Can Rodent Mites Bite People and Infest Homes?
Rodent mites are commonly found in homes where rats and mice are plentiful. They often go unnoticed until extermination efforts eliminate their hosts and force them to feed elsewhere. Three types of rodent mites will readily bite humans when rodents become unavailable:
- The house mouse mite (Liponyssoides saguineus)
- The spiny rat mite (Laelaps echidnina)
- The tropical rat mite (Ornithonyssus bacoti)
Any pest control program that involves the eradication of rodents nesting under porches and foundations should also involve mite control. Treatment of target areas with our outdoor concentrate is highly recommended. Unlike other mites that tend to enter homes through cracks and crevices, rodent mites are associated with the transmission of disease. Use our indoor formula to treat cabinets, crawlspaces and other nesting sites. Always use gloves and spray abandoned nests before handling them.
More Facts About Rodent Mites
APPEARANCE: Some rodent mites are microscopic, while others may be seen as tiny black specks moving about. For a more thorough investigation, use a magnifying glass.
MODE OF TRANSMISSION: Rodent mites do not fly. They crawl about looking for hosts. The tropical rat mite is capable of traveling great distances to find new food sources.
ABILITY TO INFEST PEOPLE AND HOMES: Rodent mites don’t stay on humans long. They tend to drop off after feeding and hide near beds, couches and other human resting places. They may also congregate around heat sources such as stoves and hot pipes.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS: Itchy rashes, tiny clear blisters, painful lesions.
ABILITY TO TRANSMIT DISEASE: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), diseases carried by rodents can also be spread to humans through ticks, mites or fleas that have fed on an infected rodent. Worldwide, rats and mites spread over 35 diseases.
LIFE CYCLE: The life cycle of most rat mites is 14-21 days. The tropical rat mite can live for up to 6 weeks.
Parasitic arthropods absorb air through pores called sphericals. The aroma of cedar oil triggers an instant danger response, forcing the mite to close its breathing pores. For indoor treatment, choose Dr. Ben’s Evictor. For the saturation of places and spaces where rats nest outside the home, choose PCO Choice, our outdoor concentrate.
- Search basements, attics, ceilings and walls for dead rats, mice and abandoned nests. Unless you remove the source of the mites, they will continue to seek human hosts and your home will remain infested.
- Spray nesting materials and dead animals with Dr. Ben’s Evictor. Using gloves, place dead animals and nesting materials into a plastic bag and seal the bag tightly. Spray again to disinfect the entire area.
- Spray carpets, couches and beds with Dr. Ben’s Evictor. Rodent mites without hosts will be drawn to areas where humans relax.
- Vacuum daily for at least ten days. Rodent mites can live away from a host for up to ten days. (If you don’t intend to spray carpets with a quality miticide before vacuuming, be sure to discard or freeze the vacuum bag. Mites can easily escape the bag and re-infest your home.)
- For chronic or severe infestations, we recommend the use of our dry fog machine. The low molecular weight of a good dry fog will penetrate unseen cracks and crevices better than spot treatments with a spray bottle.