Dust Mites Ė Myths and Facts

Dust mites are nasty little creatures. However, there are many of these little creatures in just about every household in the world, since the bugs are drawn to our warmth and consistent food supplies. There are many myths that surround dust mites, so here is a list of facts and fiction to help clear up any confusion you may have about these tiny nuisances. Fair warning Ė these facts may make your skin crawl and your bed not seem so inviting!


  • Ten percent of the weight of a two-year-old pillow is made up of dust mites, both dead and alive. In addition, your bed can be home to more than ten million mites and can hold over two and a half billion droppings.
  • A gram of dust in a house can hold over a thousand mites.
  • Many people are allergic to dust and, therefore, to dust mites. A strict cleaning regimen is one of the only ways to cut down on the number of mites in your home.
  • Dust mites live an average of three months. They are a member of the arachnid (spider) family. A single mite is the one-tenth the size of the width of a single human hair.
  • Dust mites live in mattresses, pillows, blankets, and other soft, comfortable items. They dislike hard surfaces.
  • One of the only ways to really get rid of dust mites is through high-temperature cleaning.


  • Dust mites can bite.

This is a common misconception. A dust mite does not bite. They survive only on dead flakes of skin. If you have a difficult time with red spots, it can be caused by other insects.

  • Sunlight kills dust mites.

Dust mites donít care for bright lights, but they will just burrow down further and then reappear when itís not as bright.

  • Vacuuming helps remove mites from your mattress.

This only works for mites that are on the surface of your mattresses. The mites that are much deeper in the mattress will still be there.

  • Washing your bedding will get rid of dust mites.

Dust mites swim, so washing your bedding doesnít work either. While frequent washing will reduce the number of dust mites in your bedding, they can still be found elsewhere in your house and will likely just return to your bed at the first opportunity.

  • Our house does not have these mites.

Almost every last house in the world has dust mites, so donít think youíre immune Ė no matter how picky you are about cleaning. Dust mites are attracted to the warm, moist environment of our homes and the dust and dander found wherever people live. Unfortunately, dust mites are just an unfortunate consequence of our comfortable lifestyles, although you can reduce their presence with regular cleanings.

  • I can see the dust mites crawling.

Dust mites are so microscopically small that you canít see them with the human eye. The best thing to do if you think you have these mites it to wash everything you can in high-temperature water, and dust and vacuum frequently.