlier to the ceiling. Will ( once the mice are exterminated) I be able to balm to rid myself of these pests including under the house and attic ?

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        Sherrie 10 months ago

        Thank you so much for these tips!! I'm on it!! Putting pets outside is a no go and cruel. Just bathe them in blue dawn or get them groomed. Use pet wet wipes to wipe them down or remove dander. But everything else is SO appreciated!!! Thank you SO MUCH!!!!

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        Zach 12 months ago

        Ripping up carpet doesn't help with allergies or dust. Carpet is better for those things than hardwood because it holds the particles until you vacuum (and does not create any dust or particles that can become air born itself). Hardwood allows everything to blow around a be stirred up into the air. Unless you just never vacuum your carpet, it's a better flooring for anything dust/allergy related.

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        Noelle 14 months ago

        Is pleather as effective as leather for keeping dust mites out of the inner cushions of a sofa?

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        Cj 14 months ago

        Don't let your pets outside, especially in the winter and without getting them fixed first.

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        Amanda Cumberland 15 months ago

        Great post! Will be buying humidifiers and fans.

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        pup 15 months ago

        Will have a go.

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        Cheri 15 months ago

        I HOPE THIS HELPS SOMEONE.......

        Hi - I was in a battle with an unknown mite infestation from April to the end of November this past year, I'm pretty sure I know where I picked them up, but that doesn't matter at this point. I was first mis-diagnosed with eczema, that led to them just infesting my entire body before I saw a doctor 5 weeks later that knew what was embedded under my skin. He didn't know what type of mite and said that if I kept a strict hygiene routine that they should be gone in two weeks. Well, that didn't happen! Thousands of dollars later, it was a fluke that I found the answer at our local drug store! MY LIFE WAS TURNED UPSIDE DOWN!

        I was laughed at, and brought to tears by a dermatologist. mis diagnosed, told that only scabies burrow - just not the case! Everyone just wants to throw permithrin cream at you and call it a day! I never used the cream because I new I didn't have scabies.

        I tried everything from apple cider baths, to kleen green night and day, tea tree oil for hair, body, and everything in between! I did everything but tar and feather myself! But at a few points I was so desperate that I almost would have. I understand what it feels like to have them invade not only externally, but internally as well! My husband and I slept in separate rooms all those months, I only sat in one chair in our house, I did NON-STOP laundry - I was exhausted! We even pulled up our carpets and changed over to hard wood floors - that cost us a couple thousand dollars!

        I threw away a bed, so much clothing, all linens and rugs, on and on........They even invaded my car and office! To rid these areas was another small fortune! For my floors and car I used both windex, and alcohol - not at the same time. But I had to have my car detailed and vacuumed from top to bottom by an expert,

        I could go on, and on, but I know you want to know what I used. I read everything on mites, or so I had thought. I shared with one of my customers what I was going through and she came back to me and said I feel like I should share this with you...... "a few years ago I was diagnosed with a fungus over my whole body and my doctor told me to scrub my body from top to bottom with Head & Shoulders for a few weeks, so I did and that was that, it was over"  I said "Ok, thank you" thinking this has nothing to do with mites.......well, a couple days later I was online and I ran across a paper a student had written about mites where they found that mites are attracted to people with fungus, it could be internally or externally. There was that "F" word again, then again for a third time something about fungus was presented to me! So I thought OK, I'll go buy some - why not? I've tried everything else!

        So, I picked some up (the classic kind) and I scrubbed my whole body - head to toe! Before I did this they had seemed to invade my scalp, and I just could not rid them! Well, the next day I woke up and they had come down and embedded themselves into my face! It totally freaked me out! I was going to stop doing the Head & Shoulders, but my husband said "no, don't - they are probably dying off and trying to survive" so I kept it up. After a full week, there was such a difference that my life was totally changed - for the good this time!

        It is now Jan. 6th, and I still jump at any itch or creepy crawly sensation, but I am happy to tell you that I am doing great! I still do the Head and Shoulders a few times per week, and I follow it up with aloe vera gel from Trader Joes (the green bottle) not only because it's a skin healant and the H&S can make your skin very dry, but the mites seem to hate it as well - so I never stopped using it.

        I'm sorry for such a long post, but I hope it helps someone out there going through this crazy nightmare!!! I am so sorry that you are enduring this, I hope that all of your lives get back to normal again VERY SOON! I'm happy to say that my husband and I are not only sleeping in the same room again, but in the same bed again as well!

        God Bless you all - Happy New Year - I pray that 2017 will be a bug free year for you!

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        Karen 17 months ago

        It is my DOG that is allergic to dust mites. She has suffered for months, itching and scratching constantly, gnawing away her fur in patches, getting open sores. She is unable to sleep well and is preventing me from sleeping well. I've spent a fortune on vet bills and allergy meds that DO NOT WORK. I am slowly but surely replacing the carpet with laminate and tile. Now I have to start replacing the bedding. To get rid of all the fabric-covered furniture cannot be done just yet. I figure the entire process will cost $5000 at the very least. THIS IS CRAZY! I'm trying essential oils and hoping that will help. It would be a tad more tolerable if any or all of the above would guarantee getting rid of dust mites, but there IS no guarantee. If my bed mite infestation is ever under control, I have to starting working on the yard because my dog is also allergic to GRASS and OAK TREES. Oh, I almost forgot, she's deathly allergic to MOLD as well. Good thing I love this little critter. She was a rescue puppy. Now I'm the one who needs to be rescued! Seriously, I will do whatever I can to make my sweet dog comfortable. Just reading everything here and seeing pics of dust mites is making ME itch! Good luck to all of you in your search for the closest thing to a cure you can find.

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        Tom 19 months ago

        I too am unclear on whether steaming a couch is good for riddance, as while it will kill the ones the steam touches, is it not making it a perfect breeding ground with the water it leaves behind? At the moment, I've been extreme and built a lego mindstorms robot that wanders around the floor, with a UVC LED shining on the carpet, pausing in each place for 30 seconds. The UVC light destroys the dust mites but I'm trying to measure the rate of come back

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        Answer Hunter 20 months ago

        Doc Wordlinger~

        I hope you will come back!

        I have been itching uncontrollably for months. Ive been to 5 different dermatologists, have had extensive blood work done and NO ONE had any answers! My GP was going to send me to yet another Derm and I refused. I told her I needed to see an Allergist since I have tried almost everything under the sun without resolve. Fast forward to this past Monday (after doing both scratch test and injections) when I received my Allergy Results! (on a scale of 1 being mild & 5 being worst). The results for 2 different Dust Mites test came in at a 4! Which, was the worst of all that I did test positive for. I tested 2 for Dog and Horse Dander and 2's for various trees that are abundant where I live. The allergist handed me a brochure of misc. products, dust mite proof Mattress/Boxspring covers, duvet & pillow covers to Air Purifiers. purchasing all that she recommended is over $1000.00. Not to mention replacing upholstered furniture, down pillows etc. I have carpet though out my apartment and have actually started to looking for a new place to live. -This is how desperate I am! So my question is, do these products really work? Am I jumping the gun by moving? My arms are raw from scratching and it seems like there isn't enough Benadryl in the world to keep me asleep!

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        Destiny 21 months ago

        Funny about the temperature thing. I live in New Mexico, and in the winter, it's no problem, I rarely turn on my heater, keeping my bedroom about 50 degrees with nice warm soft fuzzy blankets... However in the summer, it's usually about 80-90 without the a/c or swamp cooler, both of which add humidity. However, I keep my bedroom window swamp cooler at about 60, but I still have trouble with mites. I'm going to try several of your helpful remedies though. Thanks!

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        alex 21 months ago

        Readers conduct their own research? This is why I am here.

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        Lori 22 months ago

        What about changing your house air conditioning filter to a MERV 11 rating to keep dust from flying all over your home through the return air?

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        Niki 24 months ago

        If you can't let your pet sleep indoors or have access to the rooms in your house you shouldn't have a pet. I read that out loud to my husband to make sure I wasn't the only one who found that tip to be ridiculous. That's just shitty

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        Funsies4ever 2 years ago

        Hi! Our poor 4 year old has very bad dust/dust mites allergies. We are finally getting rid of carpet in his room but wanted to know about cleaning the couch. We read somewhere that placing cushions out in the sun would help. I also wonder if we should steam the couches ourselves or hire someone. I would hate to create a bigger problem by not drying or properly cleaning!

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        Jeannette 2 years ago

        recently my ears was itchy i stayed at a hotel the pillows were horrible i believe the stuffing inside were the cause of my itchy ear problem 1 day later trying to take care thank u for all of the selection that u recommend

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        Joe Realistic 2 years ago

        Get rid of your bed. Buy a hammock. You'll sleep better and never have to think about bed bugs or dust mites.

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        Raiden 2 years ago

        Will a sub machine gun rid me of dust mites? 4,000 bullets into the bed? Grenade to the pillows?

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        Annie 2 years ago

        Does air purifier works for dust mites at all...I would do anything to have a machine that grabs the dust

      • Reginald Thomas profile image

        Reginald Thomas 2 years ago from Connecticut

        Cudos! You nailed this article with some great information and tips!

        I enjoyed it very much. Great job!

      • Doc Wordinger profile image
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        Doc Wordinger 2 years ago from Manchester, UK

        You're welcome Becky

      • Becky Puetz profile image

        Becky 2 years ago from Oklahoma

        Good common sense advice. Thanks

      • Doc Wordinger profile image
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        Doc Wordinger 2 years ago from Manchester, UK

        Hi Jean. Dust mites are tiny - a fraction of a millimetre in size - and are impossible to see without a magnifying device. Is it possible that you are mistaking dust mites for bed bugs (which can be visible to the naked eye)? It's impossible to eliminate dust mites completely. The best you can do is wash/dry bed linen on a high temperature on a regular basis and also follow some of the other strategies listed in this article. If you think you have bed bugs, this is a good website to look at - www.bedbugger.com

      • Doc Wordinger profile image
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        Doc Wordinger 2 years ago from Manchester, UK

        Aesta1 - If it is part of an allergen reduction plan involving several strategies (including many that I listed in this article) then I think an air purifier can definitely help. By itself, without other precautions in place, the benefits will probably be minimal.

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        Doc Wordinger 2 years ago from Manchester, UK

        Nancy - Although dust mites don't bite it is still possible for you to have an allergic reaction to their fecal matter. However, you described that you woke up with itchy welts which does sound more like bed bugs. Take a look at www.bedbugger.com for information about bed bugs and/or alternative causes of itchy welts.

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        Jean 3 years ago

        my husband has feather pillows and dust mites are on there I have dried them 4 times on 70 degrees and still have them and can't wash them help

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        Mary Norton 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada

        We have an air cleaner in the room. I wonder if this really helps. We have no pets but we have dogs visit us everyday but they're not allowed in our bedrooms.

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        Nancy 3 years ago

        I have read that dust mites don't bite yet I recently wake up with itchy welts.I'm almost certain I don't have bed bugs .Can you explain to me what these could be? Thanks.

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        Doc Wordinger 3 years ago from Manchester, UK

        Sometimes I feel like I'm fighting a battle I can't win. There's some truth in that because dust and mites will always be present in varying quantities. But removing their preferred habitat (carpets, pillows, curtains, cuddly toys, rugs etc) and making life uncomfortable for them (indoor climate control) can definitely tip the scales in our favour. I also find that opening doors/windows and wearing a dust mask while vacuuming helps to minimise my exposure to the allergens.

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        Daphne D. Lewis 3 years ago from Saint Albans, West Virginia

        All of those items do seem to collect more dust than can be imagined. I am constantly vacuuming and trying to remove as much as possible, but unfortunately, the dust seems to win in the end.

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        Doc Wordinger 3 years ago from Manchester, UK

        DaphneDL - I live in the UK where most houses have carpets, curtains and an abundance of soft furnishings. When I go on holiday to a warmer, more humid climate, I often find that my allergies are alleviated due to tiled flooring, window shutters and a welcome lack of soft furnishings.

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        Daphne D. Lewis 3 years ago from Saint Albans, West Virginia

        House dust is one of my allergies and having lived part-time in two different locations the last several years, I do have more allergy aggravation when at the house in a more humid climate.

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        Doc Wordinger 3 years ago from Manchester, UK

        Hey Karen. Dust mites are among many possible causes of your symptoms. It would be wise to speak to your doctor about this as soon as possible.

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        Doc Wordinger 3 years ago from Manchester, UK

        Hi VJGSA. Bedbugs are slightly off-topic but nevertheless, here's an interesting article in the NY Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/12/nyregion/12bedbu...

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        Karen 3 years ago

        I recently installed a new heating system in an older house , shortly after I started experiencing head aches and swollen glands when I stay in the house.Has any ever had these symptoms?? They tell me it Dust mites?!?

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        VJG 3 years ago from Texas

        No matter where we stay the night or the quality of the hotel - my wife checks for bed bugs. I have heard that there are dogs trained to ferret out mites and bed bugs. Anyone have information on this?

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        Doc Wordinger 3 years ago from Manchester, UK

        Thanks for reading Sara

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        Shamim Rajabali 3 years ago from Texas

        Thanks for this informative hub.

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        Doc Wordinger 3 years ago from Manchester, UK

        Thanks Linda!

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        L Sarhan 3 years ago

        Although I haven't had any experience with bed bugs, I know others who have. Very informative Hub. I am going to pass it along. Great job!

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        Doc Wordinger 3 years ago from Manchester, UK

        This is a very new product Kerrie and I haven't tested it yet. I'll report back when I have. I'm glad you found the advice helpful.

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        Kerrie 4 years ago

        Hello, Thank you for the tips. What are your thoughts on Febreze's new Allergen Reducer?

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        Doc Wordinger 4 years ago from Manchester, UK

        Express10 - Thank you for the additional info. Great advice.

        Hermine Hesse - Thanks for pointing this out. It is worth mentioning to readers that traditional allergy advice about the relationship between dust mites and feather bedding may need reevaluating. I have updated the Hub to reflect this.

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        H C Palting 4 years ago from East Coast

        100% wool bedding, even mattresses and mattress toppers in addition to blankets, etc. is a good way to reduce dust mites in your home. Not everyone loves it, but it's naturally moisture resistant and eliminates the environment dust mites need to be comfortable in, thrive, and grow in numbers.

        In addition, feather bedding often looks supportive but it is not supportive and sinks after just one use forcing the user to "fluff" constantly. Feather bedding is not machine washable which allows anything living within it or on it to grow exponentially. Bedding/pillows that you can't wash are not a good choice...period. Know that feather bedding is not supportive and requires a lot of extra care.

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        Hermine Hesse 4 years ago

        Boooo. You have not read the scientific research on feather bedding. Get with it!

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        Doc Wordinger 4 years ago from Manchester, UK

        Thank you for describing your own experiences with dust mites and allergies, Express10. Although it's impossible to remove every last mite from your home, you can certainly employ a range of measures to lower your exposure to allergens. It sounds like you've had a lot of success doing this.

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        Doc Wordinger 4 years ago from Manchester, UK

        Thanks for the feedback Janshares, I appreciate your kind words.

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        H C Palting 5 years ago from East Coast

        These are very useful tips. I am often surprised by the large numbers of otherwise smart people that I know who refuse to clean their homes or bedding regularly, have at least one if not multiple pets, and allow them not only into the bedroom, but the bed itself. I have put all these tips into use in my home except the steam cleaning but have whittled my allergy attacks down to either one or none in an entire year and that's usually because I visited the home of a not so aware friend rather than meeting them elsewhere.

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        Janis Leslie Evans 5 years ago from Washington, DC

        Very informative and well-done. I had a feeling dustmites were hanging around but I didn't realize to what magnitude. Thank you, voted up and useful.

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        Doc Wordinger 5 years ago from Manchester, UK

        Thanks for reading Karen, Good luck getting the problem under control. I hope the tips in this article help.

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        Karen 5 years ago

        it all makes sense our dog just recently started goin down in the basement and everyone in the house is starting to itch one of us even has bites on his ankles! Thanks for the tips!

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        Doc Wordinger 5 years ago from Manchester, UK

        Hi Thorkil,

        Thank you for your comment and hypothesis. My experience of dust mites comes as an allergy sufferer and my article was written with fellow sufferers in mind. My interest lies in providing people with straightforward advice about reducing their exposure to dust mite allergens.

        If your hypothesis is true then some of my tips would be rendered useless (as far as eliminating dust mites is concerned; of course, it is still advisable to control temperature and humidity indoors). But many of the tips, such as the ones that promote the elimination of dust mite detritus, would remain useful.

        Regarding the biology of dust mites, and whether they thrive in an indoor environment, I think it is important for readers to conduct wider research and make their own conclusion from the evidence presented.

        Again, thank you for dropping by and good luck with your continued research into this subject.

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        Thorkil E Hallas 5 years ago

        I am an entomologist with a good knowledge of house dust mites and I do not think, that the mites actually live in our beds and bedrooms. They are a contamination from the outside and are probably dead when they arrives. Therefore attempts to control the house dust mites in our homes by killing them will not work. They are already dead.

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        Doc Wordinger 5 years ago from Manchester, UK

        Thanks for your comment Tipstore

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        tipstoretireearly 5 years ago from New York

        Controlling temp and humidity is a great tip. I'll try it out!

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        Doc Wordinger 5 years ago from Manchester, UK

        Thank you for your comment Kelly. I totally agree with you. These minuscule beasts are nasty, unwanted and bad for our health. That's why it's so important that we try to limit their breeding. We'll never be able to get rid of them completely but we can still declare war against them and make it tough for them to survive.

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        Doc Wordinger 5 years ago from Manchester, UK

        Thanks for stopping by iguidenetwork. Great question about the mothballs. I suffer badly from dust allergies and have spent years researching this topic but mothballs have never really featured in my findings or my own strategies. Scientifically speaking, it seems they do kill dust mites but just aren't an effective weapon against this type of pest due to the dust mites' size and widespread habitat (almost everywhere!). If you own wool clothes that are unsuitable for the washing machine, mothballs might be an option. But they won't get rid of the dust mite body matter which is what causes the allergic reaction. And let's not forget that mothballs are toxic. So, taking all that into account, I would rule out mothballs as a source of dust mite control.

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        KellyMediaBest 5 years ago from Tampa, Florida

        That picture just gave me the shivers! It's crazy to think that microscopic little critters like that are living in our homes and even our beds. Gross. I've heard of some of these tips before like leaving your bed unmade.

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        iguidenetwork 5 years ago from Austin, TX

        Thanks Doc for the tips. Mites (and bedbugs) are really major problems in every home. I have a question: are mothballs also effective in killing those pests? Thanks again. :)

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        Doc Wordinger 5 years ago from Manchester, UK

        No, maybe a quarter ogre, Jennifer, probably less. Cats make a point of demonstrating how independent they are. They aren't quite as needy as dogs.

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        Doc Wordinger 5 years ago from Manchester, UK

        Hi Vibesites. That's an interesting stat about unkempt beds and lifespan. If that's true then my life expectancy must be about 120.

        If you think you have a dust mite allergy then you really have to get your room dust free. Follow the tips above and hopefully you'll be itch-free in no time. Thanks for your comment.

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        vibesites 5 years ago from United States

        I've read a post somewhere (not here tho) that people with unmade beds will have a longer a life than people who do make their beds. I found that as nonsense. Now that I read this hub, there could be a reason why.

        I've been itching recently, and I presently sleep in a room where it's dusty. But I have been too busy to tidy up my room. Now I will try to give time to that, cleaning the room... but leaving the bed as it is! Very helpful hub, thanks for posting. :)

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        Jennifer Stewart 5 years ago from TN

        I could banish my cat to the outside, so I guess I am half ogre! Thanks again - I've been telling my housekeeping clients about the temperature thing . . . many of them complain about dust allergies.

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        Doc Wordinger 5 years ago from Manchester, UK

        Thanks for reading Jennifer and thanks for your comments too. I understand that some tips aren't practical for certain people: as you point out, pet-lovers will feel like ogres if they force the family dog to sleep outside.

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        Jennifer Stewart 5 years ago from TN

        #7 is a no go! And your descsription of dust mite poop isn't even going to make me put my dog outside! #8 is almost as imposible for me; no one actually enjoys sitting on leather, that's why it's always covered in blankets (attracting dust mites). I will, however, take into mind your other points of advice! Particularly #6, but I would freeze to death in the summer if I set my thermostat at 70 degrees, so I guess it's going to have to be really hot in my house! I will seriously consider #10, since I am a housekeeper and my own house "should" be as nice as the ones I clean for a paycheck, right?! Thanks for posting.

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        Doc Wordinger 5 years ago from Manchester, UK

        I really like #3 as well Coding Staff. It's the only tip where you don't have to do any housework or spend money on new items. You need to be persistent and hardworking to get rid of dust mites. Airing the bed each morning is one step although by itself it won't achieve much.

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        Coding staff 5 years ago from Belarus

        # 3. Don't Make Your Bed in the Morning

        Thanks! I will show this point to my girlfriend:) That I'm not lasy, I want to get rid of dust!

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