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Dust Mites vs Bed Bugs

By AAFA

Dust mites and bed bugs are very different organisms and impact humans in very different ways. Dust mites are present in virtually every room of every home and building, bed bugs are not.

 

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Dust Mite

House dust mites are microscopic bugs that primarily live on dead skin cells regularly shed from humans and their animal pets. They don't carry diseases, but they can cause allergic reactions in asthmatics and others who are allergic to their feces. A single dust mite produces about 20 waste droppings each day, each containing a protein to which many people are allergic. The proteins in that combination of feces and shed skin are what cause allergic reactions in humans. Depending on the person and exposure, reactions can range from itchy eyes to asthma attacks. And finally, unlike other types of mites, house dust mites are not parasites, since they only eat dead tissue.

 

Bed bugs are small wingless insects, part of the arachnid family that feed solely upon the blood of warm-blooded animals. Bed bugs and their relatives are often nest parasites. Certain kinds inhabit bird nests and bat roosts and await the return of their hosts; others have adapted well to living in the ‘nests’ (homes) of people. Hatchling bed bugs are about the size of a poppy seed, and adults are about 1/4 of an inch in length. Viewed from above, they are oval in shape, but are flattened from top to bottom. Bed bugs seek out people and animals, generally at night while these hosts are asleep, and painlessly sip a few drops of blood. While feeding, they inject a tiny amount of their saliva into the skin. Repeated exposures to bed bug bites during a period of several weeks or more causes people to become sensitized to the saliva of these bugs; additional bites may then result in mild to intense allergic responses. The skin lesion produced by the bite of a bed bug resembles those caused by many other kinds of blood feeding insects, such as mosquitoes and fleas.

 

If you believe that you have a bed bug infestation it is recommend that you contact an exterminator to assess the situation and handle extermination effectively. Currently there is no known effective way to exterminate dust mites, but scientists and doctors agree that allergen barrier type products, as part of an overall allergen reduction strategy, are one of the most effective ways to reduce the risk of allergic reaction to them, including asthma.

 

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Dust Mites vs Bed Bugs:  Created on May 15th, 2012.  Last Modified on May 5th, 2013

 

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About AAFA

AAFA

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) is a leading national nonprofit organization fighting asthma and allergic diseases. AAFA provides free information, conducts educational programs, fights for patients’ rights, and funds research to find better treatments and cures. Visit www.aafa.org.

 

 

Information provided by The Healthy House Institute is designed to support, not to replace the relationship between patient/physician or other qualified healthcare provider.

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