Mite • Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus
Conditions: Allergic rhinitis; allergic asthma; allergic conjunctivitis.
Symptoms: Itchy, stuffy, or runny nose; post-nasal drip; sneezing; itchy, red or watery eyes; allergic symptoms; puffy eyes.
Physical description: One-quarter to one-third of a millimeter in size; under a microscope, it looks like a white bug; has eight legs and is considered a part of the arthropod group, along with spiders.
Environmental factors: Found in dust, carpets, pillows, mattresses, and upholstered furniture containing biological material; thrives in moderate temperatures with high humidity levels; main food source is human dander; life cycle is about two to three months; its feces seems to be the major source of allergenic exposure.
Cross-reactivity: Other dermatophagoides species; some are widely cross-reactive among invertebrates such as cockroaches.
- “Mite.” Merriam-Webster. Accessed Feb 20, 2020. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Mite
- “Dust Mite Allergy.” Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. https://www.aafa.org/dust-mite-allergy/
Did You Know?
Compared to the similar D. farinae species, D. pteronyssinus prefers more humid climates and can lay more eggs – between 80 and 120 over a 45-day period.