The Dirt on Dust Mites

No matter how thoroughly you clean your home, dust clumps are bound to spring up at every nook and corner of your home the very next day. But there are a few easy ways to get rid of dust mites and its accompanying allergy  symptoms.


Tips for Dust Allergy Sufferers

Dust mites are eight-legged microscopic bugs that live off dead human skin cells and pet dander in dust particles. They can be commonly found lurking in virtually every nook and cranny of your home, in dust clumps, in pillows and blankets, on top of the fridge, under the oven, and on small ornaments.

Although it’s not possible to rid your home entirely of this indoor allergen , there are few steps you can take to get rid of dust mites and its accompanying allergy symptoms.

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An average-sized house may accumulate approximately 40 pounds of dust each year.1

Keep Dust Clumps at Bay

  • Put allergen -barrier dust-mite covers on your beds, mattresses, box springs and especially the pillows. Opt to use anti-allergen covers for your mattresses and box springs, as well as anti-allergen pillowcases.
  • Vacuum every week with a HEPA filter or double vacuum bag. Be sure to stay out of the newly-vacuumed area of your house for approximately 20 minutes so as to allow any of the house dust clumps that you previously failed to catch, to settle.2
  •  Wipe surfaces with a damp sponge (a dry cloth can stir up allergens) and mop the floors regularly. Wear a protective mask while cleaning to help minimise your exposure to dust mite allergens.2
  • Replace wall-to-wall carpets with a hard-surface floor, if possible.2
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A single gram of dust can potentially contain more than 2000 fecal particles from approximately 500 animals, and much more enzyme covered dust particles.3

Manage Moisture

  • Keep the relative humidity in your home below 50%
  • A hygrometer is an inexpensive instrument used to measure the humidity of the air, and can be easily purchased from most hardware stores.
  • Place a dehumidifier in a damp area of your home to keep the humidity level in check.
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Dust mites absorb water from the humidity in the air. This is why dust mites are especially prevalent in the more humid areas of your home, or during the dry season. If you currently live in an area that has a warm, humid climate, dust mites can be found all-year round. However, people who are prone to dust-related allergies could also suffer from worse forms of allergies during the wet season, when they spend more time indoors.

Filter Out Dust4

  • Put a HEPA filter with a MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) rating of 11 or 12 in your heating system, ventilators and air conditioning (HVAC) unit. You can find the ratings listed on the filter packaging.
  • Be sure to also change the filter, and have your HVAC unit inspected and serviced regularly.


  1. Dust in your home can make you sick: Here's how to fight it, Accessed 12 August, 2020
  2. Dust Mites. National Institute of Environmental Health Services. Accessed December 26, 2017.
  3. CINTEZA, M., & DAIAN, C. (2014). House Dust Mite – the Paradox. Mædica, 9(4), 313–315. Accessed January 13, 2018.
  4. Should You Have the Air Ducts in Your Home Cleaned? United States Environmental Protection Agency. Accessed December 26, 2017.