Mite Facts & Information
Protect your home or business from mites by learning techniques for identification and control.
Types of mites
What do mites look like?
There are thousands of mite species, the majority of which measure less than 1 mm in length. Like other arachnids, their bodies are comprised of the prosoma and abdomen. Mites bear four pairs of legs.
Most common mites
- Bird Mite
- Chigger Mite
- Clover Mite
- Dust Mite
- Southern Red Mite
- Spider Mite
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I get mites?
How mites get into the house or yard depends on their species. Clover mites often exploit tiny cracks to enter homes by the thousands. Well-fertilized lawns with fruit trees or gardens attract them. Other types, like dust mites, are almost always found inside homes, while chiggers and rodent or bird mites attach themselves to hosts and hitchhike into homes on people and pets.
How serious are mites?
Mites are a broad category of pests that do a variety of damage. Some mites feed on stored grain and cheese products, while others are biting pests. Bites are small and usually not painful, producing only mild skin irritation. Frequent itching caused by mites may lead to more serious bacterial infections. On the other hand, dust mites are one of the most common allergens and can even trigger asthma attacks.
Are mites dangerous?
Some parasitic species are more dangerous than others, as they reside within the respiratory tracts of their hosts. Others, such as chiggers, can transfer dangerous diseases. Parasitic mites that attack animal hosts can cause severe skin irritation known as mange. Bird mites are similarly bothersome to poultry, while spider mites are destructive to crops.
What are the signs of a mite infestation?
Mite signs depend greatly on the species of mite. Most are difficult to see clearly without magnification. However, their movement across a surface can sometimes be detected.
Some species of plant-feeding mites produce webbing and silk-like spider mites. They also can cause discoloration of leaves and eventually leaf drops. Other mites like the clover mite can easily be seen due to their bright red coloration.