There are several types of dust mites, but household dust mites are visible only under the microscope.
Dust mites feed on scales of human skin and animals in homes. Dust mites abound on mattresses, wool blankets, feather pillows, rugs, carpets, sofas, etc. and develop in conditions of humidity above the average of 70 to 80% and temperature above 20 ° C.
They live 2 to 3 months, during which time they kill 1 to 2 times, giving rise to a laying of 20 to 50 eggs. The most suitable time for mating is spring and autumn.
Mite droppings and dead mites disperse in fine dust and consequently can be inhaled and may cause allergies. It is estimated that the prevalence of sensitization to mites in the general population is around 10 to 20%.
Dust mites are responsible for most cases of rhinitis and perennial allergic asthma, and also play an important role in atopic dermatitis. Some rare cases of anaphylaxis have been described after eating foods contaminated by large amounts of D. farinae (flour, pizza, fish and vegetables, among others).