Dust mite control

Dust mites are tiny members of the arachnid family that have 8 legs and can’t be seen by the naked eye. They like to live in areas that are warm and humid and feed off dead skin cells. Dust mites can be found in bedding (mattress and/or pillows), carpeting, upholstered furniture and clothing, Although they don’t cause any harm, it has been found that they can raise the risk of an asthma attack in asthma patients.

Dust mite controlUnfortunately it is impossible to eliminate dust mites completely, however if you do suffer with asthma it is important to minimize dust mites in your house as much as possible.

This can be done by:

  • Protecting your mattress and pillow with an anti-mite dust cover. These will protect the mattress and pillow from being infested by dust mites, but will also protect you from any dust mites that are already there.
  • Washing bed linen once a week. The water will need to be 55°or hotter in order for the dust mites to be killed.
  • Having no carpeting in the house. However if you do, vacuuming with a HEPA filter vacuum cleaner will help to eliminate dust mites from carpets. You could also wear a mask when you are vacuuming to help prevent an asthma attack.
  • Dusting regularly with a damp cloth rather than a duster or feather duster which will just spread the dust further.
  • Hanging clothes in wardrobes (in dust covers if possible) or putting them away in drawers so they don’t collect dust from the room.

If dust mites are a major cause of an asthma attack, you should find that by controlling them, symptoms should be eased.

Information contained in this Articles page has been written by talkhealth based on available medical evidence. Our evidence-based articles are certified by the Information Standard and our sources are available on request. The content is not, though, written by medical professionals and should never be considered a substitute for medical advice. You should always seek medical advice before changing your treatment routine. talkhealth does not endorse any specific products, brands, or treatments.

Information written by the talkhealth team

Last revised: 6 December 2012

Next review: 13 December 2014