10 questions (you wish you had never asked) about dust mites!

Dust mites are invisible without a microscope. So tiny you wouldn’t even know they are there. But they are. Hundreds, thousands even million of them in your bed and other furniture. But are they actually bad for your health? Is it worth trying to get of them? Here are 10 of the most common questions asked about the little blighters.

1. What are dust mites?

House dust mites are tiny animals. Not to be confused with bed bugs, they are not insects but are actually related to spiders. They are too small to be seen with the naked eye.

2. Where do they live?

They are all around us, although beds are a prime habitat with between 100,000 to 10 million living inside every one. They can only survive in humid environments, so our sweaty beds are their perfect hiding place!

3. What do they eat?

They feed on dead skin that humans shed every day. Over a year this adds up to about 3kg per person!!

4. Are they dangerous?

BBC News has previously referred to dust mites as ‘one of the UK’s top man killers!’. The truth is, they do not bite or cause direct harm but they can still cause problems. Their droppings contain a protein which when breathed in or touched may cause allergic symptoms such as eczema, sneezing, itchy and a running nose.

5. Are only humans affected by dust mites?

Nooooo. Our 4 legged friends can be affected too! Up to 80% of allergic cats and dogs are also sensitive to them. Symptoms include itching, ear inflammation, rashes and skin lesions.

10 questions about dust mites
The teeny tiny dead skin eating dust mite that lives in your bed!

6. Can they live on humans?

They can leave red marks especially if you suffer from a skin condition. However the good news is dust mites cannot live on humans and are not known to transmit disease.

7. Are they visible to the human eye?

They are super small – around 0.33mm. They cannot be seen and the bites cannot be felt (unlike bed bugs but that’s another story!).

8. Do they only live in dirty houses?

Sadly not. Dust mites love a clean house just as much as a less clean house. They sneak into soft furnishings and love a good bed.

9. Will a dust mite proof mattress protector save me from dust mites?

Sometimes this will be recommended if you suffer from allergies. However, they won’t massively remove your symptoms as all your bedding needs to be dust mite proofed too.

10. How can I tell if I am allergic to dust mites?

If you are allergic it is likely you will experience the common symptoms like sneezing, running nose, itchy, red or watery eyes, nasal congestion or cough. However to officially validate your allergy you have an expert take skin prick tests or RAST tests on a blood sample.

So if you have not thought too much about dust mites before, there is probably now one more question you want to know. How do I get rid of them?! Even though home cleaning practices can’t eliminate them totally from your mattress, The Fresh Sleep Company can. We specialise in providing an eco-friendly, dry process that destroys and remove all organic debris including dust mites, bacteria, viruses, mould and fungi. For more information, take a look at how it works here . Alternatively give us a call on 01905 676100 and we can answer all your questions.