Dust Mites Vs. Bed Bugs

Itchy bumps, sneezing--these problems may not be from a walk in the woods, but from what's in your bed. Bed bugs and dust mites are small pests, but can cause sleep disturbances and health problems.

Type of Organism

Dust Mites Vs. Bed Bugs

Dust mites are microscopic, eight-legged organisms. Bed bugs are six-legged insects that are brown to reddish-brown, oval-shaped, flattened and about 3/16- to 1/5-inch long.

Eating Habits

Dust mites eat human skin scales, pollen, fungi, bacteria and animal dander, according to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension. Bed bugs are parasites that feed on blood, usually while the host is asleep.


Bed bugs like dark, protected places. Dust mites are found in most homes and need high humidity levels (70 to 80 percent) and warm temperatures (75 to 80 degrees F) to thrive, according to The Ohio State University Extension.

Problems for Humans

While a bed bug bite is painless, the fluid the bed bugs inject to keep the blood from clotting while they feed causes irritation and inflammation. Dust mites usually cause problems only for those who are allergic to them.


Bed bugs can be prevented from entering the home by inspecting any baggage or clothing that may have come into contact with bedbugs and thoroughly cleaning second-hand bedding, mattresses and furniture. Dust mites can be managed by lowering the humidity of the home and keeping the bedding and surrounding areas clean and dust-free.