What are Dust Mites

Dust mites are small arachnids that are known by their scientific name, Dermatophagoides farinae. They have a maximum life span of 80 days, but the average life span is between 20 and 30 days. Characteristically, they are creamy white in color and globed-shaped. They are so small that they can't be seen without magnification from a microscope. The largest of dust mites are the females which measure, at the most, 0.015625 of an inch. Females lay one to two eggs per day, and in the most favorable conditions, it takes 30 days from the start of development for a dust mite to reach adult maturity; their habitat consists of humid surroundings such as bedding, carpets, and clothes.


Dust mites feed on organic matter, but mostly dead skin that is found in furniture, house dust, bedcovers, clothes, cloth toys, carpets, and mattresses. They also absorb moisture through their skin, and this means the more humidity in your home, the more favorable the dust mite growth.

Health Risks

Dust mites have been blamed for allergies, hay fever, dermatitis, rhinitis, and asthma. Exposure to their feces or body parts can cause asthma in children at risk for the respiratory disorder. If you lay on a carpet that is infested with dust mites, you may develop red itchy bumps as a result of the allergen coming in contact with your skin.