Harrier Pest Control

Mites

Acari (or Acarina) are a taxon of arachnids that contains mites and ticks.

Although there are many species mites are not a major pest problem in the UK. As mites are extremely small a professional identification is usually necessary.

The main species we tend to deal with are Bird Mite (Ornithonyssus bursa), and  clover mite, (Bryobia praetiosa).

Bird Mite

Bird Mite

Bird mites, as the name implies, are always associated with the presence of birds, especially starlings. They can and do bite humans and this can cause irritaion as while searching for a new bird host, the mites inject saliva. This can lead to severe irritation with rashes and intense itching. Scratching of the bites may result in secondary infections. Bird mites are not associated with the transmission of any infectious disease. The bites are often difficult to diagnose and can be mistaken for bites from a number of other arthropods.

The greatest impacts from bird mites are usually experienced in rooms close to the point of entry of the mites. The mites have no preference for any particular areas of the body and they do not live underneath the skin, nor can an infestation be maintained on humans. However, the problem will persist while the bird-related source of the mites remains. Until the infestation is controlled, the occupants of the building can experience considerable discomfort. Also, the sensation of crawling mites on the skin will irritate some people.

The solution is to remove the source of the mites and then treat the area with an insecticide.

Clover mites tend to be an occasional problem when weather conditions suit them.

Clover Mites

Clover Mites

Clover mites are polyphagous, feeding on a wide range of plants including “lawn grasses, ornamental flowers, clover, dandelion, shepherd’s purse, strawberry, daffodil, Salvia, Alyssum, and primrose”.They are especially numerous in lawns with a heavy growth of succulent, well-fertilized grass. They do not cause any apparent harm to turf grass, but their feeding activity can turn the grass a silvery color and may stipple plants when heavy populations are present.

Clover mites can become a nuisance in and around houses. They generally enter houses close to thick vegetation and can infiltrate houses in very large numbers through cracks and small openings around windows and doors. Whether indoors or outside, clover mites are found more commonly in sunny areas than in darker areas. If squashed, they leave a characteristic red stain.

An insecticidal spraying around the perimeter of a building will normally cure the problem.

Recommended Reading