Dust mites are microscopic creatures that are can be the main cause of allergies and asthma for many people. The European house dust mite and the American house dust mite are the two most popular species of dust mites, and are not necessarily confined to Europe or North America.
Dust mites are very tiny, and the adults measure only 0.4 millimeters long. House dust mites have eight legs, but have no true color making them essentially invisible.
Dust mites are found in places where humans spend the most time. They feed on human and animal skin flakes. Dust mites need very warm temperatures (between 75-80 degrees F.) and high humidity levels.
The house dust mites can survive all climates. They thrive in indoor environments, specifically in bedrooms and kitchens and can be found in mattresses, carpets, furniture, and bedding. Dust mites have a short life span (45-90 days) but each female mite will lay between 30-70 eggs.
Existing mites can be killed by regularly cleaning and washing items that they live in. Prevent dust mites by washing bedding items regularly and deep cleaning carpets at least 1-2 times a year.
Dust mites are not aggressive towards humans and are unable to directly cause them harm. However, the bodies and feces of dust mites can become airborne and are one of the most common indoor allergens. Dust mites also have a tendency to trigger asthma.