DUST MITES & BED BUGS
Dust Mites -
The house dust mite (sometimes referred to by allergists as HDM), is a
cosmopolitan guest in human habitation. Dust mites feed on organic detritus such
as flakes of shed human skin and flourish in the stable environment of dwellings.
House dust mites are a common cause of asthma and allergic symptoms
worldwide. Some of the gut enzymes produced by the house mite persist in their
fecal matter, and can be strongly allergenic.
Allergens produced by house mites are among the most common triggers of
asthma. Some main signs of house dust mite allergies are itchiness, sneezing,
inflamed or infected eczema , watering/reddening eyes , runny nose and
clogging in the lungs.
Most people who have dust mite allergy sneeze when they wake up in the morning.
They will generally feel better as they go out of their rooms, then at night when
they sleep, the cycle repeats again. This can cause the allergy to be chronic and
long lasting. It is commonly believed that the accumulated detritus from dust mites
can add significantly to the weight of matresses and pillows.
Bed Bugs -
Bed bugs (or bedbugs) are small, elusive, and parasitic insects. They live strictly by feeding on the blood of humans and other warm-blooded animals. The name 'bed bug' is derived from the insect's preferred habitat infesting houses and especially beds or other common areas where people may sleep. Bedbugs, though not strictly nocturnal, are mainly active at night and are capable of feeding unnoticed on their hosts.
The common bedbug is the species best adapted to human environments. It is found in temperate climates throughout the world and feeds on blood.
Parasitic in nature, bedbugs are bloodsucking insects that feed by hematophagy. They are normally active at night just before dawn, with a peak feeding period of about an hour before sunrise. Bedbugs may attempt to feed at other times if given the opportunity and have been observed feeding during all periods of the day. The bug pierces the skin of its host with two hollow feeding tubes. With one tube it injects its saliva, which contains anticoagulants and anesthetics, while with the other it withdraws the blood of its host. After feeding for about five minutes, the bug returns to its hiding place. The bites cannot usually be felt until some minutes or hours later, as a dermatological reaction to the injected agents, and the first indication of a bite usually comes from the desire to scratch the bite site. Because of their natural aversion for sunlight, bedbugs come out at night.
Most observed bites consist of a raised red bump or flat welt, and are often accompanied by very intense itching. The red mark is the result of an allergic reaction to the anesthetic contained in the bedbug's saliva, which is inserted into the blood of its victim. Reactions to bedbug bites may appear indistinguishable from mosquito bites although they tend to last for longer periods. Bites may not become immediately visible and can take up to nine days to appear. Bedbug bites tend not to have a red dot in the center such as is characteristic of flea bites. A trait shared with flea bites is tendency towards the pattern of sequential bites often aligned in rows of three. This may be caused by the bedbug being disturbed while eating and relocating half an inch or so farther along the skin before resuming feeding. Alternatively, the arrangement of bites may be caused by the bedbug repeatedly searching for a blood vein.
People commonly respond to bed bug infestations and their bites with anxiety, stress, and insomnia. Individuals may also develop skin infections and scars from scratching the bedbug bite locations.
The salivary fluid injected by bed bugs typically causes the skin to become irritated and inflamed, although individuals can differ in their sensitivity. Anaphylactoid reactions produced by the injection of serum and other nonspecific proteins are observed and there is the possibility that the saliva of the bedbugs may cause anaphylactic shock in a small percentage of people. It is also possible that sustained feeding by bedbugs may lead to anemia. It is also important to watch for and treat any secondary bacterial infection. Systemic poisoning may occur if the bites are numerous.
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