All you need to know about the house dust mite
Dust Mite Studies

Wonder why house dust mites cause allergic disease?

By comparing an active digestive enzyme from the house dust mite to an active digestive enzyme from the mange mite parasite, P ovis, a striking similarity can be made that tie the mites together in allergy. It appears that the mites are ancient relatives who gain nourishment by living on, or from, the skin of warm-blooded animals. For the parasite P ovis, life over millions of years has not changed much, it still causes severe itching and allergic dermatitis in sheep and goats. However, for the house dust mite, at some stage in time it changed from a parasitic-like existence to life as a scavenger while retaining its parasitic enzyme. Only now the enzyme is called an allergen.
House dust mites used to be mange-like parasites and several of its modern allergens reflect the mite's former way of life. That was the message from recent research published by The University of Michigan. The most destructive of these allergens has the ability to cause the death of delicate cells protecting lungs and nasal passages. These findings throw a different light on the house dust mite. It is not a harmless scavenger living in our homes, but a 'turn-coat' that makes millions of people sick. The saying 'poor-little-mite' is no longer appropriate. House dust mites should not be welcomed to live indoors and be a risk to the health of mite-allergic patients, many of whom are developing children.

House Dust Mite with Skin Scales

Image by Dr Harry Morrow Brown and gifted to

The house dust mite lives in colonies, has no eyes, no respiratory system, is 75% water, cannot control it body temperature and can produce up to 20 droppings a day. All of which are loaded with active digestive enzymes .


'Is Permanent Parasitism Reversible? - Critical Evidence from Early Evolution of House Dust Mites', Pavel B Klimov, Barry O'Connor, Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society of Systemic Biologists (2013) doi: 10.1093/sysbio/syt008, Feb. 15 2013

'Sheep Scab, Psoroptes ovis Infestation', 'The Center for Food Security and Public Health' Iowa State University, psor_a2009 on-line