Straw Itch Mites
Can Straw Itch Mites Bite People and Infest Homes?
Straw Itch mites are parasitic arthropods which live on the larva and adults of other small insects that infest stored food and landscaping materials. While they prefer to feed upon the bodily fluids of a host insect, straw itch mites will also bite humans and attempt to feed unsuccessfully. They can literally bite the same victim thousands of times with no visible evidence. In indoor environments, host insects are typically pests that infest stored food, including cockroaches, flour moths, rice weevils, grain beetles, flour beetles or bean weevils. For this reason, targeted spray treatment of cabinets, pantries, attics and crawlspaces is highly recommended. All mites absorb air through breathing pores called sphericals. The aroma of our organic cedar oil formula triggers an instant danger response, forcing the arthropod to close its breathing pores. In outdoor environments, straw itch mites are quite abundant in landscaping materials such as mulch, pine straw, hay and wood chips. Spray infested materials that touch the perimeter of your home with our outdoor concentrate. This will build a protective barrier that discourages host insects and their mites from infesting landscaping materials and infiltrating cracks and crevices leading into your home.
More Facts About Straw Itch Mites
SIZE AND APPEARANCE: Male straw itch mites are invisible to the naked eye. Engorged females sometimes become large enough to be seen.
MODE OF TRANSMISSION: Straw itch mites cannot fly, but they are able to float and disperse through the air. This is the usual mode of transmission. There is no evidence that straw itch mites can be transmitted from one human to another.
ABILITY TO INFEST PEOPLE AND HOMES: Straw itch mites can be found just about anywhere insects live, including cabinets, pantries, attics, crawl spaces, insulation and wall voids. They prefer the bodily fluids of insects, but if they land upon humans or pets, they will attempt to feed without much success. Straw itch mites don’t stay on humans or animals long, but their piercing bites can cause much agony. They can’t survive more than 24 hours without a blood meal.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS: The bites of straw itch mites are characteristically found on the trunk of the body and on the arms. Look for a rash which includes red welts with a small white pustule (fluid filled head) at the center. Bites may be accompanied by intense itching, swelling or general redness. In severe cases, victims may experience infection, fever, vomiting and joint pain. To avoid infection, bites should not be scratched open. A person who is severely infested may have thousands of bites from itch mites that cannot be seen.
LIFE CYCLE: Engorged females may produce up to 300 eggs that mature internally and emerge as adults. Adults can only live about a week.
DISEASE TRANSMISSION: There is no evidence that straw itch mites transmit disease, nor is there evidence that straw itch mites can be transmitted from one human to another.
Treatment for Straw Itch Mites
Parasitic arthropods absorb air through pores called sphericals. The aroma of cedar oil triggers an instant danger response, forcing the straw itch mite to close its breathing pores. For indoor treatment, choose Dr. Ben’s Evictor.
INDOOR TREATMENT: Inspect your home for the presence of host insects such as cockroaches or grain beetles. Straw Itch Mites can be found just about anywhere insects live. Spray cabinets, crawlspaces and pantries with Dr. Ben’s Evictor. Since straw itch mites cannot successfully feed upon humans or stay on human skin, treatment of furniture and bedding isn’t necessary. The focus is on eliminating host insects. For chronic infestations in food warehouses, the use of our cedar oil fog machine is highly recommended. The low molecular weight of a dry fog penetrates unseen cracks and crevices in a way that traditional spraying methods can’t duplicate.
OUTDOOR TREATMENT: Treat mulch, wood chips and other landscaping materials with our outdoor concentrate. One quart makes eight gallons of solution that can be applied with a hose end sprayer. Pay special attention to landscaping materials that touch the perimeter of your home.
PREVENTION: Spray clothing with Dr. Ben’s Paws & Claws or Dr. Ben’s Evictor before handling landscaping materials. The formula kills existing parasites and discourages new parasites from landing on clothing. Store grains and other pantry staples in airtight containers. Do not grow wheat or barely beside dwellings.