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Demodex folliculorum (Human Demodex Mites)

**Demodex folliculorum and other demodex species, when a problem are a medically treated parasite and can not be controlled by a pest control professional.  Treatment must be directed by your physician (or veterinarian in regards to demodex species on pets) when necessary.  This is for informational purposes only and is not meant to replace the advice or treatment of a medical professional or for use in self-diagnosis. **

Although a vast majority of the time Demodex folliculorum mites maintain a symbiotic relationship in which they benefit from their human host without causing the host harm, occasionally these mites cause allergic reactions resulting in hair loss, acne and other skin conditions in their human host.  Scientists suspect that most if not all humans are host to this species of mite which inhabits the hair follicles around the nose, inside ear canals and the areas surrounding the eyes including eye lashes and eye brows.  A miniscule sized mite at only 0.1 to 0.4 mm in length at maturity, these cigar shaped mites lack color, allowing them to blend in with the human skin that surrounds them.  Adult mites have 8 legs while developing nymphs have only 6.  Females are shorter and have a more rounded body shape than the males which are longer and more slender in appearance.

The full lifecycle of this demodex mite is spent on the host.  Transfer is possible from human to human; however, this species does not affect other animals, therefore they are not considered to be vectors.  Lifecycles are completed in approximately 18-24 days and reproduction occurs year round.  Females lay an average of 20-24 eggs in a single hair follicle. Nymphs and adults obtain nourishment from the cells of the house, mainly from glandular secretions within the follicles.  In the event that medical conditions arise due to the presence of these mites, patients must seek treatment options from their physician or dermatologist.  Treatment of the environment in which a patient lives is unnecessary as the Demodex folliculorum mites complete their entire lifecycle on their human host.