Regulating Indoor Humidity To Control Pests

Humidity – the amount of water vapor in the air – plays an important role in the prevention of common indoor pests. Just because your workspace looks clean doesn’t necessarily mean it is. Dust mites, fleas and other pests may be lurking in the dark, waiting for the right time to strike. Thankfully, you can deter these pets by regulating the humidity.

Dust Mites

Dust mites are one of the most common types of indoor allergens, triggering a wide range of allergic reactions. Although you can’t seem them (unless viewed under a microscope), dust mites are fairly common in homes and offices. People who are sensitive to these pests may experience itchy eyes, sneezing, runny nose, nasal congestion, coughing, postnasal drip, and facial pressure. When you unknowingly inhale a dust mite, your immune system responds by creating inflammation within the upper respiratory, which subsequently results in the aforementioned symptoms.

According to the American Lung Association, humidity is “the most important factor” in determining whether an indoor environment has a significant amount of dust mites. Technically, dust mites don’t drink water – not in the same manner as humans, at least. Instead, they absorb moisture vapor from the surrounding air. If there’s not enough water vapor in the air, however, the dust mite will die through dehydration.


Dust mites aren’t the only pest controlled with low humidity; fleas also require warm, humid environments to survive. A study conducted by the University of California suggests that flea eggs need a relative humidity of at least 70-75% to survive, while flea larvae need 50% relative humidity. Much like dust mites, fleas also absorb moisture vapor from the surrounding air.

Another helpful tip for controlling both dust mites and fleas is to vacuum on a regular basis. These pests often hide in carpet fibers, waiting for an unsuspecting host to pass. You can eliminate up to 90% of a typical flea infestation simply by vacuuming. When you combine vacuuming with humidity control, the result is a flea/dust mite-free environment.

Don’t let your home or office become infested with pests. The next time you notice the onset of an infestation, set up a humidifier to help control the moisture vapor. These devices will ensure the relative humidity remains at a safe, suitable level, which in turn discourages common pests like the dust mite and flea.

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