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Dust Mites


Dust mites are tiny spiderlike creatures (arachnids) that feed mostly on flakes of dead human skin. Mites do not bite humans or spread disease.

Dust mites may cause allergies and asthma symptoms in some people. When allergies are present, they are triggered by material in the stool of dust mites rather than by the insects themselves.

Dust mites are usually found where conditions indoors are warm and damp (high humidity). Dust mites are found mostly in carpeting, bedding, pillows, mattresses and box springs, furniture, and stuffed animals. Having dust mites in the home is not caused by poor house cleaning.

The number of dust mites tends to decrease during the winter months and at high altitudes.

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerRohit K Katial, MD - Allergy and Immunology
Last RevisedJune 30, 2011

eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise

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