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Dust Mite

The house dust mite is a cosmopolitanguest in humanhabitation. Dust mitesfeed on organic detritus such as flakes of shed human skin and flourish in the stable environment of dwellings. House dust mites are a common cause of asthmaand allergic symptoms worldwide. The mite's gut contains potent digestive enzymes (notably proteases) that persists in their feces and are major inducers of allergic reactions such as wheezing.

The mite's exoskeleton can also contribute to allergic reactions. The European house dust mite (Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus) and the American house dust mite (Dermatophagoides farinae) are two different species, but are not necessarily confined to Europe or North America; a third species Euroglyphus maynei also occurs widely.

The average life cycle for a male house dust mite is 10 to 19 days. A mated female house dust mite can last up to 70 days, laying 60 to 100 eggs in the last 5 weeks of her life. In a 10-week life span, a house dust mite will produce approximately 2,000 fecal particles and an even larger number of partially digested enzyme-covered dust particles.

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