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Do Dust Mites Bite?

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Updated January 13, 2011

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Do Dust Mites Bite?

Do Dust Mites Bite?

Photo © American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology
Question: Do Dust Mites Bite?

A patient recently asked me an interesting question: "Do dust mites bite?" I had never been asked that question before -- and I was not really sure of the answer.

Answer:

Dust mites are common asthma allergens that lead to asthma symptoms by becoming airborne and triggering asthma attacks. Like other types of allergens, managing dust mites can decrease your asthma symptoms.

In general, the answer to the question of whether dust mites bite is no. Unlike other types of mites that lead to skin irritation because of bites, dust mites generally do not bite humans. Biting mites include chiggers and bed bugs.

While dust mites may be transported around your home on your clothing, they do not survive by biting and feeding off you. Rather, dust mites feed on pet dander and dead skin from people and pets in your home. Dust mites can be found in mattresses, carpet, and upholstered furniture.

Sources:

Illinois Department of Public Health. Accessed January 7, 2011. Mites Affecting Humans

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