Moist climates and poor ventilation that leads to excess humidity are two leading factors that attract dust mites to carpeting, providing there is an adequate food supply and lack of proper cleaning methods. This is the case in many carpeted school classrooms occupied by twenty to thirty students.

According to a recent article on School Facilities.com, dust mites are one of the leading causes or aggravators of indoor allergies and asthma. And asthma is the leading chronic cause of absenteeism in schools. Therefore, it is essential for custodial crews to be educated in how to treat, and prevent, a dust mite infestation in their schools.

Mentioned in the article, it is important to reduce relative humidity to below 50 percent by using dehumidifiers, ventilation or HVAC systems. Dust mites can die within a week in an environment with low humidity.

Regular vacuuming is also important in the prevention of dust mites, but it is important to do it right. Using special bags of double or triple thickness and HEPA filters are helpful. It is also important to make sure your vacuum doesn't recirculate dust particles into the air. If this happens, it might propel dust mites into the air and into peoples' respiratory systems.

Steam cleaning the carpets is another successful way of reducing dust mites. According to the article, experts aren't "talking about the "steam cleaning" that actually refers to traditional carpet extraction using hot water (a misnomer since steam is not used during cleaning) but rather a relatively dry (6 percent moisture) steam vapor sanitation system that has been cited numerous times in the scientific literature as being effective in controlling dust mites."

To read about additional successful cleaning tips, as well as study results on this topic, click here to read the full article.