Mites

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Identification

  • Colour Tan, grey, brown, reddish-brown, bright red, blue, or green
  • Size From 0.1 mm to 1 mm long
  • Description Have bulbous, round, or pill-shaped bodies, with eight jointed legs

General Facts

Why do I have mites?

Canada is home to several thousand species of mites, including clover mites, house dust mites, bird mites, itch mites, and scabies mites, cheese mites, grain mites, flour mites, and mould mites. Most are usually invisible to the naked eye.

Mites live in nearly every habitat, including deep soil and aquatic environments. As parasites of birds, mammals, and insects, mites may spread wherever these host animals travel. Mites either live in the host's nest or on the host itself.

Some species such as scabies and chigger mites may bury themselves under human skin. Mites that commonly affect humans often live in carpets, furniture, and mattresses.

Common household mites, like dust mites, feed on flakes of dead skin from humans and pets, but others mites do bite animals and in some cases, humans, to suck their blood.

How worried should I be about mites?

While some mite bites can go unnoticed, others can be painful. Nearly all result in itchy red marks or rashes. Intense itching may occur, and scratching may lead to infection. Symptoms usually develop within a day and may last as long as a week.

Scabies mites can cause persistent, intensely itchy rashes, because the pests burrow into the skin to breed and then emerge to feed on flesh which can result in a severe medical condition.

The carcasses of dust mites, which live in carpets and furniture, can cause allergic reactions if inhaled, resulting in stuffy noses, watery eyes, and sneezing. Meanwhile, spider and eriophyid mites can damage crops.

It's difficult to see mites, so you may not be aware of an infestation until it's too late.

How can I prevent mites invading?

Mow lawn and remove weeds regularly, Keep leaf litter away from the house, Keep pets clean and healthy, Clean the house regularly, Dust surfaces and vacuum carpets, Wash bed linens in hot water, Keep humidity levels low, Use a dust-mite or mite proof mattress encasement

Types of Mites

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