On most occasions, they survive in high-humidity climates by absorbing the water from the atmosphere. They tend to feed on pet dander and dead skin. For this reason, older houses situated in humid regions can be infested by dust mites. On average, the males can survive for nearly one month, while the longevity of the females can be about three months. Now let us get a reply to this question “can dust mites bite?”
The question that might arise is whether dust mites can bite or not. Unlike bed bugs, dust mites will not be able to bite humans. Therefore, you can have dust mites in your residence without knowing about it whatsoever.
What Are Dust Mites?
Dust mites are microscopic creatures that look like small bugs. They are so tiny that they cannot be observed by the naked eye. They tend to occur in humid areas where they can bury themselves in furniture or clothes. They feed on the dead skin that humans constantly shed and can therefore be found near beds, sitting furniture, and other areas that humans mostly occupy.
Can Dust Mites Bite?
Dust mites do not bite humans, the way bed bugs do. Hence, it is completely possible to have dust mites in your home and know nothing about it because they don’t leave behind the characteristic bite marks like bed bugs. Dust mites also do not bite pets or other animals.
How Do Dust Mites React To Human Skin?
Now that we know dust mites do not bite we must make ourselves aware of the kind of reaction dust mites have to human skin.
Exposure to excessive dust mites leads to different kinds of allergies, like
- Postnasal drips
- Stuffy nose
- Runny nose
- Watery eyes
- Itching or rashes on the skin
- Itchy throat
These allergies are usually seen when dust mites are inhaled or their fecal matter enters the systems of human beings. If you suffer from allergies all year round, without being able to identify the trigger, and it increases during high heat and humidity, you should suspect a dust mite infestation.
How The Human Body Reacts To Dust Mites
Dust mites are so tiny that most of the time we dont come to know when they enter our bodies. When our immne system detects dust mites in our bodies, it identifies them as foreign particles that can be dangerous. Hence, antibodies are immediately produced which give rise to the myriad of symptoms associted with dust mite allergies. Though dust mites are not dangerous, since our bodies identify them as pathogens, they can prove particularly harmful if the allergic reactions are left untreated.
The dust mites that are suspended in the atmosphere around us also regularly suspend their fecal matter in the atmosphere. The protiens present in them too can effect our immune system.
Complications Of Dust Mite Allergies
Though dust mite allergies are not serious, they can lead to serious complications if they are left untreated.
- Sinus Infections – Sinus infections can develop due to prolonged inflammation of the nasal passages due to sinus infections.
- Asthma Attacks – Dust mites can prove particularly harmful for those who already suffer from asthama. They can face an exacerbation of their symptoms and might require immediate medical care.
Who Are At Risk Of Developing Dust Mite Allergies?
Listed below are the specific groups that would be at risk of a dust mite infection:
- Those exposed to dust mites – For obvious reasons, those exposed to a large number of dust mites would be at risk of developing a dust mite allergy.
- Young children and the elderly – Both these age groups have compromised immune systems, so it is obvious that they will be most affected by dust mites.
- Family history of allergies – If multiple family members suffer from allergies, you will automatically be more prone to developing a dust mite allergy.
- Asthmatics – Those who suffer from a pre-existing respiratory condition, will also be more likely to develop a dust mite allergy.
When To Seek Medical Care?
Since dust mite allergies are very similar to the common cold, it might become difficult to dissociate between the two.
If your symptoms do not subside even after a week, it is wise to consult a doctor.
On the other hand, if your symptoms are severe right from the start, eg, wheezing, coughing, difficulty in breathing etc, you should consult your general physician immediately.
It has been hence established that dust mites are not dangerous and they cannot prove harmful to humans unless you suffer from an allergic reaction to them
Also, Read –
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