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House-Dust Mite



  • Can typically only be seen with the use of a microscope: 0.33 mm in size
  • Body shape is oval and somewhat flattened
  • Coloration is off-white to cream

Habitat and Behaviour

  • Feeds on shed human skin (expelled skin is most often found in areas where humans spend the majority of their time sitting or lying for extended periods)
  • Excrement may trigger allergic reactions and asthma in some individuals
  • Feeding may also occur on spilled food and fungi
  • Prefer areas of high moisture (if less than 60% relative humidity, these mites are not able to thrive)
  • Young are known to resist drying up for some period


  • Goes through 5 stages of development: egg, larva, protonymph, tritonymph, and adult
  • Development, from egg to adult, is greatly dependent on temperature and relative humidity: 16 ºC @ 75% allows development in 140 days whereas 23ºC @ 75% takes 35 days
  • Averages between 31 and 100 eggs over a lifetime
  • Average adult lifespan is approximately 100 days