Mites are so small they are virtually invisible without magnification.
Female mites lay cream-colored eggs coated with a sticky substance so eggs will cling to the substrate.
Mites have two distinct immature stages. Under optimal conditions, the entire life cycle from egg to adult takes three-four weeks.
House dust mites feed on human skin scales, pollen, fungi, bacteria and animal dander. Dust mites do not drink free water, but absorb water from the air and the environment.
Mites need very warm temperatures (23 – 27°C) and high humidity levels (70 – 80%) relative humidity.
Humans continually shed skin and lose about 1/5 ounce of dead skin each week. We also spend about one-third of our lives sleeping so high levels of dust mites are often associated with the bedroom, especially bedding and the mattress. Dust mites also eat animal dander so allergens will be plentiful in areas where family pets sleep.
The concern about dust mites is people are allergic to them. Symptoms associated with dust mite allergies include sneezing, itchy, watery eyes, nasal stuffiness, runny nose, stuffy ears, respiratory problems, eczema and (in severe cases) asthma. Many people notice these symptoms when they stir dust during cleaning activities.
The droppings of house dust mites contain high levels of allergens. These allergens have enzymatic activities and will penetrate protective layers of the skin as well as mucous membrane. For people who are allergic to dust mites, exposure to these allergens will lead to allergic reaction. In fact, house dust mites are considered the most common allergens at home.