Dust Mites

Dust Mites: How Many Are In Your Home?

Most homes have dust mites. An average home has about 2 million but you could have many more. Dust mites are a leading contributor to poor indoor air quality. If not controlled, you can easily have hundreds of millions of dust mites throughout your home and not even know it.

Dust Mite Facts:
  1. It’s estimated that 70-90% of people with allergies are affected by dust mite exposure.
  2. One square yard of carpet can be host to over 100,000 dust mites.
  3. Dust mites can double their number every 10 hours.
  4. Each dust mite can produce over 20 waste droppings a day.
  5. Dust mite feces and corpses are small enough to be inhaled into the lungs.
  6. Dust mites feed on dead skin cells. Each human sheds about 10 grams per day, and pets can shed much more, giving dust mites plenty of food to sustain them.
  7. Dust mites love damp, warm environments. Carpets that are cleaned poorly, often times fail to kill and extract dust mites, and result in an environment that is optimal for them to thrive.

Eliminating Dust Mites

Luckily, dust mites can be effectively combated so that there are very few if any to contaminate your indoor air quality. Most important is keeping floor surfaces clean, including frequent and thorough vacuuming, and periodic professional steam cleaning of carpets. Indoor air quality experts recommend getting a high-quality steam cleaning at least once per year. A high quality steam cleaning will kill dust mites and extract them, their excrement, and their food source (dead skin cells), leaving your floors much cleaner and healthier. A poor quality cleaning that doesn’t have adequate heat or suction can actually cause more harm than good as dust mites love warm damp surfaces—the last thing you want is to create a perfect breeding ground for dust mites in the process of trying to eliminate them.

Where possible, keeping humidity in your home below 50% can also substantially reduce dust mites. Washing sheets and pillow cases frequently (at least every 1-2 weeks) and even using special mattress covers (link) can also greatly reduce the number of dust mites in your home.