You’ve probably never seen a mite. Most are so small you need a microscope to view them. But just because you can’t see them doesn’t mean they’re not around. Over 48,000 species of mites live on Earth. Many of them, such as spider mites, eat plants. These mites tunnel through the leaves, leaving white, bumpy areas. Others live on animals, such as birds, deer, and mice.
Some mite infest other insects. Several species live on honey bees. And there’s also a predatory mite that actually eats plant-eating mites. Some mites live on humans, but the most disgusting type of mite is probably the dust mite. This mite lives in houses and especially likes warm places like your bed. It feeds on dead human skin cells and pet dander.
Not So Fun Facts About Mites for Kids
- Many people are allergic to the debris left behind by dust mites. Dust mite allergies can cause asthma, sneezing and skin rashes.
- Dust mites are more common in humid areas.
- Dust mites, like all arachnids, have eight legs and two body sections.
- Microscope: a device that enlarges images
- Infest: To inhabit or overrun
- Predatory: hunts
- Disgusting: yucky
- Humid: moist, damp
Learn More All About Mites
Watch an exclusive video about the secret life of dust mites:
A video exposing what you didn’t know about mites.
Question: How can I get rid of dust mites in my house?
Answer: You probably can’t completely rid your home of dust mites, but there are many things you can do to reduce their numbers. Wash your sheets and blankets every week. Dust your furniture and vacuum or mop floors. If you live in a damp climate, install a de-humidifier. Keep the windows closed because pollen comes in through the windows. Dust mites like to eat the pollen.
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