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Dust Mites

Dust Mites (Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus)

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Appearance:

Dust Mites are 1/75th of an inch in size (nearly impossible to see without magnification).

Habits:

Dust mites feed on dead skin that has been shed, (dander) from both humans and animals. They can also feed on protein based foodstuffs, opting more for dried products rather than products with moisture. Populations can escalate rapidly in humid months as mites are proficient at absorbing moisture from the air.

The most common area for finding mites is in the bed due to the abundance of skin particles. House dust mites may also be found in living areas especially carpet, furniture, and clothing.

Threats:

People can have allergies to house dust mite cast skins and droppings. These reactions will not generally cause a rash. The reaction is more likely to be a respiratory constriction, a common symptom of asthma. Itchy, watery eyes may also be symptoms. Approximately 50-80% of asthmatics may have symptoms due to house dust mites.

Prevention:

  • Vacuum all areas frequently using a HEPA filter vacuum.
  • Change bed linen regularly and frequently.
  • If house dust mites are a serious problem, mattress encasement with a cover tested for house dust mites may be helpful.
  • Open windows frequently to keep humidity low.
  • If asthmatic, avoid playing with children or animals on a carpeted area to avoid contact with mites or casings.

 

 

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