Dust Mite Symptoms

Do I Have Dust Mites?

The real question about dust mites is not whether you have dust mites, but how large and extensive your dust mite population is.

Pest experts generally agree that nearly every home has dust mites. Studies conducted in both urban and suburban homes demonstrated that dust mites could be found in about ¾ of houses in the U.S.

Most of the time homeowners don’t think much about dust mites, and are not too concerned since they don’t see them. Lack of concern about dust mites is understandable since dust mites are so extremely small (about .002 inches long) that one is never going to see dust mites without using a microscope.

Dust Mite Problems

While residents won’t see dust mites, they are nevertheless around and will sometimes cause medical problems.

Dust mites shed their skin as they grow and also secrete bodily fluids and excrete feces. These are allergens that can cause allergic reactions such as:

  • Sneezing
  • Itchy nose
  • Watery eyes
  • Severe asthmatic attacks

Studies conducted by allergists conclude that dust mites are known to be the most common cause of asthma, and are an important factor that contributes to asthma developing in children.

Are Dust Mites Seasonal?

Modern homes are designed to provide comfortable temperature and humidity conditions. These climate-controlled comforts also provide dust mites with their preferred environmental conditions for development and survival.

Usually, dust mite populations are highest in homes that are kept at the same or similar temperature range (70-80 degrees) and the same relative humidity range (70-80 percent) year-round.

Dust Mite Diet

Available sources of food are rarely a problem for dust mites since they eat cast off dander (shed skin or hair) from people and pets, plus pollen and mold.

Since the average person sheds about one gram of skin each day, and it only takes about one gram of skin to feed thousands of mites, there is virtually never a shortage of food for house dust mites.

It is not surprising that dust mites are most plentiful in the places throughout the house where occupants spend much of their time. While dust mites can be found in many areas around the house, their preferred locations are:

  • Beds
  • Upholstered furniture
  • Carpeting
  • Curtains

Not only do they have a boundless supply of food, they also have widespread locations that provide suitable habitat.