What are Biting Mites?

by | Aug 28, 2014 | Single Family Home

Do you find yourself waking up with itchy bites or irritations on your skin, yet there are no visible signs of bed bugs or fleas? One of the possible culprits could be mites, which, like ticks, are arthropods. Generally, mites are microscopic, making it difficult to spot them. Most mites are not parasitic and are usually found in plants, but there are three types of mites common in Southern California that do feed on blood and may enter your home: the tropical rat mite, the northern fowl mite, and the tropical fowl mite.

According to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health all three of these mites are similar in “size, appearance, and behavior”. And we learn from the SD County Department of Public Health that they are oval shaped and range from white to yellowish to gray, but turn a reddish color after a meal. The LA County Department of Public Health notes that the tropical rat mite lives on rats and in rat nests and they usually enter a home after treatment for rodents has been done. When pest control measures have been taken to remove rats, the mites will crawl into homes, in search of a blood meal. Although they will bite humans, tropical rat mites cannot survive long without the presence of the rat host. Therefore, the best control is to remove the rats and follow up with pesticide to kill mites that have been left behind.

Mites that are associated with birds follow the same type of behavior. The LA County Department of Public Health informs that fowl mites occur in pigeons, doves, sparrows and other domestic and wild birds. The mites live in the bird’s nest and on the birds, but will enter the home once the nest is abandoned. Birds will often build their nests under eaves or in attics. The best thing to do, again, is to remove the nest and birds from your home and follow up with a pesticide. The SD County Department of Public Health also suggests vacuuming the home and disposing of the bag immediately after use. Also, launder all sheets and have couches and upholstery cleaned, as mites are attracted to areas where there is high human activity.

If you suspect a rodent or bird problem, contact your local Accurate Termite and Pest Control Agent to remove them for you. We will help you get rid of these pests, along with their microscopic parasites.