Small, but mite-y


Arachnids are a large group of arthropods that includes spiders, scorpions, ticks, and mites.

The term mite is a term commonly used to refer to a group of insect-like organisms. Mites are among the smallest, most diverse and widely distributed of all the arachnids. There are more than 30,000 known species of mites worldwide with probably at least a million more still to be identified. 

Some mites parasitize animals, including humans. Others are scavengers. Some feed on plants, and many prey on insects and other arthropods. Their small size makes them hard to identify. As a result, many people don't realize they have been exposed to mites until they notice their small bites.

Mite bites are typically harmless; though they can sometimes result in swelling, itching and pain.  However, frequent itching caused by mites may produce more serious bacterial infections.

There are two main types of mites that live on human skin. One species, the hair follicle mite, lives in hair follicles on your face and feeds on dead skin cells. The other species more often lives on your forehead, face, neck or chest.

You can't see mites without a microscope, and they often don't cause symptoms. However, for some they may cause redness, itchy or scaly skin, or a burning sensation.

Dust mites are also very common, but they don't live on humans. Rather they are found in clothing, rugs, blankets, furniture, etc. Dust mites don't bite humans, but they can cause allergic reactions. The dust in your home is partially made up of dust from mite feces and decomposing dust mite bodies. 

Many people who believe they're allergic to dust really have an allergy to this protein-rich dust which often triggers symptoms of asthma and hay fever.  


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