According to the Department of Public Health in Illinois, scabies mites typically originate from a human infestation through direct contact with another person's skin, or person-to-person contact. The mites can also originate from the clothing or bedding of a person who is infected.
The mites cause the most common kind of infestation in human beings, according to Illinois' Department of Public Health. They create tunnels approximately a centimeter long below the skin's surface in order to lay their eggs and to feed on their host. Feeding on a human being's secretions and skin allows a scabies mite to live approximately 2 weeks. People who have never been exposed to scabies before may not notice any symptomatic problems, such as itching, for as long as a month.