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Dust Mites

Common Name Scientific Name TESTIMONIAL
"Thank you. We seem to be rid of the Bed Bugs
and the roaches also. HH - California
American House Dust Mite Dermatophagoides farinae
European House Dust Mite Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus

It is an established fact that dust mites can be found in house dust all over the world. Dust mites are not insects but are more closely related to spiders and ticks. There are two common dust mites, the American house dust mite (Dermatophagoides farinae) and the European house dust mite (D. pteronyssinus). Due to their very small size, these dust mites are not visible to the naked eye.

They pass through six developmental stages, and the adult form may also molt once. Adult female mites lay cream-colored elliptical eggs coated with a sticky fluid that helps them adhere to the substrate. Under optimal conditions, the cycle from egg to adult mite takes about one month.

Both species of house dust mites feed on human skin scales, pollen, fungi, bacteria, lepidopteran (moth and butterfly) scales, animal dander, and skin scales of birds. Human, cat, dog, and horse dander have been used to raise these species in a laboratory. Dust mites do not drink free water, but they absorb water fro the air and the environment. The food consumption of these mites and development increases at higher relative humidities. Mites survive best at relative humidities of 70-80% and temperatures of 75-80 degrees F. House dust mites do not survive well at low relative humidities.

They live in bedding, couches, carpet, stuffed toys and old clothing. Dust mites feed on the dead skin that falls off the bodies of humans and animals and on other organic material found where they live. Though these mites live in many homes, only people who are allergic to them know they are there. Dust mites are second only to pollen in causing allergic reactions. When dust mites grow, they shed their skin. The shed skin and feces are what cause allergic reactions in people. Allergic reactions range from itchy noses and eyes to severe asthma attacks.

Habits and Habitats

Dust mites do not live in air ducts in homes. Many people spend much time and money cleaning the air ducts to reduce dust mites. This is not necessary because dust mites need about 70 percent relative humidity or higher to live, and they need food. Areas where people spend much time, like a bed or a favorite plush chair, are prime sites for dust mites. The top part of mattresses containing fibrous material is a favorite place for dust mites during warm and humid times. The deeper parts of mattresses may provide protected areas for the dust mites during unfavorable conditions. Clothing is used by dust mites as a means of transportation from room to room or even from house to house.

They pass through six developmental stages and the adult form may also molt once. Adult female mites lay cream-colored elliptical eggs coated with a sticky fluid that helps them adhere to the substrate. Under optimal conditions, the cycle from egg to adult mite takes about one month.

Both species of house dust mites feed on human skin scales, pollen, fungi, bacteria, lepidopteron (moth and butterfly) scales, animal dander, and skin scales of birds. Human, cat, dog, and horse dander have been used to raise these species in a laboratory. Dust mites do not drink free water, but they absorb water from the air and the environment. The food consumption of these mites and development increases at higher relative humidity. Mites survive best at a relative humidity of 70-80% and temperatures of 75-80° F. House dust mites do not survive well at a low relative humidity.

They live in bedding, couches, carpet, stuffed toys and old clothing. Dust mites feed on the dead skin that falls off the bodies of humans and animals and on other organic material found where they live. Though these mites live in many homes, only people who are allergic to them know they are there. Dust mites are second only to pollen in causing allergic reactions. When dust mites grow, they shed their skin. The shed skin and feces are what cause allergic reactions in people. Allergic reactions range from itchy noses and eyes to severe asthma attacks.

Dust mites do not live in air ducts in homes. Many people spend much time and money cleaning the air ducts to reduce dust mites. This is not necessary because dust mites need about 70% relative humidity or higher to live and they need food. Areas where people spend much time, like a bed or a favorite plush chair, are prime sites for dust mites. The top part of mattresses containing fibrous material is a favorite place for dust mites during warm and humid times. The deeper parts of mattresses may provide protected areas for the dust mites during unfavorable conditions. Clothing is used by dust mites as a means of transportation from room to room or even from house to house.

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