Dust Mites Bites and Irritations They May Cause

Deal With Dust Mites To Get Your Asthma Under Control

Do Dust Mites Bite?
Do Dust Mites Bite?. Photo © American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology

Question: Do Dust Mites Bite?

A patient recently asked me an interesting question: "Do dust mites bite?" I had never been asked that question in treating asthma before -- and I was not really sure of the answer.


Dust mites are common asthma allergens that lead to asthma symptoms by becoming airborne and triggering asthma attacks. Like other types of allergens, managing dust mites can decrease your asthma symptoms.

In general, the answer to the question of whether dust mites bite is no. Unlike other types of mites that lead to skin irritation because of bites, dust mites generally do not bite humans. Biting mites include chiggers and bed bugs.​

While dust mites may be transported around your home on your clothing, they do not survive by biting and feeding off you. Rather, dust mites feed on pet dander and dead skin from people and pets in your home. Dust mites can be found in mattresses, carpet, and upholstered furniture.

How Can I Get Rid Of Dust Mites?

There are a number of things that you can do to get rid of dust mites that may be triggering your asthma. Using a dehumidifier and setting the humidity level to below 50% is one way. Making sure that you frequently wash bedding in hot (at least 130 degrees) water is another way to kill off the asthma-triggering bugs. Additionally, it is a good idea to encase bedding, mattress, and pillows in impermeable covers that prevent dust mites from taking up residence in your bed.

If you don't mind cold floors in the morning then ditching carpet for wood or synthetic flooring is another mite controlling option. When cleaning, use a damp cloth as opposed to a dry one that will stir up dust and other allergens. Similarly, using a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter will decrease your risk of exposure while cleaning your house.

If you can get someone else to vacuum that is optimal. But if not, consider wearing a mask to avoid inhaling allergens.

What Is Your Biggest Asthma Problem?

We want to help you get control of your asthma. I want to hear about your biggest asthma problem so that we can try to help you develop a solution or better understand how to help.
 You are probably not the only one with the problem. Take a few minutes describing your problem so we can develop a solution together.


Illinois Department of Public Health. Accessed January 7, 2011. Mites Affecting Humans

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