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Rabbit mites are one of the most important mites infesting food and feed products, cereals, dried vegetable materials, cheese, corn and dried fruits.
Flour mites are pale white or gray with yellow or reddish brown legs. They are smooth critters that do not have wings. The body of the flour mite is a white oval with reddish brown mouth parts and legs. It is widely distributed and endures low temperatures. The grain mite will live in fields, barns, loading areas, and grain elevators, as well as in grain, flour, or other food products that contain sufficient moisture.
This is the commonest species of mite in foodstuffs. It has reddish legs. Flour mites can live in almost any type of flour or in fodder and, not least important, in stores of seed or corn.
Life Cycle: Female flour mites may lay up to 800 eggs, which are deposited on the surface of food material at the rate of approximately twenty to thirty per day. The eggs may be deposited singly or scattered at random over the food material.
The entire life cycle may take only nine to eleven days to complete under the optimal conditions of ninety percent humidity and seventy-seven degrees F. The life cycle is completed in seventeen days at sixty-four to seventy-one degrees F, and twenty-eight days at fifty to sixty degrees F.
during the juvenile period, flour mites may change into a stage known as the hypopus. During this unique stage, the body wall hardens and suckers appear on the underside. These suckers allow the mite to attach to insects and other animals for dispersal. The eggs and especially the hypopuses appear to be more tolerant of insecticides than other juveniles or adults; and they may be the primary stage responsible for resurgences in mite populations after chemical control appeared to have been successful.
Rabbit Mites Life Cycle
Infestations:The flour mites usually infest flour, muesli and other dry vegetable foods. The affected products seem to be covered by a coat of light dust, crumble, smell sweet and taste bitter. For instance if a cake doesn’t rise, the cause can be mites in the flour used. Eating infested foodstuffs can also seriously harm your health.
Allergies can occur that lead to high temperatures and headaches. Blisters and pustules may form on the skin, and serious stomach and intestinal reactions, even asthma attacks can result from eating food infested with mites.
Destroy infested foods, put food that looks alright in a deep freezer for three days. Keep new stores in closed containers (jars or boxes)
Control: Inspection and identification of all potential food sources is essential to controlling the infestation. Control requires locating and discarding all infested items. Do not overlook intact boxes or containers because many insects can chew their way into cardboard and foil.
Infested items can be thrown away or salvaged by freezing three to four days. Food can be heated in a 140ºF oven for an hour with the same result. Empty and thoroughly vacuum cupboards or shelves holding infested items, paying particular attention to cracks and corners. Vacuuming picks up hiding insects and spilled or infested material. Empty the vacuum cleaner or discard the vacuum cleaner bag after use to prevent reinfestation.
If insects continue to appear, go through stored items again, also check other rooms in the home for possible sources. Tree seeds blown into ventilators or around windows may harbor these pests. Dermestids (carpet beetles) can develop in many products such as feathers, silk, wool, fur, stuffed animal skins, dead insects, lint and many other materials. If insect problems persist, seek assistance from a pest control professional.
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