What to Know About Mites

Despite what you may have heard or read online, home mite infestations are fairly rare and tend to be much less of an issue than people assume, says Mike Merchant, PhD, a former professor of entomology at Texas A&M University in Dallas. “A lot of the mite stuff on the internet makes it sound like [a mite infestation is] the end of the world, but it’s not,” he says.

If you think you’ve been exposed to mites, do your best to remove them as soon as possible. The longer a mite is attached to your skin, the worse your symptoms can become.

Oak Itch Mites

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Itch mites like to infest plant materials like straw, hay, grass, leaves, or other similar substances and bite their prey when it gets close enough to their shelter.

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Different Kinds of Mites

In the case of both mites and fleas, many types don’t bite or cause any harm to humans. But there are some varieties with bites that can produce itchy rashes or other skin reactions, allergies, or more serious health complications.

Dust mites can cause allergies in some people, but these tend to be of the mild, seasonal allergy variety — stuff like a runny nose, sneezing, and itchy eyes. (5) Over-the-counter and prescription allergy meds can help quell dust mite allergies.

To avoid getting bitten by mites, find where the mites are coming from first and then make sure to get rid of them immediately by vacuuming the area.

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If an itch mite bites you, you won’t feel it, but you’ll notice itchy red spots later on. Unlike many other kinds of mites, itch mites can’t live indoors.

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Can Mites Be Harmful to Your Health?

Here’s a description of each type of bug, and what you need to know about the effects their bites can have on your health.

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Take a hot, soapy bath and scrub your skin with a washcloth to get rid of the actual mites. Itching from mite bites can become very intense, but it can be relieved by using an allergy medication or applying hydrocortisone cream to the affected area.

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Itch mite. Itch mites are also a smaller species of mite. They feed on insects and are known to bite humans and animals.

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How to Identify Common Bug Bites and Stings

While they’re not related — in fact, they’re totally different species — mites and fleas are often lumped together in people’s minds because they’re small (sometimes microscopic) bugs that live in groups and that can infest our homes and pets.

There is one outlier: scabies. These mites infest a person’s skin in order to lay eggs and feed, and are usually only passed by direct person-to-person contact. (4) Like other mites, scabies tend to cause an itchy, pimply red rash. But unlike other mites, those rashes will continue to appear unless the person gets medical treatment, usually a prescription-only skin cream or lotion designed to kill scabies.

If you’ve seen mites in your home or on your skin, inspect further to figure out where they live and what kind of mites they are. If you find that they’re entering your home through cracks or gaps, seal things up to prevent more mites from getting inside.

What to Know About Mites

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Mites are arthropods, not insects, and are close cousins with spiders and ticks. (1) Most types of mites feed on other insects or on dead plant and animal material. (Dust mites, for example, feed mostly on dead skin cells.)

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Because there are so many different kinds of mites, bite symptoms will vary. A common effect of all bites, though, is itchiness.

Clover mite. Clover mites can take a home by storm, entering buildings by the thousands. They don’t bite or cause health issues in humans, but they are annoying pests.

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Mite Bites: Symptoms, Treatment and Prevention

Mite Bites: Symptoms, Treatment and Prevention

12 Common Bug Bites And How To Recognize Each One

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