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HC-Pedia Entry

Dust mites

Dust mites, semi-microscopic cousins of spiders, may be found in bedding, carpeting, upholstery and drapery. These creatures reside in dust, where they feed on flakes of human skin.


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The tiny bugs’ droppings cause trouble for some people, most frequently in the form of an allergic reaction to proteins found in the waste. In certain individuals, however, these proteins may trigger a severe asthma attack.


Dust mites thrive in warm, humid conditions, so consider taking steps to reduce indoor humidity.


Also, help control these tiny pests by thorough, regular housekeeping. Here are some tips:

  • Change bed sheets weekly and wash in detergent and the hottest water safe for the fabric. Be certain sheets are completely dry before putting them back on the bed.

  • Wash (or dry clean) quilts and other bedding regularly.

  • Enclose pillows, mattresses and box springs in allergen slipcovers. Wash microfiber and laminate slipcovers regularly; vinyl slipcovers need not be washed, but should be kept free of dust.

  • Vacuum the carpet around bedding and frequently-used furniture at least weekly. Regularly vacuum furniture upholstery. Consider placing washable slipcovers over furniture cushioning to simplify this task.

  • Vacuum the mattress and box spring twice a year using a brush attachment and a crevice tool.
Dust mites:  Created on November 3rd, 2009.  Last Modified on January 1st, 2010


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