Mites are microscopic arthropods, like ticks, that are microscopic cannot be seen with the naked eye. The male adult mite is smaller than a female. A typical dust mite measures 420 micrometers in length. Mites are oval in shape, semi transparent, and the color of mites depends on what they eat, and can be blue red or green-coloured. Mites are covered with tiny hair, and maybe covered with a striated cuticle. Mite larvae have six legs and nymphs and adults have eight. There are different types of mites, some are agricultural pests and others are parasitic on humans.
Types of mites include chiggers that are also called red bugs, human scabies mites, and birds and rodent mites. They survive in terrestrial and aquatic habitat, and are carried and spread by air, insects, birds and mammals. There are commonly three types of house dust mites, the American dust mite, European dust mite and the Euroglyphus maynei, of which the American dust mite is commonly found all over the world. Dust mites adapt to all types of environment and thrive in a lot of different places, including homes.
The average life span of a mite is 10-19 days in males and up to 60-70 in females. The females lay about 60 to 100 eggs in a lifetime, and each egg takes about one month to grow into an adult. Mites go through different stages in its life cycle, staring from an egg stage to the larval stage to nymph and then finally grows into an adult.
Dust mites live in mattresses, couches, carpet and other furniture found in the house. They require warm and humid conditions to thrive in. It is not easy to get rid of dust mites in the house, but measures can be taken to minimize contact with these pests. Humans shed moisture and dead skin every single day. The accumulation of dead skin and moisture in mattresses and couches, increases growth of these pests. It is important to vacuum your bed and furniture regularly and keep it free of food.
Mites can be beneficial or destructive. these feed on weeds or other herbivorous mites, and thus helpful but some species can also destroy crops, and grains and cause allergies. Mites can also cause itching, and if the bite gets infected, can cause discomfort. People allergic to dust mites often wake up with a stuffy nose in the morning.