19 Interesting Facts about Dust Mites You must Know

Dust mites belong to the arthropod family and they are very small in size, you can’t even see them with naked eyes. They are ¼ or 1/3 mm in size and translucent in color.

Dust mites live in a humid environment and you can find them anywhere in your house like under the carpet, over the carpet, floor, cupboard everywhere and their favorite spot to live in, is your clothes.

Since they like warm surroundings they can crawl between the fabrics of your clothes. An average human releases up to 1.5 grams of dead skin cells and that’s what dust mites eat.

Dust mites don’t bite humans but they can cause various allergies through their waste material. If you have asthma or allergy then the waste material of dust mites can enhance your problem and can cause rashes, sneezing, and coughing. Here in this article, we will discuss some facts about dust mites.

19 Facts about Dust Mites

1. Where do Dust Mites live?

Dust mites are present almost everywhere as detectable levels of dust mite allergens can be found in three out of four houses in the United States. They are especially common in warm and humid places.

They live in carpets, curtains, beddings, and mattresses present in your home, and feed on dead skin cells of both humans and animals, found in dust.

2. What do dust mites eat?

Dust mites eat the particles fallen from human skin, they live upon the dead skin cells and also flakes that fallen from animals skin. Many dust mites do eat cotton fibers, dandruff of human hair, and sometimes their own waste material or fallen skin. Dust mites, when they live outdoors, also eat bird feathers, bird dead skin cells, paper, pollen grains, and fungus. An average human being can fall 1.56 gram of dead skin cells from their own body and that can be eaten by millions of dust mites.

3. Where dust mites come from?

Dust mites can be found in every other house, there is no specific way from where they come from, they are just found in every place but in homes, dust mites are found in carpets, furniture, and under your bed. They don’t need any special environment to live in or any special food to eat; they eat human dead cells which can be found in every continent, in every country, and every place

4. Do dust mites fly?  

No, dust mites can’t fly because they don’t have any wings for flying; they use air as a medium to travel. If you wonder that, if dust mites don’t fly then how we get those allergies and rashes on our body then answer to your question is, their waste materials are very light weighted hence if you beat any bed sheets or curtains, the waste material spreads into the air and goes into your mouth, nose or under your clothes and that waste material cause allergies and rashes.

5. Do dust mites live in clothes?

Yes, dust mites can live in your clothes if they are in the packed untouched closet. In fact, they can also live in your everyday clothes if you don’t keep your closet clean, that’s why you might have felt that your clothes are itchy sometimes; the reason behind the itchy-ness in your clothes is due to dust mites. Clothes have a very hospitable environment for dust mites, because of the size of dust mites, they like to live in clothes, and they can also breed in them.

6. Difference between dust mites and fleas (dust mites vs fleas)?

Dust mitesFleas
You cannot see dust mites with naked eyes.You can see adult fleas with your naked eyes.
Dust mites don’t feed on humans.Fleas belong to parasitic group and they feed on human/animal.
They eat dead skin cells and flakes fallen from animals or humans.They suck their host animal’s blood.
Dust mites mostly lives in furniture or bed sheets.Some species of Fleas lives on human/animall’s hair.

7. Difference between dust mites and mold mites (dust mites v mold mites)?

Dust mitesMold mites
They feed on dead skin flakes fallen from human’s bodyThey feed on molds. (type of fungus)
Lifespan of female dust mites is 90 days. Mold mites don’t live more than 30 days.
Dust mites mostly found in furniture and bed.They found on food containing fats and protein.

8. Do dust mites live in couches?

Yes, dust mites live on the couch too; in fact, the couch is one of the favorite spots of dust mites because humans spend most of their time on the couch. One more benefit of the couch is that it doesn’t get cleaned every day, dust mites get enough space on the couch than on the curtain or bed sheets, not only humans but not only humans couch is used by the pets also, some people allow their pet to climb on the couch.  

9. Difference between dust mites and scabies (dust mites vs scabies)?

Dust mitesScabies
They are not harmful for humans until you’re not allergic, but acts as a nuisance.They are literally very harmful for humans.
Dust mites feed on dead skin cell of humans/animals.Scabies feed human’s blood.
They don’t reproduce on human skinThey lay their eggs under human skin and get themselves out after reproducing.
It is not contagious.Scabies can be transmitted through skin touch.
Life span of Male dust mites is 30 days and female is 90 daysThe lifespan of scabies is 60 to 90 days inside human skin, outside the human body they can’t live more than 50 hours.

10. Who eats dust mites?

Dust mites can be eaten by other mites like cheyletiella (also known as Cheyletus), silver fishes, and pseudoscorpions (also known as false scorpions). Cheyleteilla usually found on dogs, rabbits, and cat’s skin but they don’t really eat many dust mites, because they get easily vacuumed up. On the other hand, silverfish feeds on carbohydrates and sugar.

11. Can dust mites live in memory foam?

No, memory foam is made to resist dust mites, this foam uses a very dense material in their mattress so that the dust mites cannot penetrate the mattress and doesn’t stay inside the foam. However these memory foam mattress is not washable so you can’t really wash them and dust can easily set on the surface, so dust mites kind of make their way on your mattress because they can’t penetrate the mattress but dust mites can surely live on the surface of your mattress.

12. Are dust mites and bed bugs the same (dust mites vs bed bugs)?

Dust mitesBed bugs
They are not visible through naked eyes.They can be easily seen through naked human eyes.
Dust mites feed on human skin flakes, fallen on bed or furniture.Bed bugs sucks human blood but some species of bed bugs also feed on animal’s blood.
Lifespan of dust mites is 30 days for male, female can live up to 90 days.The lifespan of bed bugs are 2 to 4 months. 
Dust mites doesn’t have any color, they are translucent.Bed bugs are reddish-brown in color.

No, they are not at all similar; they are very different from each other. For the starter, their sizes are very different, bed bugs can be easily seen by naked eyes and dust mites cannot. Bed bugs bite you and take their food from the human body but dust mites never bite any humans and they don’t feed on the human body/skin, they eat dead skin cells fallen from the human body. The only similarity I can see between these two is the location where they live, they both lives on the bed, and sofas.

13. Are dust mites visible to the human eye?

No, they are not visible to the naked human eye; however, humans can see them by using some equipment like a microscope. The size of dust mites is way too small for humans to see, they are ¼ mm long in size, and how we are supposed to see that.

14. Are dust mites more active at night?

Dust mites are always active there is no such special time but many people feel that their allergies towards dust mites become worst at night, this is due to the location. Beds are one of the most common spots for dust mites, and they may become slightly active because dead skin cells fall continuously from the human body at night, which is easily accessible by those mites. Also, mites need a warmer environment and the bed mattress becomes warmer when someone is lying on it. 

15. Are dust mites worse in summer or winter?

Dust mites are more active in summer because dust mites need a warmer environment to live and breed. Some dust mites die during the winter season. But you cannot say that dust mites leave your house in the winter season because people use head radiators in their rooms and there is less ventilation in houses which also brings dust mites. Some people observe that their allergies become worst in winters this is due to less ventilation and less sunlight.

16. Do dust mites have eyes?

No, dust mites don’t have eyes to see. Although they are not seen by naked eyes if you put them under a microscope, you will find that these dust mites look like spiders but without eyes, they don’t even have any wings to fly. They tend to travel by sticking to other things, they are like hitchhikers, and they don’t need eyes to travel.

17. Do dust mites shed their skin?

Yes, dust mites shed their skin; in fact, on average, a solo dust mite can shed its waste material up to 20 times in a day. This waste material not only consists of its skin but there are a variety of things that they shed, like their skin, waste material, and protein. People who are allergic to dust mites are actually allergic to these feces and proteins.

18. At what temperature do dust mites die?

If you want to kill those dust mites then the temperature should be more than 50 degrees Celsius. Dust mites can’t survive in hot weather.  The ideal temperature for their living is between 20 to 25 degrees Celsius but they can survive in the temperature more than 30 degrees Celsius. That’s why it is recommended by experts, that leaving your clothes under direct sunlight for 3 to 4 hours can keep dust mites away.

19. Biological details of Dust Mites

  • Body Shape and Features: Round – shape body with striated cuticle, two claws, and four pair of legs
  • Size: 0.2 mm to 0.3 mm in length
  • Visibility: Cannot be seen with naked eyes
  • Average Life Cycle:  64 to 100 days
  • Breeding: A female dust mite can lay 50 to 900 eggs in her lifetime
  • Allergens produced: Around 2,000 fecal particles and a larger number of partially digested, enzyme covered dust particles


It can be concluded that the most convenient and effective way of avoiding dust mites is regularly clean your home. It is only in extreme conditions that calling an exterminator is required as apart from cleaning, there are products like Diatomaceous Earth available which are quite effective in their job.