Biting mites are several different types of small insects that bite humans, often causing itching or rashes. Although many types of mites can infest a home, not all species bite. The most common biting mites are rodent and bird mites, crop mites, and itchy mites. Dust mite, which according to some estimates infests almost half of all houses, does not sting humans; Unfortunately, many people develop an allergic reaction to their secretions.
Basic concepts of dust mites
All thousands of types of mites, mincers and the like, are small eight-legged arthropods, the size of a dot at the end of a sentence. Its small size makes many people unaware of an infestation until they begin to hear or see the signs. In a home, dust mites live on materials such as carpets, mattresses, upholstery, and sheets. If the mites introduced into the home are of the stinging variety, residents will quickly notice the itching and can sometimes see small high marks where the biting mites enter their fangs. While their bites can be painful and itchy, most biting mites do not transmit disease.
Types of dust mites
Mites are generally of two types: vegetable and animal. The mites housed by the plants do not bite; they live in grassy or wooded areas and may be introduced into the home unknowingly by people working or playing outside. Animal mites are the ones that cause disease and skin irritation. These mites cling to rodents, birds or other small animals and sometimes drop their guests. They can live a few weeks without a guest, but if they meet a human, they can join their accidental guest and enter the house.
Most biting mites are not actually parasites of humans; although they can be attached briefly and bitten, they are usually transmitted from other animals. However, some mites, including scabies and scabies, live on humans. In the case of scabies, prescription drugs are usually needed to kill the mites.
The most common biting mites are:
Rodent mites: These mites live on rats and mice; when the rodent dies or leaves its nest, it can bite people. There are three types of rodent mites that bite humans regularly: the tropical rat mite, the domestic mouse mite, and the prickly rat mite. Of these, the bite of the rat’s tropical mite is considered one of the most painful, leaving the skin itchy and irritated.
Bird Mites – Living with many types of birds, such as chickens, birds and poultry mites infest their nests and can spread to people who come in contact with infested birds. Pet birds can also be infested. The bites are usually small and itchy, and can last a week.
Harvest mites: Also known as chiggers, only in the larval stage do these mites bite people. More common during the summer months, they extend to people walking among grasses or other plants. They stick to the skin, usually in areas with tight clothing, and can feed for up to four days if not killed. Fortunately, they can be killed if brushed or scraped.
Itch mites: Sometimes known as itchy grain mites, this group contains a number of species that feed primarily on insects. They are often found infesting grain, straw and other stored products. Its bite produces a very itchy rash.
Scabies: This mite is buried under the skin of infected people to lay their eggs. They cause an allergic reaction, which causes itching and sores. Scabies is easily transmitted from person to person and can also infest clothing, bedding and carpets. Prescription drugs are usually needed to kill an infestation, and a person’s home with scabies must be thoroughly cleaned to get rid of it completely.
Prevention is the most important way to control a stinging mite infestation. Its small size makes it almost impossible to seal a house in the face of an occasional episode of mites; However, there are steps you can take to reduce the risk of infecting a home. Watertight closures for doors and windows can help prevent certain types of dust mites from entering the home; trimming the vegetation around a house will also reduce this possibility. People should shower after they have been outside, and clothes should be washed quickly.
If rats or birds are the source of the mites, they must first be treated. An exterminator can help remove rodents that live in a house, and the house itself should be made as close as possible to rodents and birds by sealing all entry points. Owners should destroy any rodent nests they find, old bird nests should be removed and the area bleached. If a pet bird or rodent is infested with mites, it should be treated by a veterinarian.
Dealing with an infestation
If a stinging mite infestation occurs anyway, steps can be taken to remove them. All carpets, drapes, mattresses and upholstered furniture should be vacuumed carefully. Bed linen, such as pillows, sheets and blankets, should be washed with warm water. Maintaining a regular deep cleaning program for the home can help prevent reinfestation. It may be necessary to repeat these cleaning procedures several times before removing the mites. For severe infestations, the services of a professional exterminator may be required; there are a number of chemical and natural treatments that are effective in controlling biting mites.