Mites that Attack Humans: Treatment Options as well as Disease Prevention

Mites that Attack Humans



Treatment Options & Useful Web Resources & Forums ... Related News Articles / Videos ... Dealing with Infected Pets

Different opinions / experiences pertaining to the effectiveness of Pyrethin and Permethrin have been voiced, and relevant information is herewith including. In reviewing the below research article, also keep the following in mind.

  • More effective treatments than the above are said to be Tralomethrin, Bifenthrin, Cyfluthrin or Esfenvalerate. It is recommended to vary the type of insecticide spray regularly as mites (as all insects) eventually build up a tolerance towards them.
  • Some effective miticides include Spectracide's 'Bug Stop' with Lamba- Cyhalothrin, Bayer's 'Power Force' with Cyfluthrin (concentrate), and Hot Shot's 'Ultra' with Imiprothrin and Esfenvalerate."

Please visit this website for relevant research on treatment options pertainig to Northern Fowl Mites and Chicken Mites. The suggested chemical treatment options vary - maybe because of built-up resistances or varying species.






Mites That Attack Humans1

P. G. Koehler2

University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS)

Mites are small arthropods with two body regions, sucking mouthparts, no antennae, and four pairs of legs as adults. The life cycle of a mite is generally composed of four active stages: egg, larva, nymph, and adult. The life cycle usually requires one to four weeks and may result in huge populations of mites when there are favorable conditions.



Household Mites

Mites are occasionally found in homes and attack humans in the absence of their normal hosts-birds, rodents, or insects. Bites from these mites may be painful and cause severe skin irritation.



Northern Fowl MiteBird Mites

The northern fowl mite ( Figure 1 ), tropical fowl mite, and chicken mite are the major bird mite species in Florida. The northern fowl mite is the species most important as a problem to birds in the state. They are accidental pests to humans.

The adult, female, fowl mite lays eggs on the host bird. The eggs hatch in 1-2 days into the six-legged larval stage which does not feed. The larvae molt to the nymphal stage in about eight hours. The nymphs and adults have piercing mouthparts and seek blood meals. The complete life cycle from egg to egg-laying adult can take from five to seven days or longer, depending on the environment.

Bird mites are usually encountered in homes when they migrate from bird nests in eaves, rafters, or gutters. They prefer to feed on fledglings in the nest, but when the young leave the nest, the mites will migrate to other areas in search of a blood meal. Many times infestation of buildings occur when roosts and nests of birds are disrupted or destroyed.



Straw Itch MiteInsect Mites

The straw itch mite (Figure 2) is the most prevalent insect parasite that also attacks humans. The straw itch mite is an almost invisible mite because of its small size. Infestations from alfalfa, hay, and barley can produce irritation.

The mites are parasitic on the larvae of insects such as the Angoumois grain moth, the wheat jointworm, and furniture beetles. The female mite retains up to 300 eggs in her body, and the immature stages develop to adults inside the female. Upon emerging they search for hosts to parasitize.

The bites of the straw itch mite are located almost entirely on the clothed portions of the body. Dermatitis results from reaction to the bites within twenty-four hours. Humans become infested when they come in contact with straw, grain, or wood. Houses may become infested when the insect hosts of the mites are present.



Rodent Mites

The two most abundant rodent mites in buildings are the tropical rat mite and the house mouse mite. Rodent mites are primarily external parasites of rats and house mice, but they will also feed on humans.

The life cycle of rodent mites is similar to the bird mites. The life cycle usually takes from ten to twelve days.

Rodent mites can cause severe irritation and dermatitis in humans. Areas bitten by mites may remain swollen for several days and leave red spots. Scratching of bites often can result in secondary infection.



Control

Control of household mites is best accomplished by eliminating nests and roosting areas for birds, controlling rodents, or controlling insect hosts. Household mites can be controlled with indoor space sprays and are listed in Table 1 . These products are effective in killing mites but do not prevent reinfestation. Application may need to be repeated in two to three weeks.

Mites often invade structures from crawl spaces or attics. Residual crack and crevice treatments can be used to kill mites as they crawl into rooms. Table 2 lists products labeled as contact products.

Mites sometimes invade structures from perimeter infestations. These mites can be prevented from entering buildings by applying an outdoor barrier treatment. Products labeled for outdoor barrier treatment are listed in Table 3 .

Bites should be treated with antiseptic and a local anesthetic may be applied to ease the irritation. Persons with severe dermatitis caused by mites should consult their physician for treatment.



Scabies MiteScabies Mites

Biology

The scabies mite ( Figure 3 ) or human itch mite burrows into the outer layers of the skin of humans causing human mange or scabies. Different varieties of scabies mites are specific for certain mammals including man, domestic animals, and wild animals.

The female mite makes long burrows in folds of skin. The female lays from forty to fifty eggs in the burrow. The larvae and nymphs develop and burrow in the skin. The total life cycle takes one to three weeks depending on the environment.

Transmission

Scabies mites are transmitted from one person to another by direct contact or also by two persons using one bed. People are most likely to become infested when living in crowded quarters with other people. Dog scabies often can be transmitted to man under ideal conditions.

Symptoms

Persons infested with scabies suffer severe itching. A rash may develop later as the person becomes sensitized to the mites. The rash usually occurs around armpits, the wrists, the waist, and back of the calves. Even though only a few mites may be present, the rash may spread over much of the body.

Control

If scabies mites are suspected, a physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment. If dog scabies transmission to man is suspected, a veterinarian should be consulted for treatment of the dog.



House Dust Mites

The house dust mites (floor mites) are increasing in medical significance to humans. The importance of house dust mites is that pieces of the mites in house dust may produce allergic reactions and asthma when inhaled. It is presently estimated that four percent of the human population shows a house dust allergy.

Biology

The adult, female, house dust mite is approximately 1/64 inch long and the males are even smaller. Because of their small size these mites are often overlooked in a house.

The adult female lays about an egg a day for thirty days. The eggs hatch and develop to adults in about one month.

House dust mites feed on the shed skin of humans. It has been estimated that the average person sheds five grams of skin per week. One gram of skin will feed thousands of mites for months.

The house dust mite is found commonly in houses and schools throughout the United States. The most common habitat for the mite is in thick carpeting, heavy curtains, fabric covered furniture, beds and pillows.

Mite Allergy

House dust mites or their fragments, excretory, or secretory products are the most important allergens found in house dust. Asthmatic symptoms after exposure to house dust have long been known and only recently has it been shown that the house dust mites, like pollen, can be the potential producers of allergic responses when inhaled.

Asthmatic patients who go to bed in the bedroom often realize aggravated asthmatic symptoms due to increased exposure to house dust mites. Patients who are hospitalized often dramatically improve due to less exposure.

Control

Frequent changing of bedding and use of non-fibrous bedding will reduce mite populations. Frequent vacuum cleaning and correction of excess humidity problems will aid in mite control. Use vacuums equiped with Hepa filters. Hepa air cleaners and Hepa air filters for air and heating units can help reduce allergen effects.

Remove carpeting where possible. If carpeting cannot be removed, use an appropriate acaricide. Follow the label.



Table 1. Mite management products labeled for indoor space treatment.*

Common Name

Homeowner Products1

Commercial Products1

Prallethrin
PT ULD SPy-300 (C, CH, G)2
Pyrethrins
Kicker (G)2

PT ULD BP-300 (CH)2

Pyrethrins and Others

PT 565 Plus XLO (C, G)2

PT ULD BP-100 (C, CH, D, DF, F, G)2

Pyrethrins, PBO

PT P.I. Contract Insecticide (C, G2

PT ULD BP-50 (C, CH, D, G)2

Pyrenone 100 (C, CH, G)2

Synerol Insecticide (C, CH, G)2

Pyrethrins, PCO

Pyrenone 50 (C, CH, G)2
1 Read label carefully to insure pest, site, and commodity are listed prior to applying product. Some product labels are very restrictive.

2 C = Clover Mites, CH = Cheese Mites, D = Dust Mites, DF = Dried Fruit Mites, F = Flour Mites,

G = Grain Mites



Table 2. Mite management products labeled for crack and crevice or indoor surface treatment.*

Common Name

Homeowner Products1

Commercial Products1

Boric Acid

PT Perma Dust Pressurized Boric Acid Dust (C)2
Cyfluthrin

PT Cy-Kick Crack & Crevice Pressurized Residual (C)2

PT Cy-Kick CS Pressurized Crack & Crevice Residual (CH, DF, F, G)2

Deltamethrin

DeltaDust (CH, G)2

DeltaGard G (CH, G)2

Suspend SC Insecticide (G)2

Lambda Cyhalothrin

PT 221L (C)2
Prallethrin

PT ULD SPy-300 (C)2
Pyrethrins

Kicker (G)2

PT Tri-Die Silica & Pyrethrum Dust

(C, CH, G)2

PT ULD BP-300 (CH)2

Pyrethrins and Others

PT 565 Plus XLO (C, G)2

PT Microcare CS Controlled Release Pyrethrum (C, CH, D, DF, F, G)2

PT Microcare Pressurized Pyrethrum Capsule Suspension (C, CH, DF)2

PT Tri-Die Pressurized Silica & Pyrethrin Dust (C, CH, G)2

PT ULD BP-100 (C, CH, D, DF, F, G)2

Pyrethrins, PBO

PT P.I. Contact Insecticide (C, G)2

PT ULD BP-50 (C, CH, D, G)2

Pyrenone 100 (C, CH, G)2

Synerol Insecticide (C, CH, G)2

Pyrethrins, PCO

Pyrenone 50 (C, CH, G)2
Tau-Fluvalinate

Yardex Supplemental Labeling (C)2
Tralomethrun

Saga WP Insecticide (G)2
1 Read label carefully to insure pest, site, and commodity are listed prior to applying product. Some product labels are very restrictive.

2 C = Clover Mites, CH = Cheese Mites, D = Dust Mites, DF = Dried Fruit Mites, F = Flour Mites,

G = Grain Mites



Table 3. Mite management products labeled for outdoor barrier treatment.*

Common Name

Homeowner Products1

Commercial Products1

Acephate

PT Orthene Crack & Crevice Pressurized Residual (C)2
Bifenthrin
Ortho Home Defense Perimeter & Indoor Insect Killer (C)2
Talstar F Insecticide/Miticide (C)2
Cyfluthrin
Bayer Power Force Multi-Insect Killer Ready-to-Spray (C)2

Bayer Power Force Multi-Insect Killer Ready-to-Use (C)2


PT Cy-Kick Crack & Crevice Pressurized Residual (C)2

PT Cy-Kick CS Controlled Release Cyfluthrin (C)2


Deltamethrin

DeltaGard G (C)2
Lambda Cyhalothrin

PT 221L (C)2
Permethrin
Ortho Bug-B-Gon Multipurpose Insect Killer Ready-Spray (C)2

Pyrethrins

PT Tri-Die Silica & Pyrethrum Dust (C)2
Pyrethrins and Others

PT Microcare CS Controlled Release Pyrethrum (C, D)2

PT Microcare Pressurized Pyrethrum Capsule Suspension (C)2

PT Tri-Die Pressurized Silica & Pyrethrin Dust (C)2


Tau-Fluvalinate

Yardex Supplemental Labeling (C)2
1 Read label carefully to insure pest, site, and commodity are listed prior to applying product. Some product labels are very restrictive.

2 C = Clover Mites, CH = Cheese Mites, D = Dust Mites, DF = Dried Fruit Mites, F = Flour Mites,

G = Grain Mites





Footnotes

1. This document is ENY-218, one of a series of the Entomology and Nematology Department, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. Publication date: April 1993. Revised: April 2003. Please visit the EDIS Website at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu.

2. P. G. Koehler, professor/extension entomologist, Entomology and Nematology Department, Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, 32611.


The use of trade names in this publication is solely for the purpose of providing specific information. UF/IFAS does not guarantee or warranty the products named, and references to them in this publication does not signify our approval to the exclusion of other products of suitable composition. Use pesticides safely. Read and follow directions on the manufacturer's label.

The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other extension publications, contact your county Cooperative Extension service.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, Cooperative Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A. & M. University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Larry Arrington, Dean.



Copyright Information

This document is copyrighted by the University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) for the people of the State of Florida. UF/IFAS retains all rights under all conventions, but permits free reproduction by all agents and offices of the Cooperative Extension Service and the people of the State of Florida. Permission is granted to others to use these materials in part or in full for educational purposes, provided that full credit is given to the UF/IFAS, citing the publication, its source, and date of publication. Original Text.






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