What is Pteronyssinus?

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What is Pteronyssinus?
Pteronyssinus is short for Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus and is European house dust mite specie. Though its name specifically tags it as a dust mite specie from Europe, these small creatures may also be found outside of the European continent.

Generally, house dust mites are too small to be seen by the naked eye. Most people are aware that dust mites are abundant in beds, couches, chairs, and carpets. From the term “dermatophagoides”, one can consider dust mites as “skin eaters”, literally, because they feed on dead skin cells or flake from humans and animals or pets. And since humans alone shed some dead skin cells every single day, house dust mites have plenty to feed on while living in areas where there is dust. This explains why there is an abundant number of dust mites in beds, chairs, and carpets. These areas are where people spend time the most, allowing for accumulation of dust and accompanying skin flakes.

The presence of dust mites themselves in houses freak out some people a bit. It is said that more dust mites will thrive and grow in humid and warm environments. And they also tend to increase in population especially when there are pets around. Aside from the carpet and beds, dust mites can also commonly be found in area rugs or carpets, in stuffed toys, and in upholstered chairs and other furniture.

Exposure to dust mites like the European specie “pteronyssinus” usually causes an allergic reaction. Some people will have coughing, sneezing and wheezing, while those with asthma may feel difficulty in breathing. Long-term exposure may cause other people sore throat, sinusitis, headache, watery eyes, skin rashes and itching, and even tightening in the chest. It is advised to stay away from suspected allergens once symptoms are experienced. For symptoms that persist and for those having breathing difficulties, it is best to seek medical help. And since there is no pesticide that is approved by authorities to control dust mite population, preventive measures are best taken. These measures include regular changing and washing of bed sheets, regular cleaning of carpets and upholstery, and regular cleaning and/or vacuuming.

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