Roughly 4 out of 5 homes in the U.S. have detectable levels of dust mites as well as other allergens, bacteria and viruses. Dust mites and their waste products are one of the most common causes of year-round allergies and asthma. They flourish in the warm, humid temperatures of homes and feed on the tiny flakes of human skin that people normally shed each day. These flakes of skin work their way deep into the inner layers of furniture, bedding, and even into stuffed toys — places where mites thrive.

Dust mites are a major trigger for asthma symptoms. Asthma is one of the most common chronic diseases affecting children. Nearly five million American children under age 18 have experienced asthma symptoms, with most developing asthma before age five. Asthma symptoms in young children can be more extreme than in adults. Infants and toddlers have much smaller airways than older children and adults. Their airways are so small that even minor swelling and tightening of airways or increased amounts of mucus can block the flow of air making breathing extremely difficult. Children are at a higher risk for asthma if they are born prematurely, if they have eczema or have family history of allergies and asthma. Limiting exposure to dust mites can help delay or prevent allergies in asthma in children.

American Lung Association

Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America

AAFA Asthma in Infants and Children

Reducing dust mites and other allergens in your home

Due to their tiny size and translucent bodies, dust mites can’t be seen with the naked eye. Reducing allergens in your home is a multi-step process and requires long-term, routine care.

  • Mattresses and pillows have the highest concentration of dust mites and their
    allergenic waste. Use RAYCOP allergen vacuums thoroughly on your mattress, preferably both sides, and pillows.
  • Encase your mattress and pillows in allergen covers after cleaning. Routinely use RAYCOP over these covers, as dust mites can live on the surface.
  • Wash bed linens at least once a week in hot water to kill dust mites.
  •  Use RAYCOP on upholstered furniture and other fabrics throughout your home that are difficult to wash, such as curtains, throw pillows, and large comforters.
  • Control indoor temperature and humidity. Dust mites and mold like heat and humidity. Maintain a temperature between 68˚F (20˚C) and 72˚F (22˚C) and a humidity level under 50% to help reduce their growth.
  • Removing carpet from your home can reduce the amount of dust mites and their allergenic waste. Hardwood or tile floors with area rugs are easier to keep clean. Using a vacuum with a HEPA filter on your floors will keep dust from exhausting back into the air and resettling on surfaces.