Dust mites are tiny insects that cannot be seen with the naked eye. They have a cream coloured body that is semi-transparent. Their bodies are oval-shaped and with their eight legs and spider-like body structure they belong to the arachnid family. People who have seen photos of them under the microscope may immediately liken them to insects, however, their biology is entirely different from that of insects. Because of this, ordinary spray insecticides are useless in eliminating dust mites.
They are prevalent in almost every household, especially in areas with a warm climate and high humidity, as the dampness that comes along with humid weather provides them with the water that they need to survive.
Houses with pets, particularly cats, also have a higher number of dust mites, as they feed on the dead skin and fur of animals.
Although they do not bite, they live in close proximity with human beings. Living on their bodies, in their mattresses pillows and carpets. Basically, as their name suggests, anywhere that dust exists. However, dust mites do not make their way under your skin, like scabies mites and skin follicle mites.
They are especially found in our beds, as mattresses are a place that provides them with the essentials that they need to thrive. Here they find water from the sweat that gathers on our bodies as we sleep, food from the skin that we shed at night and natural heat from our bodies.
Considering that each human being sheds about 0.5 to 1.0 gram of skin a day, dust mites have plenty to feed on.
Dust mites cause respiratory related allergic reactions, such as asthma. Dust mite related symptoms affect about 10 percent of the world.
Symptoms that occur as a result of some sort of contact with dust mites are constant sneezing, uncomfortable itchy eyes that have a tendency to water, a blocked nose that can sometimes be unnervingly runny despite not having any other signs of flu or a cold, blocked ears that may hinder your hearing, difficulty breathing and eczema, as well as symptoms of asthma. These symptoms particularly happen when the individual is undertaking activities such as fixing a bed or dusting, that cause large amounts of dust to mix into the air.