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Asthma

Asthma Triggers: Gain Control

Dust Mites

picture of a teddy bear depicting the asthma trigger  - Dust Mites

About dust mites and asthma

Dust mites are tiny bugs that are too small to see. Every home has dust mites. They feed on human skin flakes and are found in mattresses, pillows, carpets, upholstered furniture, bedcovers, clothes, stuffed toys and fabric and fabric-covered items.

Body parts and droppings from dust mites can trigger asthma in individuals with allergies to dust mites. Exposure to dust mites can cause asthma in children who have not previously exhibited asthma symptoms.


Actions you can take

  • Wash bedding in hot water once a week. Dry completely.
  • Use dust proof covers on pillows and mattresses.
  • Vacuum carpets and furniture every week.
  • Choose stuffed toys that you can wash. Wash stuffed toys in hot water. Dry completely before your child plays with the toy.

Common house dust may also contain asthma triggers. These simple steps can help:

  • Dust often with a damp cloth.
  • Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter on carpet and fabric-covered furniture to reduce dust build-up. People with asthma or allergies should leave the area being vacuumed. Read more about Air Filters - Available Guide for Their Comparison.

Additional resources

Help Your Child Gain Control Over Asthma

cover graphic of Help Your Child Gain Control Over Asthma

This brochure offers tips on how to manage asthma and follow simple steps to minimize exposure to asthma triggers found indoors and out. [EPA 402-F-04-021]

Help Your Child Gain Control Over Asthma (PDF) (36 pp, 1.3MB About PDF)


See also, An Introduction to Indoor Air Quality: Biological Pollutants

Environmental Asthma Triggers

For all EPA asthma resources and publications, visit the Publications webpage.

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