Dust mites are tiny animals you cannot see. Every home has dust mites. They feed on skin flakes and are found in mattresses, pillows, carpets, upholstered furniture, bedcovers, clothes, stuffed toys, and fabric or other fabric-covered items. Body parts and feces of dust mites can trigger asthma in individuals with an allergic reaction to dust mites. Exposure to dust mite allergen can cause asthma in susceptible children.
- Wash bedding (such as sheets, bedcovers, and blankets) once a week in hot water.
- Choose washable stuffed toys, wash them often in hot water, and dry thoroughly. Keep stuffed toys off beds.
- Cover mattresses and pillows in dust-proof (allergen-impermeable) zippered covers.
- Maintain low indoor humidity ideally between 30-50% relative humidity. Humidity levels can be measured by hygrometers which are available at local hardware stores.