Dust Mites are They Harmful?

Dust Mites are they harmful? – Dust mites are extremely tiny bugs that live in house dust and feed on dead skin cells and hair that we continually shed. Dust mites are members of the spider family and will survive in any climate. They thrive in warm environments around 70°F (21°C) and 70 percent relative humidity. Because these tiny arachnids like warm moist environments your bed is the perfect breeding ground for these microscopic creatures to thrive.

As dust mites feed on dead skin cells they produce feces, it is the dust mites microscopic feces or waste, that is the actual allergen. When you breathe dust mite waste, one of the most strongly allergenic materials found in house dust, your immune system kicks into high gear producing antibodies against the normally harmless substances.


This over zealous immune response causes the symptoms associated with a dust mite allergy, such as sneezing and runny nose. This type of allergy affects about 20 million people in the United States according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA). The good news is that for most people house dust mites are harmless.

Almost 50% of American homes have allergen levels that are high enough to cause sensitivity in people who were not previously allergic to dust mites.

A study (Feb 2005) by Kingston University (London UK) shows that simply by leaving your bed unmade each morning, with the sheets exposed to the air and sunlight, allows the sheets to dry out, and substantially reduces the numbers of dust mites. Now, you have a legitimate reason not to make your bed!

For those of you who have a high level of sensitivity to dust mite waste, washing your mattress protector, sheets, blanket, comforter and duvet in hot water over 130 degrees Fahrenheit (54 degrees Celsius) once a week is strongly recommended.

Sources include: ehso.com