What Are Dust Mites?

“Bed mites” is a term that people commonly use when referring to either bed bugs or dust mites. Here at R. Dana Pest Control, Rockland County and the Tri-state area’s leader in pest control, Our certified K9 teams can help with the finding and removal of bed bugs, which are very different from dust mites.

Bed Bugs vs. Dust Mites

Bed mites, whether they be dust mites or bed bugs, are a nuisance when found in your home or place of work. While people sometimes refer to both as bed mites—and both do make their home in and around beds—they are quite different.

Dust Mites

Dust mites are very small, and require a magnifying glass or microscope to properly identify. They are anywhere from 0.25 to 0.30 mm long, and feed on organic matter like flakes of human skin. They live for 10 to 70 days depending on their gender, with females living the longest and laying as many as 100 eggs in a lifetime. Dust mites live in beds, pillows, and other similar places, and can survive in nearly any climate. They particularly enjoy moist items like pillows, which become saturated with human moisture. The fecal droppings and particles they leave behind are well known for causing asthma and other allergic reactions.

Treatment for Dust Mites

At R. Dana Pest Control, we do not treat for dust mites. The most common treatments for dust mites are things that you can do at home, such as airing out your bedding, getting hardwood floors, and controlling the humidity. Since they thrive where there is moisture and human skin particles, your bed will be the focus of attention. Dust mites can be killed with heat above a temperature of around 135°F, which can be achieved by most washing machines, dryers, and steamers.

Bed Bugs

Bed bugs, when compared with dust mites, are much larger. Bed bugs can be up to 5 mm in length, can be seen with the naked eye, and are a reddish-brown color. Bed bugs feed on human blood, and live much longer than dust mites—up to a year without a blood-meal. Like dust mites they live in and around beds, mattresses, and other areas. Bed bugs, unlike dust mites, do primarily bite humans, and the bites usually appear as three round, red bumps in a straight line.

Recommended Bed Bug Treatments

At R. Dana Pest Control we believe that the most effective method of killing bed bugs is by administering a heat treatment. Our dry steamer operates at a temperature of 340 °F, which is lethal to all stages of the bed bug life cycle. Additionally, heat treatments are safe, organic, and involve no toxic chemicals. While we do not treat for dust mites, it is important to understand the difference between bed bugs and dust mites. If you see a bed bug scurrying across your pillow, be sure to call in a professional pest control company for an inspection.