House dust mites feed on dead skin shed by humans and animals. They may also feed on protein based foodstuffs, preferring dried products over products with moisture. Females lay up to 80 eggs. Populations can explode during humid months as mites are excellent at absorbing moisture from the air.
The most common area for finding mites is in the bed due to abundance of dander. House dust mites may also be found in living areas especially carpet, furniture, and clothing.
People may be allergic to house dust mite cast skins and droppings. These reactions will not be a rash type of reaction but rather a respiratory constriction, a common symptom of asthma. Itchy, watery eyes may also be symptoms.
Here are a few suggestions to limit your exposure to dust mites:
- Frequently change bed linens. If house dust mites are a serious problem, mattress encasement with a cover tested for house dust mites may be helpful
- Vacuum areas frequently using a HEPA filter vacuum
- Keep humidity low when possible; heating or freezing infested fabric may help
- If asthmatic, avoid playing with children or animals on a carpeted area