People do not typically see dust mites as they are extremely tiny with an average size of around 0.011 inches. However, hundreds and thousands of these creatures can be found in every home. They feed on the dead cells released from the topmost layer of the skin of people and house pets. These creatures are not parasites as they do not affect the human body through direct contact. However, they can trigger allergies and make asthma symptoms worse. That is why each and every homeowner must take the effort to reduce their number as much as possible. In order for you to take the right action, you must be well familiar with the life cycle of dust mites.
Life Cycle Stages
Dust mites live in humid and fairly warm places where there is plenty of food for them. They prefer pillows, duvets and other types of bedding plus mattresses. They can be found in carpets and rugs as well, especially in homes with pets. The adult female lays her eggs inside the bedding or floor treatment. Typically, she lays between 40 and 80 eggs. They can be in a single cluster, but most often they have spread around in several clusters of three to five. This is a common strategy for ensuring the survival of as many eggs as possible.
Six-legged larvae hatch from the eggs. They undergo three stages of development before they reach adulthood. At the first stage, the larvae turn into protonymphs with eight legs. The protonymphs transform into deutonymphs at the second stage. At the third stage, they turn into tritonymphs. The tritonymphs become adult dust mites. It is interesting to note that the adult female is considerably bigger than the adult male.
It takes approximately one month for eggs to turn into fully mature adults. The adults live between one and three months. The survival rate and life longevity of dust mites depend on several factors. The main one is food, but it is traditionally abundant in most house. The second one is humidity which is followed by warmth. Populations grow during the warmer and more humid months of the year and get reduced during the cooler months when humidity levels are lower.
While dust mites do not bite people and cause skin irritation, their droppings and parts of their bodies are powerful allergens. They can cause serious symptoms of the respiratory system especially when their number increases during the spring and summer months. The best course of action is to take a comprehensive set of measures for fighting mites.
The most basic steps to take include addition of dust covers to mattresses and pillows and reduction of humidity in the rooms. You should avoid drying clothes indoors and take measures to deal with moisture. It is essential that you wash bedding at high temperature and clean carpets and rugs with a steam cleaner. You need to clean the house thoroughly on a regular basis. The cleaning should cover not only fixtures and fittings which you come into direct contact with but the HVAC system and its components as well.
Use the information on dust mites and their life cycle to beat them.