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What Are Dust Mites?

Because you cannot see dust mites, it is difficult to estimate just how many of the little creatures have invaded your home. Daily exposure to dust mites isn't usually the problem; it is the skin they shed as they grow larger that causes mild to severe allergies in a number of people.

History

Anton van Leeuwenhoek, the inventor of the microscope, first discovered dust mites in 1694.

Identification

Dust mites are microscopic beings 1/100 inch (.3mm) in length. Ticks, spiders and dust mites have been closely linked.

Time Frame

The female dust mite will lay approximately 50 eggs over her lifetime of about one to three months.

Size

Newborn dust mites grow to be adults in as little as three weeks; they live mostly on dead human and pet skin.

Preferred Climate

Dust mites thrive in high humidity (70 percent and over) and can be found in house dust all over the globe.

Types

Two species of dust mites exist: the American house dust mite and the European house dust mite.

About the Author

Victoria Ries is a freelance writer whose work has been published in various print magazines, including "Guideposts," "BackHome," New Homesteading" and "Mother Earth News." Ries enjoys working on diverse topics such as travel, animal rescue, health and home business. Ries is currently working on her B.A. in psychology.