What Are Dust Mites?
Dust mites are tiny bugs that live in your carpet, bedding, and furniture. They eat the dead skin cells that fall off of you while you sleep, so they’re pretty gross. But in the grand scheme of things, they’re not as terrible as fleas, ticks, or bedbugs.
Dust mites are among the most common allergies people get. They can cause sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes, and sometimes even asthma attacks! The good news is that dust mites aren’t dangerous to humans; most people who are allergic to them can just take allergy medicine to stop the symptoms from happening.
Dust mites don’t bite or carry diseases like fleas do; they’re just really annoying pests that leave behind allergens (tiny particles) when they die or get washed away from your home by rainwater or sprinklers. The best way to get rid of dust mites is to stop them from breeding in the first place! But that can be easier said than done. Luckily, there are a few other methods you can use to eliminate or at least greatly reduce the number of dust mites living in your home.
Are They Bad For Your Health?
Dust mites aren’t dangerous to humans directly, meaning that they don’t bite, but they can cause some serious problems for people who have allergies or asthma. The main thing about dust mites is that they poop a lot (up to 1,500 times per year) and produce lots of allergens that trigger reactions in people with allergies or asthma. They can also cause symptoms to flare up in people who have eczema or rhinitis.
Let’s briefly look at each of these symptoms so that you can get a better understanding of why these little bugs can be such a big problem.
Allergies and dust mites
Dust mite allergies are common among adults and children, but they often develop over time. The first exposure to dust mites can happen when you’re very young, so if you have a child who seems to be allergic to everything, it’s important to keep an eye out for signs of dust mite allergies later on.
If you or your child is experiencing any of these symptoms, consider asking your doctor about getting tested for dust mite allergies: sneezing fits throughout the day, nasal congestion during the day or night, itchy eyes, increased mucus production, frequent headaches, coughing fits during the night (and waking up in a puddle of mucus), fatigue and drowsiness, difficulty swallowing due to throat irritation, and general trouble breathing.
There are many ways to prevent dust mite allergies. You can buy special covers for your mattresses and pillows; these will keep any allergens from getting on your sheets and pillowcases. You can also buy special covers for your furniture; these will keep allergens from being released into the air when vacuuming or cleaning up around the house.
Asthma and dust mites
In addition to causing allergies, dust mites can also cause asthma attacks by irritating lung membranes. These membranes have cilia, which help move mucus out of the lungs and into the mouth for swallowing.
When dust mites irritate these cilia, they get stuck together and stop moving properly. This makes it harder for them to clear mucus from the airways and increases the chance of developing an infection or even pneumonia.
Dust mite allergies are also among the most common causes of asthma flare-ups because they trigger an immune system response that produces histamines which cause swelling in the airways leading to breathing difficulties.
Eczema and dust mites
Dust mites aren’t strictly bad for your health—but if you have eczema (also known as atopic dermatitis), they can make it worse. Eczema is an inflammatory condition of the skin that causes redness and itching. It affects about 10 percent of people worldwide, and most cases occur before the age of 5 years.
Dust mites aggravate eczema because they release allergens that trigger a reaction. These allergens are proteins called histamines, which cause inflammation and irritation when they come into contact with your skin cells. But not everyone who has allergies reacts the same way to dust mites; some people may be more sensitive than others.
Rhinitis and dust mites
Dust mites may also cause a condition called rhinitis, which is an inflammation of the mucous membranes of the nose. If you have rhinitis, you might notice symptoms like sneezing and congestion, or even stuffiness and watery eyes.
It’s important to know that not all dust mites cause rhinitis, only one type does: Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus (a.k.a., D. pteronyssinus). These particular dust mites haven’t been studied very much in humans until very recently, so there’s still a lot we don’t know about the link between these dust mites and allergies, including rhinitis.
So… Do Air Purifiers Get Rid Of Dust Mites?
Air purifiers are designed to eliminate household dust, dust mites, pollen, mold spores, and pet dander from the air you breathe. They can also help reduce the effects of asthma and other respiratory conditions by reducing irritants in the air.
However, when choosing an air purifier for your home, it’s important to consider how much square footage you want to cover with cleaning power. Some are designed for smaller rooms (like bedrooms or bathrooms), while others can clean up an entire house or apartment. You should also consider if you need one that’s portable so you can take it with you when traveling or staying at a hotel.
If dust mites are a big concern for you, then look for one that has a HEPA filter; this will help trap them before they can reach your lungs! Some models also have carbon filters that remove odors and chemicals from the air, so if those are issues for you too, then definitely check out this kind of purifier as well or look for an air purifier that has both filters but for most dust mite allergens, HEPA is perfectly fine. Our current favorite for those on a budget is the Levoit 300 and for those happy to spend a little more than the Levoit 600S is our current fastest ever air purifier we have tested to clear our test room of pollutants.
6 Natural Ways to Get Rid of Dust Mites
Dust mites can cause health complications, especially for those who have allergies and respiratory issues. Fortunately, there are a few natural ways to eliminate dust mites from your home that won’t break the bank.
Dust mites are microscopic bugs that live in your home’s dust. They’re a common cause of allergies and asthma, but they don’t bite or pose any sort of direct risk to humans.
If you have a dust mite allergy, you’ll start to notice symptoms when there are high numbers of dust mites in your home. Your nose will be itchy, and you might sneeze or cough more often than usual. You may also develop red eyes or skin rashes due to the chemicals that get released during an allergic reaction. Dust mite allergies can also cause other symptoms to flare up, especially for people with asthma, eczema, or rhinitis.
It’s hard to eliminate dust mites completely from your home. But you can reduce their numbers by keeping your house clean, washing sheets and blankets weekly, and sealing off areas where they tend to gather (like under beds). Dusting and vacuuming regularly can make a big difference. Air purifiers that have a HEPA filter if possible go for medical-grade H13 as that can really help to reduce the amount of dust in the air and make breathing easier if you have allergies or asthma caused by dust mites.
American Lung Association. (2022). Dust and Dust Mites. lung.org
American Academy of Family Physicians. (2022). Dust Mites in the Home. familydoctor.org
Cole, G. W. MD. FAAD. (2022). Eczema. medicinet.com
Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2022). Dust mite allergy. mayoclinic.org