Résumé : Dielectric barrier discharges (DBDs) typically operate in the filamentary regime and thus exhibit great spatial and temporal non-uniformity. In order to optimize DBDs for various applications, such as in plasma catalysis, more fundamental insight is needed. Here, we consider how the millions of microdischarges, characteristic for a DBD, influence individual gas molecules. We use a Monte Carlo approach to determine the number of microdischarges to which a single molecule would be exposed, by means of particle tracing simulations through a full-scale packed bed DBD reactor, as well as an empty DBD reactor. We find that the fraction of microdischarges to which the molecules are exposed can be approximated as the microdischarge volume over the entire reactor gas volume. The use of this concept provides good agreement between a plasma-catalytic kinetics model and experiments for plasma-catalytic NH3 synthesis. We also show that the concept of the fraction of microdischarges indicates the efficiency by which the plasma power is transferred to the gas molecules. This generalised concept is also applicable for other spatially and temporally non-uniform plasmas.