What do dust mites look like? If you’re asking this question and perusing the Internet for pictures of dust mites, it’s clear that you suspect you may have dust mites in your home.
Join the club. These tiny creatures are absolutely EVERYWHERE. And because they are so small, it’s possible to have them in your home without even knowing it.
Unless you’re allergic. In that case, you will most definitely feel their presence in the form of sneezing, a runny nose, watery eyes, and nasal congestion.
Worse, these bugs can trigger asthma, making them a serious threat to your health. So let’s take a deep dive into these tiny buggers and what you can do to rid yourself, your home and your life of them.
Can You See Dust Mites?
No. Not unless you are Superman and have microscopic vision.
So what do dust mites look like to the human eye?
Well, dust mites actually don’t look like much of anything to the naked eye. That’s because these creatures are microscopic and too tiny to be seen without the help of magnification.
As you can see from the picture above, the dust mite is an incredibly tiny creature. Which is why just a half teaspoon of dust can contain as many as 1,000 dust mites!
What Color Are Dust Mites?
Dust mites are a kind of whitish cream color. In fact, they’re almost see-through. Translucent, really. As if they weren’t hard enough to see already.
You can see exactly how translucent dust mites are in the picture below. No wonder so many of us live with them, never knowing that we have these unwanted roommates.
Though it’s hard to talk about color with an animal so small, you can’t even see it without specialized equipment.
How Big Are Dust Mites?
Tiny. As in microscopic. As in, far smaller than even the tiniest grain of sand.
Here’s a photo of a dust mite in sand barely noticeable under a microscope. See its size relative to flecks of sand? That should give you an idea of exactly how small dust mites are.
To give you real numbers, it’s estimated that a dust mite is about 0.2 to 0.3 millimeters long. That is almost imperceptibly minute.
Needless to say, you would need a powerful magnifying glass or a microscope to be able to even see them.
So if you’ve found a pest that’s actually visible to the naked eye, the chances are that you’re dealing with something other than dust mites. Which brings us to the next question…
What Do Dust Mites Look Like On a Bed?
Dust mites like to eat our dead skin cells. That’s how they survive. And a popular place for them to do so is in our beds.
But remember – dust mites are very, very small. So small that they are invisible to the naked human eye.
So if you’re wondering what do dust mites look like on a bed, it’s likely that you found a bug on your bed that you assume is a dust mite.
We hate to break it to you, but if the bug you found on the bed is visible – it’s not a dust mite. In fact, it may be a bed bug.
What Do Dust Mites Look Like?
Even with the help of a microscope, dust mites can be challenging to make out thanks to the fact that they tend to be a pale color, almost translucent. No wonder many of us are blissfully oblivious to their presence in our homes!
Here is a photo of a single magnified dust mite. All alone and vulnerable, it might not seem like much of a threat…until you remember that a single dust mite can produce around 1,000 allergen waste particles in the course of its life!
And when you do see them up close and personal, they are anything but beautiful, with bodies that look like swollen bags surrounded by eight creepy crawly legs.
The below close-up picture of a dust mite shows what it looks like viewed from the bottom. You can clearly make out each of its disgusting features here, from its mouth to its legs.
The eight legs are due to the fact that dust mites are arachnids, relatives to those other eight-legged creatures that also like to occupy our homes: spiders.
But that’s where the resemblance mostly ends.
What Do Dust Mite Eggs Look Like?
Dust mites are disgusting but even grosser are dust mite eggs. You can see a little family of adult dust mites and their eggs in the below picture. They may actually be a family when you consider how quickly dust mites reproduce.
A single female dust mite can lay around 1 to 3 eggs every single day. And those eggs hatch after only 6 to 12 days. So it’s only a matter of time before they proliferate.
How Do You Know If You Have Dust Mites?
The chances are that you do have dust mites in your home. In fact, it’s estimated that almost four in five American homes have detectable levels of dust mites in at least one piece of furniture, typically the bed.
But at 1/64 of an inch in size, it’s not easy to absolutely confirm that you have dust mites. You won’t find them scurrying across your kitchen floors like cockroaches or hidden in your bed sheets like bed bugs.
There may be no visible signs, at least at first. If you suspect their presence, you’ll need to get your hands on something capable of at least ten times magnification. A microscope is best.
Then, you can start examining dust particles in your home to see if you find any of these repulsive creatures.
Of course, you’ll need some pictures of dust mites to compare your samples to. Here are some of the clearest dust mite pictures to help you clear up that issue so we can go on to clearing up some other things, like your sinuses.
Pictures of Dust Mites
Below you can see a photo of a group of magnified dust mites. Think there’s a lot of them in a small space here? It’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Your mattress alone may be harboring between one million to ten million dust mites! Imagine sleeping with those bed mates every night. That’s why we highly recommend everyone get a dust mite cover.
This scanning electron microscope image of a dust mite really shows the creature in all its ugly glory. It’s certainly the last thing any of us wants to have in our beds.
Below is another close-up of a dust mite that makes it resemble a tiny monster. The only good news is that dust mites are harmless to most people. But for the 10% of us who are allergic to dust mites, they really are tiny monsters.
These uninvited house guests can wreak havoc due to the allergens they carry, which can cause allergic reactions in people like congestion, watery eyes, itching, sneezing and a constantly runny nose.
Below is a very good picture of a model of a dust mite.
If you encountered the below creature on the street, you’d hardly invite it in for a cozy cuddle on your bed, would you?
But most of us do. Unwittingly, we easily pick up dust mites on our clothes, skin, and even food! And since they’re so small, we carry them into our homes with us.
The picture below shows a lot of dust mites living in close quarters. The thought of hundreds of thousands of these may make you feel like giving up. But we have some good news for you: the average dust mite only lives 80 days.
And of course, there are things you can do to cut down on their overall population in your home. So take heart, okay?
What Do Dust Mite Bites Look Like?
Here’s a tiny bit of good news for you: dust mites don’t bite.
Dust mites feed instead on the flakes of dead skin that all of us shed throughout the day. But that won’t be much consolation if you have an allergy. In that case, these bugs have to go.
Because a dust mite allergy is every bit as miserable as dust mite bites would be. Here are the best pictures of exactly what a dust mite rash looks like.
The above dust mite rash on human skin may not look too terrible, but for allergy sufferers, it can mean endless itching and inflammation.
Below is another picture of a dust mite rash on the back of a person. Makes you itchy just to look at it, doesn’t it?
What Does Dust Mite Allergy Look Like?
As you know by now, dust mites don’t bite. So looking for pictures of dust mite bites won’t help you much.
Some pests, like bed bugs and fleas, have fairly distinctive biting habits that can help you identify them. But since dust mites don’t bite, trying to identify them by their mythical bite marks is a fool’s errand.
If you’re trying to figure out if you have a dust mite problem, what you want to look for instead are dust mite allergy symptoms, which can show up in a variety of ways, like:
- Itchy, irritated or watery eyes
- Runny nose
- Nasal congestion
- Itchy nose
- Itchy throat
- Cough that won’t go away
In addition to this, dust mite allergies can even worsen already existing asthma symptoms, causing you to also experience difficulty breathing, chest tightness or pain, as well as a wheezing sound when you exhale.
In severe cases of dust mite allergies, you may also feel facial pressure and pain and even experience swollen, blue-ish skin under your eyes.
How Do I Get Rid of Dust Mites?
By now, you’ve read enough. You just want to know how to get rid of dust mites, their beastly bodies and the allergens they produce.
Well, we have good news and bad news. To start with the bad news: you can’t really get rid of dust mites. There are simply too many and they are too small and too widespread to completely wipe out.
So is the battle lost before it’s even begun? Not quite.
The good news is that you can significantly reduce the number of dust mites in your home as well as the effect that dust mites have on you. The result? A massive alleviation of allergy symptoms.
The best news is that you don’t even need to resort to a pest control professional or spend much money in order to get rid of dust mites in your home.
The majority of the most effective things you can do are home remedies for dust mites. You can see our full guide here.
But if you want an action plan now – here’s five simple steps you can take to cut down on the number of dust mites in your house. Stat.
Wash and Kill
Your first course of action if you find dust mites in your home should be to wash your bedding on high heat.
This will not only kill the mites, but also get rid of their droppings and shed skins that cause allergic reactions. And you want to keep doing this on a regular basis – at least weekly.
Protect Your Fabrics
Of course, you can always go a step further and add something to your laundry to enhance its mite-killing effect.
There are commercial products you can add to your wash to break down the proteins as well as kill the bugs. Some use tannic acid, while others rely on benzyl benzoate. Either way, it’s an effective way to get rid of the allergens.
Our favorite of these is De-Mite Laundry Additive – add it to your fabrics, clothes and bedding for immediate relief.
A dust mite vacuum is a must have. It will allow you to suck up dust mites, their eggs, and waste products, immediately removing allergens from your environment.
At the same time, you’re also removing dust and debris, which most likely contains lots of those delicious dead skin cells the dust mites like to feed on. It’s a simple tool but it gets rid of both dust mites and their essential food source.
Cover it Up
Another quick and easy way to immediately reduce allergy symptoms from dust mites is to invest in a good dust mite cover.
Actually, a dust mite cover is an absolute essential, especially when you consider that dust mites love to live in beds. In fact, your mattress may already be home to millions of dust mites.
Which is why sealing up your mattress immediately decreases allergy symptoms, allowing you to sleep better, like now.
The one good thing about dust mites is that you don’t need to resort to pesticides in order to kill them. Even when it comes to a dust mite killer spray.
You see, the best dust mite sprays aren’t pesticides at all. Instead, these anti-allergen sprays contain alkaline ingredients or enzymes that break down the proteins found in the bodies and waste particles of dust mites. And it’s totally non-toxic for you.
Ineffective Ways to Get Rid of Dust Mites
Are you looking for ways to waste time and money on dust mite treatments that won’t work?
Probably not. But just in case – and because we like to be thorough, here’s a quick guide to what doesn’t work.
- Baking soda
To be clear here: the above list of tactics will kill dust mites. So why do we say that these methods are ineffective? Well, it’s because simply killing dust mites is not enough.
The only real reason to bother getting rid of dust mites is because of the allergy symptoms they cause. If they didn’t make you feel itchy, sneezy and miserable, we wouldn’t even know they were there!
And the only real way to get rid of dust mites and the allergy symptoms they cause is to remove the allergens caused by their bodies and the waste they produce. Simply killing them does not do that. It leaves behind a dead dust mite – which is still an allergen.
That’s why we highly recommend sticking to methods that not only kill dust mites, but gets rid of the allergens they produce. Check out our full guide to getting rid of dust mites for good.
That’s the only way to truly win the war.