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Rodent Mites

Rodent mites can be found in homes where rats or mice are abundant or where rodents have recently died. Several common rodent mites have been known to occasionally bite humans.


Rodent Mites

The house mouse mite, Liponyssides sanguineus has a worldwide distribution but is more common in the U.S. in the northeastern states. It is normally a nest dweller and only occurs on the host when feeding.This mite can live for up to 10 days off its host and is capable of traveling great distances to find new food sources.

Rodent mites are very tiny, but usually can be seen with the naked eye. They are about the size of the period at the end of this sentence.

Life Cycle:The adult, female, fowl mite lays eggs. The eggs hatch in 1-2 days into the six-legged larval stage which does not feed. The larvae molt to the nymphal stage in about eight hours.

The nymphs and adults have piercing mouthparts and seek blood meals. The complete life cycle from egg to egg-laying adult can take from five to seven days or longer, depending on the environment. The life cycle usually takes from ten to twelve days.

Rodent Mites Bite: Rodent mites can cause severe irritation and dermatitis in humans. Areas bitten by mites may remain swollen for several days and leave red spots. Scratching of bites often can result in secondary infection.

Mite infestation rodent

Mite infestation rodent

Control: Control of household mites is best accomplished by eliminating nests and roosting areas for birds, controlling rodents, or controlling insect hosts. Household mites can be controlled with indoor space sprays and are listed in Table 1. These products are effective in killing mites but do not prevent reinfestation. Application may need to be repeated in two to three weeks.

Mites often invade structures from crawl spaces or attics. Residual crack and crevice treatments can be used to kill mites as they crawl into rooms. Mites sometimes invade structures from perimeter infestations. These mites can be prevented from entering buildings by applying an outdoor barrier treatment.

Bites should be treated with antiseptic and a local anesthetic may be applied to ease the irritation. Persons with severe dermatitis caused by mites should consult their physician for treatment.

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