MITES

12 articles in this category

What are Mites?

Mites are arthropods (creatures with jointed legs and with skeletons on the outside of the body) that are related to – but distinct from - insects and spiders. The vast majority of mites are minute (hence the name), and many are microscopic. A f...

What mites infest a person or other animal?

Whereas many kinds of mites infest mammals and birds, just two kinds are solely dependent upon people for their sustenance and survival. These invade our skin  and cannot live without us. Virtually all of the other kinds of mites (except for som...

Do mites transmit disease?

Some mites can transmit (‘vector’) certain microbes that may cause infection and disease. The most prominent mite-associated disease is called scrub typhus, and is caused by a rickettsia transmitted by chiggers (larval mites) throughout parts of...

What is scabies?

Two kinds of mites infest the skin of human beings, but the results of these associations are remarkably different. One frequently causes intense irritation and is a medical and a public health pest, and the other is virtually always inconsequen...

What are follicle mites?

Demodex folliculorum and Demodex brevis (hereafter referred to as ‘follicle mites’) are miniscule elongated mites that infest the skin of virtually every person. They are generally considered to be commensals (causing no disease), and live withi...

What are chiggers?

Several kinds of mites may infest a person for several days or somewhat longer. Most prominent are the ticks, some of which may attach and blood feed for just minutes, others for days or a week or more. We offer a separate resource on ticks (htt...

What do mites feed on?

Many kinds of mites blood feed upon birds and rodents. Some kinds spend considerable time on their hosts, and others tend to remain in the host’s nest when not feeding. These mites may become impressively abundant in and around the nest or roost...

How do I manage a rodent or bird mite problem?

While the bird or mammalian hosts are present, the majority of the mites will remain close to the nest or roost sites so they may partake in a meal at most any time. A few mites may stray and enter a building through ventilation openings, air co...

What other types of mites could bother or bite me?

Several kinds of mites cause occasional irritation and dermatitis amongst those persons exposed. Straw itch mites (Pyemotes tritici, Pyemotes ventricosus) are parasites of some grain-boring and wood-infesting insects. These small mites normal...

What about non-biting mites?

Dust mites: All homes, offices and other dwellings are endowed with dust mites (Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus and Dermatophagoides farinae). These miniscule mites neither bite nor infest people or other animals. Instead, they feed upon shed ski...

How do I know if I am infested or bit by mites?

If you believe you are infested or bitten by mites, you should schedule an evaluation by a clinician. Dermatologists are best equipped to examine, diagnose and prescribe treatments, as appropriate. In some cases, they may take a skin scraping or...

How do I find, sample and submit mites for evaluation?

Specimens can be gently collected with a moistened cotton swab, artist’s paintbrush or a small tissue paper fragment. These may be transferred to a small crush-resistant container (such as a pill bottle) or zipper lock bag. Alternatively, mites ...