Dust Mites

Did you know? A typical mattress can contain tens of thousands of dust mites.

Small Green Dust Mite

Dust Mites Facts for Kids

The dust mite is nearly impossible to see without magnification. A typical mattress can contain tens of thousands of dust mites.

Nearly 100,000 mites can live in a single square yard of carpet! Read on for more dust mite facts and information for kids. 

  • Size: 1/75"
  • Shape: Flat, broad, oval
  • Color: Off white to tan
  • Legs: 8
  • Wings: No
  • Antenna: No
  • Common Name: Dust mite
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Class: Arachnida
  • Order: Acariformes
  • Family: Pyroglyphidae
  • Species: Dermatophagoides farinae


Dust mites primarily feed on dead skin shed by humans and other animals. They can also absorb moisture from the air.


Dust mites are most often found in beds. They may also be found living in carpet, furniture, and clothing.


Dust mites are harmless to most people. They carry small foreign proteins, often referred to as "allergens". They don't carry diseases, but these proteins can cause allergic reactions in people by triggering the immune system to over react.


  • Change your sheets often.
  • Vacuum frequently.
  • Use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter.
  • If dust mites are a real problem in your home, call a pest management professional.

Visit the official NPMA website for additional kid-friendly facts and information on house dust mites.