Do Dust Mites Bite ?

Do dust mites bite at all? The answer is no, they can't. They're not equipped for it. Dust mite jaws are not strong enough, or designed to penetrate living skin. Instead, the jaws operate like grinders to make the food particles they browse on smaller.

The preferred diet of a dust mite is organic matter (such as skin) which has already been partly broken down by fungi.

Once the food has been reduced to a suitable size, the mite's saliva starts the digestion process. Enzymes in the gut then break down the food further.

Proteins in the mite's droppings are responsible for allergic reaction in humans. When the droppings dry out, they disintegrate into dust which can then be launched into the air and inhaled.

Breathing in these proteins causes the human throat and nose to release histamine and results in watery eyes and nose, sneezing, difficulties with breathing, headaches and itchy skin.

Do Dust Mites Bite ? No - So What is Biting you?

If something is biting you in the home, it isn't dust mites. Possible culprits are bedbugs, (not the same as dust mites), flies and fleas. Spiders, lice and earwigs can also bite.


Bedbugs can cause both allergies and skin rashes. They grow to four or five millimeters in length (much larger than a dust mite which is about a quarter of a millimetre). Reddish brown in colour, they live on blood.


Mosquitos, blackfly and midges are the most common culprits. Ordinary houseflies don't bite but the stable fly, which is similar, does.


Fleas can cause flea allergy dermatitis. The most common are cat, dog and human fleas. They generally go for the ankle.


All spiders bite, most spider bites are poisonous to some extent and capable of transmitting infection.


Usually earwigs don't bite, but if one gets trapped in your bed, they can. Identifiable by twin puncture marks, an earwig bite will swell and become itchy.


Lice are related to bedbugs, and feed on blood. Body louse bites tend to be concentrated under ares of tight clothing such as waistbands.

Scabies are a very small mite that live in burrows in your skin. Itchy because they leave eggs and droppings there.

Related Pages

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Pictures of Dust Mites
Getting Rid of Dust Mites
Dust Mites in Pillows
Dust Mite Mattress Covers