Avoidance and the indoor environment

Nobody knows for sure when the house dust mite became a specialist at eating discarded skin scales, but we do know that in prehistoric times they lived in animal nests e.g. rat's nests. Then, about ten thousand years ago, when man stopped roaming and made a home, the mite came to live with him too. To the mite, man had made a big nest (his bed) in a warm, dark and damp environment and there was plenty of food to eat! Learn more about the biology of the mite

Where mites would love to live

The perfect home for a house dust mite is a dark, damp, still, warm environment such as inside a mattress, pillow, scatter cushion, soft toy, deep piled carpet or heavily upholstered furniture. They love to eat discarded skin scales and these hiding places have plenty of food and are dark, damp, still and warm. Learn how to keep a mite free bed

Easy to get rid of once you know how

House dust mites cannot control their body temperature and also need to keep their water weight at 75% in order to breed. To get rid of mites we can reduce indoor humidity to deny them water. You can also place potentially infested items into a freezer, hot wash, or hot dryer. These actions will devastate any mite colony. The best action however is to stop them finding a hiding place in the first place. Learn how to keep a mite free bed

Start with the bed first

House dust mites love to hide in beds. It's where conditions for their colonies can be ideal. All successful studies on how to improve health using mite avoidance had anti mite bedding as part of the programme. Learn how to keep a mite free bed

Avoidance - sucessful methods used by doctors

Lower humidity and increase ventilation indoors. Remove heavy piled carpets and install hard flooring, especially in the bedroom. Put mite-proof covers on mattresses and duvets. When using mite proof covers, wearing cotton nightwear is advised to keep cool and absorb perspiration. Wash all bed linen and soft toys in hot water regularly. Also used in clinical studies were high filtration vacuum cleaners and a mite-killing spray. Learn how to keep a mite free bed

A little mite biology is helpful

House dust mites live in colonies and have no eyes, never drink and have no respiratory system. They rely heavily upon their sense of smell to live and find food. In order to live and breed within the colony they need plenty of food in warm, dark and damp conditions. Thousands of mites, dead and alive, have been found in old damp mattresses or old heavily upholstered cloth furniture. Learn how to keep a mite free bed