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Dust Mites



Dust Mites
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 6 to 8
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.69

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    dehumidifiers, dust-proof, foragers, hotspots, Humidity-wise, Temperature-wise, evict, nonetheless, sufferers, best, periodically, necessarily, negative, notorious, humidity, synthetic


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Dust Mites
By Vickie Chao
  

1     Were you ever afraid of what was lurking in the dark when your parents kissed you good night, switched off the light, and shut the bedroom door behind them? If you were not, you should be - starting right now! No, we are not talking about big, scary monsters with sharp teeth and red eyes hidden in your closet or underneath your bed. We are talking about something so small that you cannot even see it with the naked eye. That something is called the dust mite.
 
2     Dust mites are members of the arachnid family that also includes scorpions, spiders, and ticks. Their bodies, measuring at most 0.01 inches long, are oval-shaped. Their eight legs have sticky pads at the end allowing them to burrow deep into anything made of wool and cotton. Their unique taste in fabrics means that they are extremely fond of living in our homes uninvited. They thrive in carpets, sofas, curtains, bed sheets, pillowcases, comforters, box springs, and mattresses.
 
3     As nocturnal animals, dust mites are mostly active at night. When they come out from their hideouts after dark, they have one thing in mind - eating! To them, the most delicious meal is the skin and hair we shed. Dust mites are foragers. They do not bite our flesh or suck our blood as fleas and mosquitoes do. Nonetheless, they are equally, if not more, dangerous. When dust mites have their feasts, they leave behind tiny pellets of droppings to which many people are allergic. Some experience mild symptoms, such as stuffy nose, itchy skin, and watery eyes. Others end up developing serious respiratory diseases, such as asthma. According to a medical study in the U.K., about 10 percent of the general population and 90 percent of people with allergic asthma are sensitive to dust mites. A similar study in the U.S. suggests that at least 45 percent of young people with asthma are allergic to dust mites.

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