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Dust Mite Facts & Information

Protect your home or business from dust mites by learning techniques for identification and control.

Dust Mite Illustration
Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus
Dermatophagoides farinae
Globular shape
Light or whitish color


How do I get rid of dust mites?

What You Can Do

Seeking the assistance of a professional who has experience and success in dust mite control is always the best bet. However, in an effort to reduce dust mite populations, homeowners are encouraged to:

  • Reduce and keep the relative humidity in your house below 60-70 percent and the interior temperature as cool as possible. Dust mites are very susceptible to the environmental factors of low humidity and cool temperatures.

  • Encase mattresses, box springs, and upholstered furniture in mite-proof coverings. Also, it might be helpful to remove carpets and replace them with wood or tile flooring.

  • Use drapes and other household fabrics that can be washed frequently.

  • Ensure your household vacuum has a HEPA filter.

  • Use HEPA filters in the home’s ventilation system.

What Orkin Does

Your local Orkin Pro is trained to help manage dust mites and similar pests. Since every building or home is different, your Orkin Pro will design a unique mite treatment program for your situation.

Orkin can provide the right solution to keep dust mites in their place…out of your home, or business.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Behavior, Diet & Habits

Understanding Dust Mites

What do dust mites look like?

  • Body: Their body is globular shaped and has a light or whitish color.

  • Legs: Dust mites have eight legs.

  • Size: House dust mite adults are about 500 microns long, and the immature stages are even smaller, which means they can be seen only by using a microscope.

What do dust mites eat?

House dust mites are very different than many species of mites that are blood feeders. Since these mites are microscopic they don’t eat much. The sources of foods needed to energize them and sustain life include:

  • Animal dander shed by pets

  • Pollen particles

  • Skin shed by people during their sleep or everyday activities

Where do dust mites live?

The common habitat for house dust mites is dust that occurs throughout the home found in:

  • Beds

  • Carpeting

  • Curtains

  • Fabric covered furniture

  • Pillows

Dust Mite Life Cycle

The dust mite life cycle consists of four developmental stages:

  1. Egg

  2. Larva

  3. Nymph

  4. Adult

How long do dust mites live?

While the time needed to complete their life cycle varies depending upon temperature and humidity, it generally takes about three to four months. Depending upon the favorability of their habitat, adult mites will live about one month.

More Dust Mite Facts

Do Dust Mites Bite?

Dust mites don’t bite nor are they blood-feeding pests. However, they do cause allergic reactions for many people.

Dust Mite Symptoms

Discover common symptoms of dust mite allergies along with areas where dust mites are usually found in homes.

What Do Dust Mites Look Like?

Dust mites can be found in most homes but can only be seen under a microscope.

Where Do Dust Mites Come From?

Although it is hard to say where exactly dust mites came from, they can usually be found in areas of the home that aren’t cleaned or vacuumed frequently.

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