How does UVC kill mites?

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How does UVC kill mites? Mites, which might be too small to peer at with the human eye, dwell in mattresses, pillows, upholstered furniture, and carpets in most homes. Although they do not bite or hurt humans, some people are allergic to them and may get asthma, dermatitis, or other symptoms if they are exposed to them.

According to a study published in the “Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine.” However, it would help if you vacuumed or otherwise removed the dead mites and accompanying material from your home to lessen allergy symptoms.

The sun emits a specific spectrum of electromagnetic radiation known as ultraviolet (UV) light. Electric arcs and specialty lights like tanning lamps and black lights also create UV light. Sunburn and suntan are two common side effects of skin exposure to UV rays in humans. The UV spectrum has both excellent and detrimental impacts on human health. What about those pesky mites?

How does UVC kill mites?


While the effectiveness of UV-C in killing mites is significantly dependent on exposure intensity and duration, the study discovered that UV-C is very effective in preventing mite eggs from hatching. UV-C is thought to quickly enter the cells of mite eggs, preventing them from developing.

There are different types of mites. Mites are arachnids (eight-legged insects) that eat dead skin and other things like pet hair. They are minuscule (.25 to.33 mm) and feed on dead skin and other things like pet hair.

They select temperatures between 68 and seventy-seven degrees Fahrenheit, with 70 and 80 percent humidity levels. Mites love your bed since it’s a perfect breeding environment for them.

UV Light: What Is It?

how does uvc kill mites

UV light, often known as ultraviolet light, is a spectrum of electromagnetic waves emitted by the sun. UV light does not exist naturally but can be replicated using a UV light tube. Although ultraviolet light is referred to as a whole, there are three distinct forms of ultraviolet light.

UV-A, UV-B, and UV-C are the three types of UV light. UV-A is the most prevalent component in natural sunshine. It’s linked to tanning and is used to treat various skin conditions. UV-B is well-known for causing skin cancer in people who are overexposed to it.

UV-C is the sort of UV light that we’re interested in. Its wavelength is 253.7 nm, and it’s utilized for germicidal irradiation only. UV-C has been proposed to treat mites and kill microbes such as bacteria and viruses.

UV-C lamps’ impact on house mite eggs and adults

In a 2012 study, the effects of UV-C lamps on eggs and adult house mites were investigated. The effects of direct irradiation were studied, as were the effects of irradiation 24 hours later. Adult mites were exposed to UV-C for up to an hour and at distances of up to 55 cm.

Mite eggs under microscope

After the initial 24 hours, eggs were irradiated for up to five minutes at distances up to 55 cm and observed for seven days. Direct irradiation caused 100% of mites to die instantly and for up to 60 minutes at 10 cm from the lamps.

With increasing distance and time following exposure, mortality rates declined. In addition, egg hatchability was reduced by more than 50% after irradiation, according to the study.”

According to the findings, UV-C irradiation kills some organisms by destroying their DNA and RNA, and mite mortality increase as exposure time and distance from irradiation decreases.

How Can UV-C Light Be Used To Kill Mites At Home?

Mites can be discovered in your mattress, carpets, and rugs. Killing all of the mites with UV-C is impracticable, as it requires a long duration of close exposure to the UV-C source.

On the other hand, UV-C is still an effective way to keep mites under control in your house. Its ability to stop mite eggs from developing is critical for controlling mites. When it comes to killing mites using UV-C light, two approaches are taken. 

  1. Investing in a UV-C sanitizer is the first choice. With the help of a built-in UV-C light bulb, it’s portable wand-like equipment that disinfects surfaces.
  1. You might also invest in a UV vacuum cleaner specifically intended to eliminate mites. These vacuum cleaners have powerful suction and a HEPA filter to catch mites that have been vacuumed off the surface. Some types contain a vibrating motor that draws mites beneath the mattress to the surface.
Vacuuming the bed
  1. Getting an air purifier with UV light is another alternative for killing mites with UV. The air cleaner removes mites floating in the air. The mites are trapped in the filter and exposed to UV light for an extended period, eventually dying.
air conditioner

UV Light’s Different Types

UV light

UV light has been employed in medical instrument sterilization and water purification systems for many years. UV radiation can destroy bacteria, viruses, germs, mite eggs, molds, and other microorganisms. Still, its efficacy is dependent on the intensity of the light and the length of time the organism is exposed to it.

Other things to think about are whether different microorganisms have varied levels of light resistance, so the same amount of exposure does not work for all species.

UV-A, UV-B, and UV-C are the three forms of ultraviolet light.

  • UV-A is the most prevalent component in natural sunshine. It’s linked to tanning and is used to treat various skin conditions.
  • Overexposure to UV-B has been related to the development of skin cancer.
  • UV-C is used for germicidal irradiation and has a wavelength of 253.7 nanometers (nm). Microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, and mites are all killed by UV-C.

Steps to kill mites with UV Light

Step 1: Put on a pair of UV-protective sunglasses. Many UV-C wands offered for home use cut off automatically if the unit is held with the lamp up; however, goggles should be worn in case this safety feature fails for any reason.

Step 2: With the light facing down, hold the UV wand as close to the area to be cleaned as feasible, and then switch on the unit.

Step 3: Slowly and evenly sweep the UV wand across the area you’re cleaning, staying as close to it as feasible without touching it. When using the wand, be cautious to keep it level. Repeat the technique once more for the best results.

Step 4: When you’re done using your UV wand, ensure it’s turned off and stored away from minors.

Step 5: When you clean your house, sanitize all surfaces. Use the wand monthly to keep the mite population under control after seeing a fresh, clean smell in the sanitized area or noticing an improvement in your allergy symptoms.

Human Exposure to UV-C Radiation

Skin irritation, severe skin burns, redness, and eye damage result from high-intensity UV-C exposure. Avoid direct contact with the skin if using UV light to destroy mites.

Burns to the skin and injuries to the eyes typically heal in a week with no long-term consequences. Cancer is a relatively rare disease. The eye injury caused by UV-C exposure causes excruciating pain and a sand-like sensation in the eyes.

For a day or two, this may cause eye irritation and reduced functionality. Cataracts or irreversible visual loss are unlikely to occur.


While UV-C effectively kills mites, it is critical to utilize any UV-light-containing treatment responsibly. Always remember to put on the proper safety equipment. Regular cleaning of your home is the best way to keep mites at bay.

About the author

A biotechnologist by profession and a passionate pest researcher. I have been one of those people who used to run away from cockroaches and rats due to their pesky features, but then we all get that turn in life when we have to face something.