Dust mites or the House dust mites are cosmopolitan guests in human habitation. Dust mites feed on organic debris such as flakes of shed human skin and they flourish in the stable environment of dwellings.
Dust mites are common cause of asthma and allergic symptoms. The gut of mite contains potent digestive enzymes (proteases) that persist in their feces and these post as major inducers of allergic reactions like wheezing, itchy noses and eyes to severe asthma attacks.
Dust Mites are not insects but are closely related to spiders and ticks. The two common dust mites are the American house dust mite and the European house dust mite. Dust mites are small in size and are not visible to the naked eyes.
Both species of house dust mites feed on human skin scales, pollen, fungi, bacteria, lepidopteran (moth and butterfly) scales, animal dander and the skin scales of birds. Dust mites survive best at relative humidities of 70-80% and temperature of 75-80 degree F. House dust mites do not survive well at relatively low humidities.
Dust Mites live in carpet, bedding, couches, stuffed toys and old clothing. They feed on the dead skin that falls off the bodies of humans and animals and on other organic debris found where they reside.
Adult female dust mites lay cream colored elliptical eggs coated with a sticky fluid that helps them adhere to the surrounding that they are in. Under optimal conditions, the eggs cycle to adult dust mites in about a month. Dust mite eggs pass through six developmental stages before they reach the adult form.
Dust mites do not live in air ducts in homes because they need 70 percent humidity or higher to survive and they need food too. Areas, where people and house hold pets spend their time like their beds, chairs and sofa sets, are prime sites for dust mites. The top part of the mattresses are the favorite hide out for dust mites. We literally transport dust mites from room to room and from house to house when we move dirty clothing around. Always leave dirty clothing in laundry baskets before laundry days.