Mites | Des Moines, IA
What are Mites | Mite Appearance
What are mites? Mites look like other arachnids, or spiders, with a large abdomen, head and thorax, and four pairs of legs. Most of them are measured as less than 1 mm in length, so you can only see them when under magnification. There are thousands of species of mites, although the most commonly spotted in Iowa are bird mites, clover mites and chigger mites.
These mites are most common in late spring to early summer when bird nests are plentiful. Since bird mites are semitransparent, they can go unnoticed for a long period of time and grow into a thriving mite infestation. As they grow rapidly in numbers, bird mites can be very destructive.
What are mites' favorite hosts? Most often these pests will select a bird as their host, and spend their entire life on the host they choose. Mites are not capable of surviving without a food source for more than a few days, so when a host bird dies, thousands of mites go on the hunt for a new host. Humans can occasionally receive a mite bite from these critters, but bird mites cannot infest a human and will move on quickly, so they are mostly harmless.
A close relative to ticks and spiders, the Clover mite is red with long front legs and is about the size of a pinhead. While its size can make it difficult to locate just one, they tend to appear by the thousands in the spring and fall months, an optimal time to satisfy their hunger for clovers, grassy lawns, plants and weeds.
While they typically enjoy living outside where they can feed on various plants, mite infestations are common for commercial spaces like hospitals, nursing homes, apartments, food processing facilities and other large facilities. During this time, Clover mites have also been known to invade homes in enormous numbers, overrunning floors, walls, drapes, window sills, furniture and occasionally beds and clothing.
Clover mites are a nuisance by their presence, but they are generally harmless, only causing skin irritation in some cases. You and your pets will not be in danger of a mite bite, even in the midst of a Clover mite infestation.
Chiggers have a lot in common with Clover mites because they are similar to ticks and also red in color. However, unlike the Clover mites they are looking for living hosts. Chigger mites prefer people, snakes, birds and many different species of small mammals. Unlike ticks, chiggers are not sucking your blood, when this mite bites, it injects a secretion that breaks down and digests skin cells. This feeding will continue until the chigger has stopped or it is removed. Get rid of mites similar to how you would get rid of a tick; carefully pull the bug off without crushing it and clean the affected area.
After a Chigger mite bite, human skin will be itchy with red bumps. Bites are usually located around ankles, legs, behind the knee, around the waist and other places where your clothing has a tight fit against your body. Chigger mites are typically found in rural, less disturbed areas with thick vegetation or grassy areas.
Get Rid of Mites | Signs of a Mite Infestation
Bird mite infestations usually come from a nest near or in the home. For a mite extermination to be a success, you must locate the nest and remove it properly to get rid of mites that might in inside. Some bird species may be protected, so there are certain regulations that need to be followed.
The size of a Clover mite makes it hard to identify, but they can usually be detected by the reddish stain left behind on linens, curtains, walls and woodwork if they are crushed. Since it is hard to spot them in plain sight, you're most likely to notice them on a window sill or wall with exposure to sunlight.
Chigger mites can be the easiest to notice, since this mite bites humans. However, it can be hard to identify the source of the mite infestation unless you are a professional. If you do not know how to get rid of mites, please call a professional mite exterminator.
Des Moines Metro Pest Control
Do you think you have a problem with mites? Preferred Pest Control is your solution! It's best to call a professional immediately if you're in need of a mite extermination that can help prevent future infestations. Schedule an appointment online or call us at (515) 276-7277 today!