House Dust Mite Facts
House Dust Mites
and a number of species of house-dust mites have been found throughout the world. The most
common dust mites in the United States are the North American house dust mite and the European house dust
House dust mites are found most often in damp places that are also associated with fairly
constant occupation by people or pets. In addition to being found in houses, these mites
may be found in hospitals, hotels and motels. They are not common in retail stores or
offices. Within buildings, these mites live in mattresses, pillows, overstuffed furniture
and other places where humans rest. The human body constantly gives off moisture which
keeps the mites' habitat suitably damp. House-dust mites can also be found in rugs, cracks
in the floor and other protected places. Cracks in a room over an unheated area are
attractive, because the air in these cracks is usually relatively moist.
House Dust Mites eggs
House Dust Mite eggs are laid singly and hatch in one to two weeks. There are three active immature
stages. Each stage feeds and then molts, with the last molt producing the adult. The
adults are very small, requiring at least l0x magnification to even be seen. The life
cycle, from egg to adult, is completed in about one month. The adult mites can live one to
These mites will eat most anything, but probably depend heavily on flecks or scales of
skin which are constantly shed by humans and pets. The average person sheds 1/5-ounce of
this dander per week. The mites can also live on dog food, cereals, yeast, ground beef,
and various mixtures of human or pet foods which can end up decaying on floors or
Some people are sensitive to these mites or the allergens (allergy-producing chemicals)
they produce. An asthma-like reaction generally results, rather than a skin irritation.
The allergens produced by the mites are quite stable and will remain for long periods. As
a result, elimination of the mites may not provide immediate relief. Vacuuming and
electronic dust filters may be helpful.
How To Kill And Get Rid Of House Dust Mites
Chemical control for the house dust mite includes products such as
Sterifab. Spraying the bedding, linens, etc is recommended only AFTER thorough washing in hot soapy water. There are no known chemical controls for house dust mites indoors. There are some things you can do to help reduce house dust mite infestations.
- Eliminate or reduce the use of indoor humidifiers
- Change bed linens frequently
- Change mattresses after 8 years
- Eliminate the buildup of dust and debris around beds, on ceiling fans
- Vacuum, Vacuum, Vacuum and throw away the bag!
- Use Sterifab on bed linens, mattresses, box springs,etc as needed
House Dust Mite Ripoff Scams
If you find a pest control company or an air duct cleaning company that promises to remove or kill you house dust mites, then you know you are dealing with a "rip-off" company. The United States EPA and most state regulatory agencies have issued warnings about "rip-off" artists that claim to clean air ducts and eliminate house dust mites. Cleaning of air ducts and the use of air
cleaning machines are useless in most situations even though they are marketed
as "mite" removal or killing procedures. Beware of scam artists and
advertising that promotes house dust mite control. It is impossible
to kill something you can't even see.
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