Dust mites are microscopic organisms that live off of human skin cells that have been shed. They thrive in warm temperatures and are mostly found in bedding and pillows. While mostly harmless, they are an allergen and can cause allergic reactions, including asthmatic attacks, in individuals who are allergic to them. Because dust mites are not visible to the naked eye, you must rely on other methods to determine whether dust mites are present.
Track your allergy symptoms. Dust mites can always be present in bedding, but become more common during times of the year when ventilation is poor, such as through the winter months. If you allergies become more severe in the winter months, you may have dust mites.
Have a pest-control service do a microscopic evaluation. This is the only sure-fired way to tell whether you have dust mites and are allergic to other things in your home (chemicals, insect droppings, etc.).
Treat your house for dust mites to see if allergy symptoms are alleviated. Enclose your mattress in a cover that is impervious to dust mites. Wash your bedding weekly in hot water. Wash your pillows and vacuum regularly. Purchase an air purifier and change furnace air filters as recommended.