Barely visible to the naked eye, mites have eight legs and a round body, and are seldom noticed until they have built up sufficient numbers to be a major infestation. They are not insects but are arachnids, related to spiders.
The typical mite emerges from its tiny egg in a dark crevice as a six-legged nymph, growing by a series of moults and acquiring another pair of legs in the process. Some species can survive starvation for up to six months.
Specieis of Mite
- House Dust Mite – most houses have these as they live on our mattresses, feeding on tiny particles of shed skin.
- Furniture Mite – occurs in damp upholstery.
- Flour Mite – infests damp cereals or pasta and causes “Grocer’s Itch”, in people who handle infested commodities.
- Itch Mite or Scabies Mite – causes Mange or Scabies in pets by burrowing into the skin, causing an irritating rash.
- Bird Mites – frequently enter houses from old nests of sparrows, starlings or house martins, or from poultry.
- Harvest Mites – may bite people if brought in on the coats of dogs or on clothing.
- Red Spider Mite – the most conspicuous mite that enters houses. A plant feeder which comes indoors in spring to seek egg-laying sites and again in autumn to hibernate.