Mites

Scientific Name: Acari

Mites are small anthropods, much like ticks that live in diverse habitats from soil and water to living as parasites on plants or animals. Mites are less than 1mm in length so you need a microscope to see them up close. Most mites are not harmful, but there are some species that are parasitic and attack animals. These mites cause mange, a skin disease causing severe itching, hair loss, scabs and lesions.

Because mites are hard to see with the naked eye, it is difficult to know when you have a problem without looking for the signs of the different types. Certain plant-feeding species will produce webbing and silk, and cause discoloration of leaves. Clover mites are visible thanks to their bright red coloring. Scabies mites feed on animals and people, burrowing under the skin causing an intense itch.

394px Yellow mite Tydeidae Lorryia formosa
The microscopic mite Lorryia formosa (Tydeidae)
By Photo by Eric Erbe; digital colorization by Chris Pooley. Edited by Fir0002 [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Signs of Mites

Because mites are hard to see with the naked eye, it is difficult to know when you have a problem without looking for the signs of the different types. Certain plant-feeding species will produce webbing and silk, and cause discoloration of leaves. Clover mites are visible thanks to their bright red coloring. Scabies mites feed on animals and people, burrowing under the skin causing an intense itch.

Types of Mites

  • Bird Mites
  • Chigger Mites
  • Clover Mites
  • Red Mites
  • Southern Red Mite
  • Scabies

Treatment of Mites

The first step to determining whether you have a mite infestation and type, is to conduct a thorough examination of the premises. However, because they are so small it makes detection difficult. Contact a medical professional if you suspect mites is the cause of any skin irritation. Vacuum and wash any bedding or clothing regularly to help manage the mite population. Contact a pest control professional to inspect, diagnose, and provide effective treatment for mites.

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