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Controlling Allergens: Dust Mites in the Bedroom

Dust mite (magnified)

Most people with asthma are allergic to dust mite droppings. Dust mites are tiny bugs that live in warm, damp places. They are too small to see, but they live in mattresses, pillows, and house dust. They live off dead skin flakes, which we all shed. Your healthcare provider can test you for dust mite allergy. Dust mite allergy can cause asthma flare-ups. If you have this allergy, there are many steps you can take to control dust mites at home.

Control Dust Mites in the Bedroom

You spend many hours in your bedroom every day. Take these steps to control dust mites in your bed and bedroom:

  1. Keep all clothing in a closet, with the door shut.

  2. Check humidity with an accurate gauge.

  3. Choose wood, leather, or vinyl furniture instead of upholstered.

  4. Wash bedding, washable pillows, and stuffed toys in hot water (130°F) every week.

  5. Use allergen-impermeable covers on pillows, mattressess, and boxsprings.

  6. Replace carpeting with tile or hardwood flooring. Use washable throw rugs.

  7. Wipe smooth furniture with a damp cloth every week.

  8. Use an air conditioner or a dehumidifier to reduce humidity.

  9. Install pull-down shades or vertical window blinds.

  10. Use filters over heater vents.

Online Medical Reviewer: Berry, Judith, PhD, APRN
Online Medical Reviewer: Hanrahan, Maura, MD
Last Review Date: 11/20/2012
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