Mites are insect-like organisms that bite humans and cause skin irritations. Some mites actually attach themselves as parasites to animals and humans, while other mites feed on plants. Some mites are scavengers and some mites prey on other insect-like organisms and arthropods.
What are Mites?
Mites are related to ticks, and similar to their relatives, mites go through four phases of growth which include developing from the egg to larvae, and then to nymph and finally to adult. In all phases of development, they have eight legs, except for the larva phase in which they have six legs. Most mites do not come in contact with people; however, there are some types of mites that do and, as a result, cause problems with a person's health.
When Mites Attack and There is No Evidence of Them
There are situations when mites or other unseen arthropods are known to bite or assault people. Although within the United States of America, mites seldom spread disease to human beings, mites do, however, cause problems with human health in many ways that vary from just being an annoyance after invading homes to causing skin irritations that result in severe itching.
Dust Mite Infestations: How Do They Occur?
Dust mites are formed in warm and humid environments and where dust occurs. One common place for dust mite formation is inside of a mattress that has a warm body lying on it. This is one major way mite infestations occur. Mites consume dander which includes the skin flakes from humans and animals. Human beings shed approximately one fifth of an ounce of dead skin dander on a weekly basis. Although bedroom carpeting and all kinds of domestic upholstery also sometimes host dust mite infestations, beds are the major habitation of mites. A typical used mattress can be infested with 100,000 to 10 million dust mites. A two-year old pillow can be infested with about 10 percent of its weight in dead dust mites as well as with their droppings.
To limit and destroy dust mites, there are several things that can be done. It is very important to wash bedding, curtains, and pillows weekly in very hot water. If a home is carpeted, it should be vacuumed often. Steam cleaning carpet is also believed to be helpful in the destruction of dust mites.