Asked & Answered: Can A Dehumidifier Help Control Dust Mites?

Asked & Answered: Can A Dehumidifier Help Control Dust Mites?

Q: Is it true that a dehumidifier can help control dust mites?

A: Yes. Dust mites – barely visible to the naked eye – aren’t like typical bugs that bite or burrow into the human body. They feed on dead skin from pets and humans, and their fecal pellets contain an allergen to which millions of people are highly allergic.

These little pests are nearly everywhere; roughly 4 out of 5 homes in the US have detectable levels of dust mite allergens in at least one bed.[1] One thing they love almost as much as they love feeding on dead skin is a warm, humid environment. Dust mite populations peak during the months of July and August.[2]

Therefore, decreasing the humidity level in your living environment can make your home less hospitable to these very unwelcome guests, and using a dehumidifier is a great tool to accomplish that goal. In order to stay hydrated dust mites must absorb their moisture needs from the air. If the relative humidity is below 50%, dust mites will essentially dry out.[3]

If you’re interested in protecting yourself further from dust mites, you can invest in protective pillow and mattress covers for the beds in your home. Additionally, regularly vacuuming all carpets and upholstered items in your home with a HEPA-filter equipped vacuum cleaner can reduce dust-mite related allergens.

Sources:

[1] http://www.ehso.com/ehshome/dustmites.php

[2] http://www.achooallergy.com/about-dust-mites.asp

[3] http://www.allergyconsumerreview.com/dust-mites-mold.html#sthash.Mq8XTuFr.dpbs

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