Dust mites are microscopic creatures that feed off human skin scales. They are one of the most common allergen triggers for asthma, especially in humid and coastal parts of Australia.
They live in soft furnishings such as beds, bedding, carpets, upholstered furniture, soft toys and clothing, and are mostly found in people’s homes rather than public places.
Dust mites are not usually in the air and only become airborne during and after dust-raising activities such as vacuuming and dusting.
If you have a proven allergy to house dust mites, you may be advised to take measures to try to reduce your exposure. This involves killing house dust mites, removing the allergen they produce and reducing areas where they can live and breed.
Washing bedding in water hotter than 55°C will kill mites and wash away the allergen they produce.
If you can’t wash in hot water, use a commercial product containing essential oils such as tea tree or eucalyptus, formulated to kill dust mites in cold water. Hot tumble drying of washed items for 10 minutes after they are dry will also kill mites.
Dry cleaningis not as effective as it will kill house dust mites but won’t remove the allergen.
It is important to note that information contained in this brochure is not intended to replace professional medical advice. Any questions regarding a medical diagnosis or treatment should be directed to a medical practitioner.
Our Sensitive Choice® program aims to help Australians with asthma and allergies make better lifestyle choices.