Mites

There are several types of dust mites, but household dust mites are visible only under the microscope.

Habitat

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.

Reproduction

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.

Consequences on Health

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).

Prevention

The 1st step to reduce clinical symptoms is to apply some preventive measures, namely:
  • Daily airing of the rooms;
  • Exposure to air and sun from mattresses, comforters and pillows;
  • Frequent washing at 60 ° C of mattresses, comforters and pillows;
  • Regular and frequent vacuuming of mattresses and carpets with vacuum cleaners equipped with HEPA filters;
  • Treatment of mattresses and carpets with acaricides;
  • Use of anti-mite covers on mattresses, comforters and pillows;
  • Carpet removal;
  • Weekly washing of plush dolls;
  • Maintenance of a dry atmosphere inside the houses (relative humidity of 50 to 60% and temperature between 18 and 20 ° C);