Dust mites are a common household problem in the United States and all over the world. These microscopic insects feed on dead skin, making them highly attracted to our homes and especially places where skin cells are most prevalent like bedding, furniture, and carpeting.
While it’s nearly impossible to get rid of dust mites altogether, there are some steps you can take to reduce the dust mite population inside your home while also protecting yourself and loved ones from these annoying, allergy-inducing arachnids, including investing in dust mite covers for your bedding and furniture.
But before we begin looking at the best dust mite covers and other preventatives and management remedies for dust mites, let’s take a moment to learn a little bit more about these tiny creatures. Join us as we learn why you have dust mites in your home, how serious a dust mite infestation is, and how to manage a dust mite problem successfully.
What Are Dust Mites?
Dust mites are very small and impossible to see with the naked eye. On average, an adult dust mite is only ¼ to ⅓ of a millimeter long. In fact, even under a microscope these mites are tiny, looking similar to white spider-like critters. Despite a common misconception, dust mites are not insects and instead belong to the Arachnida class, which includes ticks, scorpions and spiders.
These creepy crawlies infest our homes by the millions, feeding on our dead skin cells and sucking up any moisture they come across. And though dust mites have a short lifespan, with males living as long as a month and females living as long as three months, dust mites are prolific breeders.
In fact, female dust mites lay at least one to three eggs each day, with a total of around 50 eggs in her lifetime. Dust mite eggs hatch after around six to twelve days after being laid, and the larvae will then go through two nymphal stages where it sheds and molts its skin before becoming an adult. This process takes approximately four weeks.
Once a dust mite reaches adulthood, it joins its colony of dust mites, which can include millions of other dust mite counterparts. Yuck!
While dust mites do bite (they eat our skin cells, afterall) they are not like bed bugs and do not leave bite marks on our skin. Dust mites are also not poisonous and are generally harmless (as far as biting goes), to humans and pets.
That said, dust mites are allergens, which means they can and do cause serious allergies for people throughout the world. And while their bites don’t leave behind any noticeable mark or bump the way a mosquito bite might, they can leave rashes on human skin and even worsen breathing problems and allergy symptoms to those with chronic illnesses like asthma.
Even if you don’t have asthma or allergy sensitivities, the more dust mites you have in your home, the worse your allergies will likely be. Dust mites cause a number of annoying symptoms to people including:
- Postnasal Drip
- Itchy Eyes
- Watery Eyes
- Red, Itchy Skin
- Skin Rash
- Itchy Throat
- Runny Or Stuffy Nose
This video explains further how dust mites can wreak havoc on your health during allergy season.
But how did you get dust mites, and what has attracted them to your home? More importantly, how do dust mite covers work to keep dust mites from getting out of control? Keep reading to find out.
What Attracts Dust Mites To Your Home?
Dust mites are attracted to surfaces where our skin cells shed most like bedding and furniture.
You have dust mites. Your neighbors have dust mites. We all have dust mites. It doesn’t matter how much you clean, how often you vacuum, or how many dust mite covers you buy to cover your bed and furniture. You will still have dust mites.
Why? Because dust mites are attracted to food and the food they eat is provided by us. Our skin cells, which are constantly being shed when we scratch, walk, get dressed, sit down, stand up, sleep, shower, etc, are a constant food source to dust mites, and they take full advantage of it.
They also take advantage of their near invisibility, stowing away in the soft fabrics of our furniture, bedding, carpeting, curtains, pillows, and even clothing.
And while dust mites tend to congregate in areas where the most skin cells are shed, they are also most often found in the following locations around our homes:
- Dog Bedding
- And Stuffed Animals
You can pick up dust mites anywhere, from movie theaters to hotels, and you can bring them home with you and even transport them wherever you go on your clothing.
Dust mites live in colonies that are millions of mites large, making it extremely difficult if not impossible to completely eradicate your home of these annoying little pests.
However, while it may be impossible to completely get rid of the dust mites in your home, even with the use of some quality dust mite covers, you can still control a dust mite infestation and keep one from getting out of control.
Treating a dust mite problem will help reduce allergy symptoms, skin rashes, and overall discomfort for you and your family.
But how do you know if you’re dealing with a large dust mite infestation in your home or if you’re just suffering from some server allergies this allergy season? Don’t worry. These guys may be microscopic, but there are a few ways you can tell if you have dust mites in your home.
Take a look.
Signs Of A Dust Mite Infestation
The most common sign of a dust mite infestation is suffering from allergies inside your home.
Because dust mites infest our homes in such large numbers, the most common sign of a dust mite infestation is going to be an increase in allergy symptoms. Young children are especially susceptible to dust mite allergy symptoms, with dust mites being one of the most common causes of asthma related allergies in youngsters.
That said, dust mites are seasonal pests who can increase human allergy symptoms during their peak breeding season, which is between May and October.
If you notice your allergies really pick up during this time in your home, you likely have a large number of dust mites residing there with you. However, while dust mites tend to die off during the winter, their fecal matter, which is the main cause of dust mite allergens, sits around in heating systems, air ducts, and on any undusted or unsanitized surface.
When the feces are stirred up and brushed into the air, humans breathe them in and experience even more allergy symptoms all year long.
So, how do you know if you have dust mites and that it’s time to invest in some good dust mite covers?
Pay attention to your allergies.
Basically, if you are experiencing allergies inside your home, have quite a bit of dust inside your home, or have noticed you wake with itchy, blotchy skin rashes, then you most likely have a large infestation of dust mites.
With that in mind, let’s talk about how you can manage this dust mite problem using dust mite covers, and then let’s learn other ways you can prevent dust mites from becoming an overwhelming problem in the future.
Best Dust Mite Covers For Bedding
Getting quality dust mite covers for bed can help reduce allergies.
One of the dust mites’ favorite places in your home is your bed. They spend most of their time there because your sheets are loaded with freshly shed skin cells, which they love. Even if you wash your sheets often, dust mites can be problematic.
That said, there are a few ways you can protect your bedding from dust mite infestations and help reduce the number of dust mites that are crawling around you while you sleep.
Let’s take a look at some of the best dust mite covers for beds on the market and talk about how they work to protect you from dust mites.
Cosy House Collection Hypoallergenic Mattress Cover
The best dust mite covers on the market are going to be hypoallergenic. These types of dust mite covers not only protect against allergy inducing particles like dust mite feces, pollen, molds, and more, they also protect against stains, sweat, and spills.
We like the dust mite cover above because it is not only specifically designed to protect against dust mites, but it is also waterproof, breathable, and can even prolong the life of your mattress.
SureGuard Mattress Protector
Another mattress cover we like for our list of dust mite covers for beds is the SureGuard Mattress Protector above. This mattress cover comes with a 10 year warranty and is not only hypoallergenic to protect against dust mites, but it also protects against other home-invading pests like bed bugs.
You can order it from a Twin size all the way up to a California King size. This cover is also waterproof and protects against stains, spills, and sweat while naturally wicking away moisture. We also like that it doesn’t take away from the natural feel of your comfy mattress, which some dust mite covers can do.
Hospitology Products Sleep Defense Mattress Encasement
This is another mattress protector we like for best dust mite covers because it is again hypoallergenic, waterproof, and protects against both dust mites and bed bugs.
It zippers closed, making it not only seal securely but also makes it easy to apply to your mattress. This cover is made of polyester while still being breathable, and is especially helpful for those who suffer from serious allergies or asthma.
PlushDeluxe Premium Mattress Encasement
Last on our list of best dust mite covers for bedding is a mattress cover by PlushDeluxe. This is a premium mattress cover designed specifically to fight against dust mites, bed bugs, stains, spills, sweat, and allergens like pollen and mold.
Like all of the dust mite covers listed above, this cover is waterproof, hypoallergenic, and machine washable. It is even recommended for those suffering from asthma and eczema, as it helps reduce skin irritation caused by allergies.
Best Dust Mite Covers For Dog Beds
Even our dogs can suffer from allergies caused by dust mites.
Dogs are also susceptible to dust mite allergies and problems, and their doggy beds are prime real estate for these annoying, skin cell eating mites.
Luckily, there are a few companies who specialize in making dust mite covers for dog beds, and we have listed some of our favorite dog bed dust mite covers below for you to consider.
AllerEase Dog Bed protector
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We love that so many companies are now creating dust mite covers for our four-legged friends, especially considering so many breeds and mixes suffer from severe allergies and breathing problems.
If you have a dog who really struggles during allergy season, we suggest investing in dog dust mite covers like the one listed above by AllerEase.
This dog bed cover is hypoallergenic and protects against all kinds of allergies like pollen, dander, and dust mites. It is also waterproof, machine washable, and can be ordered in two different sizes.
Best Dust Mite Covers For Duvets And Pillows
Duvets and pillows are hot spots for dust mites.
Our pillows and duvets are just more hot spots for dust mites. These pests tend to burrow deep down into the fibers of these dense fabrics where they feast on the skin cells of anyone or anything that comes along.
Dust mites may even have an easier time and live longer on duvets and bedding because these items are cleaned less often than bed sheets and pillow cases.
But don’t worry. There are some dust mite covers designed specifically for duvets and pillows, and we’ve listed a few proven dust mite covers for you to consider below.
Allersoft Dust Mite Duvet Protector
First on our list of dust mite covers for duvets and pillows is a duvet cover by Allersoft. This is a clean, white duvet cover that looks lovely but works effectively in keeping allergy inducing pests at bay.
It protects not only against dust mites but also bed bugs, pollen, bacteria, mold spores, and more. You can order it from a twin size all the way up to a King. It is made of 100% cotton and zips onto your duvet, making it super easy to apply.
Bedsure Hypoallergenic Duvet Cover Set
Another duvet cover we have added to our list of dust mite covers for bedding is a duvet cover by Bedsure. This order not only includes a hypoallergenic bed cover but also dust mite resistant pillow covers.
You can order in it a number of colors and it comes in sizes from Twin to California King. We also like that this hypoallergenic bed cover protects against not only dust mites but other allergens like pollen, mold spores, and dander.
National Allergy Hypoallergenic Pillow Covers
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If all you need are dust mite covers for your pillows, we have you covered with this pack of hypoallergenic pillow covers that not only protect against allergens like dust mites, pollen, mold spores and bacteria but also bed bugs.
The pillow covers are white and come in orders of one to four. These dust mite covers for your pillows zip closed on your pillowcases and the cotton design means you’ll still be comfortable while sleeping, which is always a win.
Sleep Philosophy Hypoallergenic Comforter Protector
Last on our list of dust mite covers for bedding is this comforter protector by Sleep Philosophy. You can use this dust mite cover on either a feather duvet or a fabric comforter to protect against dust mites, stains, sweat, allergens, spills, pet dander and more.
It is made of 100% microfiber and is ideal for those who own pets. It also helps keep bed bugs at bay and protects against pollen, dander, mold spores, and more. This is a machine washable duvet cover and should be washed on cold only.
Home Remedies To Repel Dust Mites
You can make your own dust mite repellent using essential oils like lavender.
Along with using some quality dust mite covers for your bedding and furniture to get rid of dust mites, you might also consider using some tried and tested home remedies to control and repel these nasty pests.
Some of our favorite home remedies that work to repel dust mites include ingredients you likely already have in your home pantry. Take a look!
Essential Oils To Kill Dust Mites
Dust mites may be microscopic, but that doesn’t mean they are any different from other home-invading pests. Like many pests including mice, insects, and even bats, dust mites hate some types of essential oils.
The most effective essential oils you can use to repel and kill dust mites in your home include:
- Peppermint Oil
- Eucalyptus Oil
- Tea Tree Oil
- Clove Oil
- Lavender Oil
- Rosemary Oil
- Basil Oil
- Lemongrass Oil
One of the easiest (and best smelling) ways to control and eliminate dust mites in your bed is to make your own essential oil spray. Simply add five to ten drops of any of the above essential oils to two cups of water in a spray bottle, and spray this solution on your bed a few times a week.
Pro Tip: Lemongrass oil and basil oil don’t only repel dust mites, but they also repel lice and fleas!
Use Your Freezer
This one is kind of quirky, but hey, it works. Cover your pillows and toss them in the freezer for a few hours at least once a month to kill any dust mites, eggs, or larvae. This will not only help reduce your allergies but also reduce the dust mite population from multiplying in your home.
You can also use this method on dog beds, couch cushions, throw pillows and blankets.
Don’t Make Your Bed
Lazy people rejoice! Not making your bed actually helps reduce dust mites, as leaving the sheets open to the fresh air helps reduce moisture and humidity, which dust mites love. So kick off the covers and go about your day guilt-free. Hey, you’re just doing your part to control the dust mites.
Wash Your Bedding In Hot Water Once A Week
Hot water will kill dust mites and their eggs and larvae, so make sure you are doing your laundry consistently, especially when it comes to your bedding. Washing sheets, pillow cases, and throws in hot water once a week will continuously kill dust mites and help keep them from returning.
And speaking of keeping dust mites from returning, let’s take a look at some other ways you can prevent and control a dust mite infestation in your home.
Tips On Preventing Future Dust Mite Problems
You can lower the number of dust mites in your home by cleaning often and vacuuming soft surfaces.
Most experts agree that the best thing you can do to control dust mites is invest in a few quality dust mite covers for your bed and furniture. Of course, along with using dust mite covers, there are several other steps you can take to protect your home and family from the rashes and sometimes severe allergies dust mites can cause.
Let’s take a look at some of the best preventative measures you can take to control dust mite populations inside your home.
Invest In A A HEPA Filter Vacuum Bag
Investing in HEPA vacuums or even just buying replacement HEPA vacuum bags can make a world of difference in a home that is suffering from serious allergies and dust mites. HEPA bags are designed to capture and hold microscopic particles, mold spores, and of course, dust mites.
Using a HEPA bag or vacuum cleaner will help control dust mites and reduce allergies, especially when used alongside dust mite covers and other preventative measures.
HEPA Premium Vacuum Bags
The above vacuum bags are disposable and include 30 HEPA replacement bags for your vacuum. They are designed to catch micro allergens and help capture and kill dust mites as well as other allergies causing particles like mold spores, pollen, pet dander, and even microscopic dust.
HEPA vacuum bags are ideal to use in homes of those who suffer from asthma or severe allergies. That said, make sure you do your research so you know that these vacuum bags are compatible with the type of vacuum you have.
Invest In An Air Purifier
Air purifiers are especially important in homes where people suffer from serious allergies or chronic illnesses like asthma. An air purifier helps capture and hold allergy causing particles as they float through the air, including dust mite feces.
However, when using an air purifier, keep in mind that the filter inside of it is just as important. We recommend using HEPA air filters and replacements, like the one listed below.
HEPA Air Filter Replacement
Using an air purifier is a great way to help reduce allergies and dust mite fecal matter floating around in the air, as we mentioned above. However, when using an air purifier remember to use a HEPA air filter inside of it to help trap those microscopic particles like dust mite skins, feces, dust, mold spores, and bacteria.
Vacuum And Dust All Soft Surfaces At Least Once A Week
Even if you don’t have a HEPA vacuum or HEPA vacuum bag, it’s still important to vacuum once a week. It’s also important to vacuum all soft surfaces including furniture, chairs, carpets, rugs, curtains and even your mattress.
If you do this at least once a week, you have a much better chance of reducing the dust mite population in your home and helping ease allergy symptoms.
Clean Your Vents Regularly
While dust mites may be seasonal and although they do die out in the winter, their fecal matter sits in our vents and gets stirred up into the air when the heat comes on. This, of course, leads to more annoying allergy symptoms. One way to avoid this is to consistently clean vents and keep them vacuumed and dusted on a regular basis all year long.
Use HEPA Allergy Filters In Air Vents
Along with cleaning and vacuuming vents and air ducts, experts also recommend using HEPA allergy filters where you can in vents. This will help trap any microscopic particles from escaping your vents and floating around the air, including dust mite feces.
Avoid Using Bedding With Foam Rubber Or Kopok
Dust mites love to burrow deep into fabrics and prefer fabrics and bedding that are extra cushy. Bedding with extra padding, foam filler, or Kopok filler are a dust mite’s haven, so we suggest steering clear of these types of mattresses. Of course, if you do have a mattress like this already, don’t worry. Using dust mite covers will still help control dust mites and reduce allergy symptoms.
Reduce The Amount Of Decorative Throw Pillows And Stuffed Toys
It pains me to say this, but try and get rid of all those throw pillows and decorative stuffed toys. Adding all this fluff to your bedding and furniture is only adding more real estate for dust mites.
That said, if you can’t stand to part with your decorative pillows and plushies, then we highly suggest spraying them down every week with some essential oil spray, tossing them in the freezer, or washing them in hot water on a regular basis.
And remember, it is nearly impossible to completely eradicate dust mites from your home. Still, if you use quality dust mite covers and follow the simple guidelines and preventative steps in this article, you have a much better chance at reducing their population and easing your allergy symptoms.
Best of luck, and get to vacuuming!
Jack founded our blog after two decades of working in the pest control industry. His vast experience dealing with a wide array of pests allows him to diagnose issues quickly and get to the heart of pest problems quickly and effectively. He has serviced more than 2,000 homes over his career and there is hardly any pest situation that he has not seen before.