This double-blind, placebo-controlled study investigated whether the application of an acaricide (Acarosan®) on mattresses and on textile floor coverings in living rooms and bedrooms can contribute to improvement in lung function and airway hyperresponsiveness in 40 adult asthmatic patients sensitized to house-dust mite. In a second group of 19 patients who refused chemical intervention, the clinical effects of application of allergen-impermeable mattress encasings were studied. In all three treatment groups, Der p 1 levels in mattress dust were statistically significantly decreased after 12 months. However, this decrease was much greater in the group who received mattress encasings (final mean level 430 ng/g) than in groups with acaricide- or placebo-treated mattresses (final mean levels 1730 and 2100 ng/g, respectively). Treatment of textile floors with either Acarosan or placebo chemical caused a statistically significant decrease in the level of the house-dust-mite allergen Der p 1 in floor dust. In the group with mattress encasings, no significant changes of floor dust Der p 1 were found. Airway hyperresponsiveness (as measured by the PC20 histamine) improved significantly in the mattress cover group after 6 months. The Acarosan group also showed a small but statistically significant improvement after 12 months.