Dust Mite Bites

Dust Mite Bites (or not?)

Red bites and scars are commonly mistaken as dust mite bites.  While dust mites do live in furniture, mattresses, and pillows in the millions, they do not bite, for a list of mites that bite visit our Mite Bites article.  They lack the beak necessary to puncture human skin.  Dust mites are scavengers that chew on dead skin cells that flake off our bodies.  The most common symptoms caused by dust mites are allergies.  Certain individuals react to a specific protein found in dust mite feces, triggering allergic reactions with common symptoms, including a stuffy nose, asthma, and itchy eyes.  While it is impossible to completely get rid of dust mites, washing bedding weekly in hot water (over 130 degrees Fahrenheit), vacuuming the bedroom, and opening a window to ventilate can keep them at controlled levels.

If there are rows of red bites in groups of two or three, they are probably bed bug bites.  Bed bugs, unlike dust mites, feed directly on blood.  Their beak allows them to penetrate human skin.  Most individuals do not feel the bites, but they are left with itchy and unsightly red bites.  Bed bugs hide in dark corners of bed heads and mattresses during the day and they feed at night.  If left alone, bed bugs will quickly lay eggs in bedding and multiply.  Increased feedings may cause a person to sleep badly, be irritable in the morning, and can even lead to a loss of blood.

Prevention is the most effective form of control for bed bugs.  Avoid bringing them home by thoroughly inspecting hotel rooms before sleeping in them.  Inspect the dark corners of your mattresses.  Bed bugs are flat red insects and are visible to the naked eye.  Infestations are difficult to control and require extensive time and detail.  Plastic mattress covers are effective for saving your mattress.  However, do-it-yourself sprays and powders are not recommended because it is difficult to be as thorough as necessary to destroy a bed bug infestation.  Professional help is recommended.

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