What are Dust Mites?
Dust mites are microscopic organisms that live in household dust. They can work their way into many soft areas of your home such as pillows, blankets, mattresses, carpet, stuffed animals, pet beds and more. They thrive on flakes of shed human and pet skin.
Dust Mites and Household Allergies
Droppings produced by Dust Mites are typically found in the dust around your home. Droppings along with the body fragments of dead dust mites, are commonly associated as the cause of various allergic reactions such as sneezing, coughing, and wheezing. When breathed in, these can lead a person to develop allergy or asthma symptoms (Kids Health, 2020).
Studies Show Activated Charcoal Kills Dust Mites
Wow, charcoal for dust mites, who would have guessed that charcoal fibers are an effective, house dust mite insecticide? Below is some interesting research on how it works.
Effect of Activated Charcoal Fibers on the Survival of the House Dust Mite, Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus (Pilot study)
One hundred live adult house dust mites (Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus) were added to eight culture dishes preequilibrated at room temperature and 70% humidity containing house dust mite food and active charcoal fibers. At 10 minute intervals, live and dead house dust mites were counted. All house dust mites instantly attached to the activated charcoal fibers and started to shrink almost immediately. There were no live house dust mites present as early as 40 minutes in some dishes while after 190 minutes all house dust mites were dead. In conclusion, activated charcoal fibers, if incorporated into bedding items, have the potential to control house dust mites in the indoor environment.
In a separate study: Activated Charcoal Suppresses Breeding of the House Dust Mite, Dermatophagoides Pteronyssinus, in Culture
Charcoal pillows are used in Korea with unsubstantiated claims regarding their efficacy in alleviating asthma symptoms. We tested the effects of activated charcoal on breeding of house dust mites in culture. Twenty live adult house dust mites (Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus) were inoculated, 10 replicates, on culture media containing 0%, 1%, 3%, 5%, 10%, and 20% activated charcoal and incubated at 25℃ and a relative humidity of 75%. After four weeks, the mean numbers of live house dust mites were 286, 176, 46, 16, 7, and 0 for the 0%, 1%, 3%, 5%, 10%, and 20% charcoal-containing culture media, respectively. Thus, activated charcoal suppresses breeding of house dust mites and offers a new promising method for house dust mite control.
Activated Charcoal Products for Controlling Dust Mites
How to use the charcoal fiber cloth as a deterrent is left to one’s creativity, but some install the charcoal cloth in heat vents.
- Air Vent Filter Fabric– 100% Activated CarboCloth Available by the 1/2 or 1 yard increments or pre-cut 2 Pack in a 6×12 Register Cover.
- Double Laminated Knit Cloth – Our most durable 100% Activated CarboCloth fabric is ideal for mattress and bed pillow covers to eliminate dust mites.
- Single and Double Weave Cloth – Is ideal to fill stuffed toys, cushions, pillows, animal bedding and more.
- Nam, Hae-Seon, et al. “Effect of Activated Charcoal Fibers on the Survival of the House Dust Mite, Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus: A Pilot Study.” Hindawi, edited by B. M. Stadler, Hae-Seon Nam et al, 24 Aug. 2012, www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn/2012/868170/#abstract. Accessed 6 July 2020.
- Nam, H. S., Siebers, R., Lee, S. H., Kim, S. H., Lee, S. H., & Crane, J. (2007). Activated charcoal suppresses breeding of the house dust mite, Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus, in culture. Journal of Korean medical science, 22(2), 383–385. https://doi.org/10.3346/jkms.2007.22.2.383