23 Jul What are house dust mites?
House dust mites are microscopic arachnids (resembling spiders) and are not visible to the naked eye. Having house dust mites in your home does not mean that your home is dirty – usual cleaning methods do not get rid of them. They have sticky pads at the end of their feet and attach themselves to fibres and live deep within carpeting, upholstery and mattresses. Dust mites get their food from human secretions and skin cells that we shed, and they get their water from humidity. These little creatures prefer more humid conditions and are rarely found in dry climates.
The most bothersome dust-mite allergens are the digestive enzymes found in the faeces of the dust mite. An allergy to dust mites is common and about 10 % of the population is allergic to them while about 80% of asthmatic children are allergic to dust mites.