Mites Sarcoptes scabiei are mites that infest mammals, including man. Most human infestations result from person-to-person contact. Although they can transfer from animals to humans and vice versa, several types of scabies mites exist, each having a preferred host species on which it reproduces. The entire life cycle (10-17 days for human-infesting scabies mites) is spent on their host. Without a host, they survive only a few days. Other mites like the red chigger mite and other mites like bird mites will only bite when disturbed in their environment eg: if you walk through grass or pick up a dead bird.
Scabies is the most common and important condition resulting from mite infestation of humans. Unlike other mites, scabies mites actually burrow up to 3cm into the skin to lay eggs. The mites are believed to feed on skin and secretions. In previously unexposed individuals, a scabies infestation may go unnoticed for more than a month. Then, severe irritation and itching develops, especially at night. Mites cause several forms of allergic diseases, including hay fever, asthma and eczema and are known to aggravate atopic dermatitis. Mites are usually found in warm and humid locations, including beds. It is thought that inhalation of mites during sleep exposes the human body to some antigens that eventually induce hypersensitivity reaction. Dust mite allergens are thought to be among the heaviest dust allergens.
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Adult female lice lay eggs, called nits. These nits are firmly attached to the base of the hair shaft, closest to the scalp. The nits are often confused for dandruff. After a week or so, the nit hatches into a baby louse called a nymph. Nymph’s look like adult louses, but are smaller. They become an adult in 10 days, and as an adult live for about 30 days. To live, nymphs and adult lice must feed on blood. If the louse falls off a person and cannot feed, it will die within 2 days. A louse's color varies from pale beige to dark gray; however, if feeding on blood, it may become considerably darker. Female lice are usually more common than the males, and some species are even known to be parthenogenetic. A louse's egg is commonly called a nit. Many lice attach their eggs to their host's hair with specialized saliva; the saliva/hair bond is very difficult to sever without specialized products. Living lice eggs tend to be pale white. Dead lice eggs are more yellow. They crawl fast (up to 12 inches or 30 cm per hour – that's fast if you're the size of a sesame seed!) but do not fly or jump. An adult louse can be up to 1/8 inch (3 mm) in size and is pale grey or brown.
The main symptom is an itchy head (caused by the louse's saliva when it removes a tiny amount of blood from the scalp), seeing red bumps on the scalp and neck that can become infected if repeatedly scratched. Seeing live lice moving around on the head finding nits (lice eggs), which are tiny white oval shaped specks that are attached to the sides of hairs. Frequent feeling of something moving in their hair.
Mites and Lice most people are familiar with Dust mites and the common lice, while the dust mite does not acutally attack humans, there are many mites that can 'bite'. Most lice are scavengers, feeding on skin and other debris found on the host's body, but some species feed on sebaceous secretions and blood. Most are found only on specific types of animal, and, in some cases, only to a particular part of the body. For example, in humans, different species of louse inhabit the scalp and pubic hair. Lice generally cannot survive for long if removed from their host. Head lice, also called pediculus humanus capitis, is the most common type of lice. Hair lice are parasitic insects that are found on people’s heads. Having head lice is very common.