If you have ever wondered “what are dust mites,” then this is for you. They are tiny, spider-like creatures with eight legs and a pincer-like mouth used for grinding up and digesting dander; dead skin and hair cells from humans and animals.

The typical mite is approximately 0.3 mm large and it has a much shorter life-span; one month for males and two months for females. However, during its life span a female has enough time to lay as many as 100 eggs.

They eat dander and since an average a human sheds about 10 grams of skin per week, they have plenty of food. Add in how much house pets like cats and dogs shed and dust mites have an indefinite food supply.

What are dust mites – Where do they live?

Their populations are larger where humans do the majority of their relaxation and spend the most of their time; couches, carpets, car seats, and of course, the bedroom; particularly in the mattress and pillow. Dependant upon conditions, 100,000 dust mites have been known to occupy one square yard of carpet, and millions can inhabit an entire mattress.

A mattress that is ten years old can be double its original weight as a result of the purchased weight of dead carcasses and feces. In order to prevent a dust mite infestation in your mattress, you need to pick up a dust mite bed cover. These covers will keep the little buggers from getting into your mattress and it will keep the ones already in your mattress trapped inside and away from you.

A two-year old pillow can have a 10% increase in weight due to the same reasons. Everyone needs a dust mite pillow cover. A cover on your pillow will keep the creatures from living close to you nose and mouth.
Dust mites thrive in warm, humid conditions. They do not drink water; however, they do absorb moisture from the air. They can not survive without this moisture, so when looking for how to get rid of dust mites, keeping a cool, dry house will make a significant difference and will help to drastically reduce the number of unwanted occupants living under your roof.

Not only are dust mites a nuisance, they are also responsible for a large percentage of allergies in all people.

A compound in the feces of a dust mite emits certain antibodies, which when inhaled or ingested by humans, causes an allergic reaction. Symptoms can include itchy, red, watery eyes; sore, dry throat; dry cough; sneezing and tightness of the chest. If an individual who suffers from a dust or pollen allergy or who is an asthmatic comes into contact with dust mites and their feces, these symptoms can be escalated dramatically, and could cause serious health risks such as an asthma attack.

They can even aggravate skin conditions such as eczema. House dust consists of a blend of approximately 28 allergenic components. Typically, mite allergens account for the vast majority of harmful components of dust, more than any other single particulate.

As they are so tiny, these allergens can become airborne by simply walking across a room, opening a door, or rolling over in bed (an action that occurs approximately 50 to 60 times per night), and naturally, as a result of activities such as making your bed. These are merely a few of the actions that can cause these tiny mites as well as their accompanying allergens to become and remain airborne for up to two hours at one time before settling all through the entire house.

While airborne, these allergens are easily inhaled and became connected to the living cells that line the walls of the lungs. Once attached, they can suffocate and kill your healthy lung cells, which can cause permanent damage. They practice coprophagia, meaning, in times when food is scarce, they will substitute their own fecal pellets as a food source. Their fecal pellets, which contain “guanine” and digestive enzymes, are a major cause of allergies across the world. The powerful enzymes in the fecal pellets break up hard-to-digest food for later nourishment. It is enzymes such as these cause and trigger allergic reactions in humans by breaking down live living tissue including healthy lung cells.