What kind of mite is this?

What kind of mite is this?

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I found this (mite?) on my head skin close to hair. Is it a common dust mite or something else? Photographs under a simple microscope (10x objective) are below. Size is in the order of tenths of mm. Some of the hair sticking out are as long as the body. It was not that translucent enough to be well visible in bright field, only as a black spot.

Also, what could be the large round white object on the back an the brown spot to the left and right in the first picture?

Note: One month ago I was treated for scabies and my head is still itching (although scabies is supposed to not affect heads of adults). But I do not think this is Sarcoptes and I think it likely does not cause the itching.


Denise McAloose , Ilse H. Stalis , in Pathology of Wildlife and Zoo Animals , 2018


Parasitic mites in the Demodex genus are the cause of demodicosis, a noncontagious skin disease resulting from the over proliferation of these (typically) nonpathogenic, host-specific parasites ( Gross et al. 2005 ). The parasites can vary in size but are typically 100–300 μm in length, approximately 30–50 μm in diameter with a tapered posterior end, have 6–8 short, jointed appendages that are positioned toward the anterior end of the body, and have an eosinophilic, chitinous exoskeleton. Associated disease most commonly occurs in young, old, or immunocompromised hosts, and clinical presentation may be local or generalized. Gross lesions may include alopecia, crusty, or erythematous skin, and the formation of plaques, nodules, or pustules with or without multifocal comedones. Demodicosis has been described in a group of captive Senegal bushbabies ( Kuznetsova et al. 2012 ). Disease consisted of multifocal, up to approximately 0.8 cm diameter, raised nodules and papules on the haired (dorsal) and unhaired (ventral) surfaces of the ear pinnae ( Fig. 13.22 A ) or (rarely) the legs. Nodules contained thick, waxy, white material consistent with sebum. Numerous mites consistent with Demodex sp. were present in cytologic preparations and in histologic sections ( Fig. 13.22 B). Lesions were limited to the dermis and consisted of single or large groups of intrafollicular and dermal Demodex sp. mites surrounded by amorphous eosinophilic material, variable numbers of sebocytes, and variable numbers of lymphocytes and neutrophils.

Figure 13.22 . Demodicosis in the skin of a Senegal bushbaby. (A) Numerous, variably sized, non-pruritic, papular and nodular lesions are present on the ear pinna.

(B) Papules and nodules are the result of marked, dilation of hair follicles by groups of elongate mites that are morphologically consistent with Demodex. Hair follicles are surrounded by a mixed inflammatory cell (neutrophilic and lymphocytic) response similar inflammation surrounds extrafollicular mites in the dermis (presumed secondary to hair follicle rupture and parasite release into the dermis). (Images reprinted with permission from Kuznetsova, et al., Vet Dermatol, 23:61–64, 2012)

What Kills Scabies

Mites are members of the arachnid family and considered parasites, there are a variety of these parasitic mites known to bite humans and cause irritation, itchy papules and rashes. Scabies mites cause intense itching and are deep seated. These tiny mites will burrow into the skin to live and deposit eggs, causing inflammation of the skin and in some cases hair loss. The symptoms of scabies are due to an allergic reaction to the mites.

Scabies is most often spread during a relatively long period of direct skin contact with an infected person (at least 10 minutes) such as that which may occur during intimacy or living together. Spread of disease may occur even if the person has not developed symptoms yet. Crowded living conditions, such as those found in child-care facilities, group homes, and prisons, increase the risk of spread. People with a poor or weak immune system are those most likely to contract scabies during brief contact or by contaminated objects. The mite is very small and usually not directly visible. Diagnosis is based on the signs and symptoms.

Kill Scabies Mites Using Safe Natural Enzymes

Parasitic mites, like other insects, have a hard shell exoskeleton made of non-living material that does not grow in size with the insect’s development. Therefore, it is necessary for all insects to shed their exoskeletons several times during the course of their life. They accomplish this by using enzymes they create naturally to split open their exoskeleton and thus grow larger. It is during this molting phase that an insect is at its most vulnerable – susceptible to drying out or drowning since the hard shell that normally would protect them has been cast off.

The surface of every insect’s exoskeleton is covered with a waxy, water-repellant patina known as the cuticle. This outer coating protects the insect from harm, and has long been an obstacle for pesticide’s effectiveness – the chemicals must penetrate the cuticle in order to affect the insect, so pesticides employ a variety of volatile solvents, toxic dusts or light oils in order to cut through the cuticle and thus deliver the poison into the insect interior.

The solution to cracking the cuticle of an insect’s exoskeleton was discovered through the observation of insect entomology – insects employ enzymes to escape their exoskeletons. By utilizing cultured enzymes that mimic those found in nature, a natural form of biological pesticide can be produced that has the ability to dismantle the armor of an insect instantly.

Enzymes digests insect’s waxy cuticle on contact and dismantles their exoskeleton – effectively forcing insects into immediate molting in which the protective shell is stripped.

Using enzyme-based formulas as a form of biological pest control is an ingenious play of engaging the forces of nature to our advantage. Enzymes exist throughout the insect, plant and animal kingdoms to aid in the digestion of organic matter. Arachnids such as spiders and scorpions inject their prey with enzyme insect larvae (maggots) also rely on enzymes to predigest their food for them. Insectivore plants also use enzymes to digest insect prey.

Unlike pesticides, enzyme control will never become obsolete. Because the biology of insects depends on the creation of enzymes in order for survival, it is impossible for insects to develop a resistance to enzymes as a method of pest control. Insects have an ability to rapidly evolve an immunity or resistance to commercial pesticides within a short time, even within a single crop cycle! This leads to a costly rotation of chemical warfare. Sadly, human beings do not have the biological tolerance to the persistent pollution of pesticides that insects do, and are often the ultimate victims of pesticide. Fortunately a consistently reliable and safe solution to pest control has been discovered – organic enzymes.


Tapeworms are a type of flatworm. There are many different tapeworms and many different hosts for the parasites. When you ingest the eggs or larval form of some tapeworms, they attach to the lining of the gastrointestinal tract, grow, and mature to shed segments of themselves or eggs. Aside from depriving the body of some nutrients, this type of tapeworm infection is not a serious health risk.

However, if conditions aren't right for the larvae to mature, they form cysts. The cysts can migrate anywhere in the body, waiting for you to die and presumably be eaten by an animal that has a gut more suited to the worm. The cysts cause a disease called cysticercosis.

Infection is worse for some organs than others. If you get cysts in your brain, it can lead to death. Cysts in other organs can put pressure on the tissue and deprive it of nutrients, reducing function.

A Final Word

There you have it – some of the best treatment for varroa mites that you can find on the market today. Whichever product you choose can deliver excellent results. Despite some drawbacks on some of the products on this list, the best way to overcome them is to properly manage your treatments. You can do this by analyzing what you really need and what you can actually handle. It is also advisable to get a consultation from a professional who has done mite control and treatments for numerous times. Try the one that suits you and your hive’s needs and keenly observe every progress.

You may also consider the varying methods of applying oxalic acid treatment for Varroa mites in honey bees. The choice of application method is up to individual beekeeper. You must consider the number of beehives that you have, long-term suitability and safety when choosing the application method you will put to use.

If you’re wary of chemical treatments, you may also consider using homemade alternatives for Varroa mite control. Good luck and all the best!

What Varroa mite treatment control methods do you use in your beehives? Leave a comment below and let us know.


Taxonomy Edit

The dust mites are cosmopolitan members of the mite family Pyroglyphidae.

Characteristics Edit

House dust mites, due to their very small size and translucent bodies, are barely visible to the unaided eye. [3] A typical house dust mite measures 0.2–0.3 mm in length. [4] The body of the house dust mite has a striated cuticle.

Diet Edit

They feed on skin flakes from humans and other animals, and on some mold. Dermatophagoides farinae fungal food choices in 16 tested species commonly found in homes was observed in vitro to be Alternaria alternata, Cladosporium sphaerospermum, and Wallemia sebi, and they disliked Penicillium chrysogenum, Aspergillus versicolor, and Stachybotrys chartarum. [5]

Predators Edit

The predators of dust mites are other allergenic mites (Cheyletiella), silverfish and pseudoscorpions. [6]

Reproduction Edit

The average life cycle for a house dust mite is 65–100 days. [7] A mated female house dust mite can live up to 70 days, laying 60 to 100 eggs in the last five weeks of her life. In a 10-week life span, a house dust mite will produce approximately 2,000 fecal particles and an even larger number of partially digested enzyme-covered dust particles.

Distribution Edit

Dust mites are found worldwide, but are found more commonly in humid regions. [8] The species Blomia tropicalis is typically found only in tropical or subtropical regions. [9] Detectable dust mite allergen was found in the beds of about 84% of surveyed United States homes. [10] In Europe, detectable Der p 1 or Der f 1 allergen was found in 68% of surveyed homes. [11]

Allergies Edit

Tropomyosin, the major allergen in dust mites, is also responsible for shellfish allergy. [12] [13]

Oral mite anaphylaxis Edit

Dermatophagoides spp. can cause oral mite anaphylaxis (AKA pancake syndrome) when found in flour. [14] [15]

House dust mites are present indoors wherever humans live. Positive tests for dust mite allergies are extremely common among people with asthma. Dust mites are microscopic arachnids whose primary food is dead human skin cells, but they do not live on living people. They and their feces and other allergens that they produce are major constituents of house dust, but because they are so heavy they are not suspended for long in the air. They are generally found on the floor and other surfaces, until disturbed (by walking, for example). It could take somewhere between twenty minutes and two hours for dust mites to settle back down out of the air.

Dust mites are a nesting species that prefers a dark, warm, and humid climate. They flourish in mattresses, bedding, upholstered furniture, and carpets. [16] Their feces include enzymes that are released upon contact with a moist surface, which can happen when a person inhales, and these enzymes can kill cells within the human body. [17] House dust mites did not become a problem until humans began to use textiles, such as western style blankets and clothing. [18]

Furniture Edit

Furniture with wooden or leather surfaces reduces the dust mite population. [19]

Bed linen Edit

Hot tumble drying a bed linen for 1 hour will kill 99% of mites therein. [21]

Weekly changing the bed linen reduces the risk of exposure to dust mites. [20]

Cotton covers not covered with complete mattress covers are very likely to become colonised by bacteria and molds they must be cleaned periodically (at least every second to third month). Here, the dust mites are beneficial as they return cotton to its original state after it has degraded by contact with bare skin. [22]

Dust mite eggs are freeze tolerant (−70 °C for 30 minutes) hatching can normally be prevented by exposure of fabrics to: [23]

  • Direct sunlight for 3 hours or
  • Dry or wet heat of at least 60 °C (140 °F) for a minimum of 30 minutes.

Dust mites drown in water. [21]

Good properties of anti-mite fabrics have been identified as being: [24]

    greater than 246.
  • Pore size of between 2 and 10 micrometres.
  • Allergen impenetrability >99%.
  • Dust leakage of less than 4%. between 2 and 6 cm 3 s −1 cm −2 .

Indoor climate Edit

Allergy patients are advised to keep the relative humidity below 50%, if possible. Very few mites can survive if the humidity is less than 45% (at 22 °C (72 °F)). However, they can survive if the humidity is high just for an hour and a half per day, for example due to moisture released to the air when cooking food. [21]

The Biology of the Goat

Goats can be host to three different types of mites. Psoroptes and Chorioptes mites are non-burrowing. Sarcoptic mites burrow into the skin.

At the end of the legs of all three types are thin structures called pedicles which have a sucker at the end. The appearance of these pedicles is used to identify the type of mite. The pedicles of the Psoroptes type of mite are long and jointed. Sarcoptic mites also have long pedicles but they are not jointed. The pedicles of Chorioptic mites are short.

Psoroptes mites

Psoroptes mites do not burrow into the skin. These mites have piercing mouth parts that they use to puncture the skin and to suck lymph. This stimulates an immune reaction by the host. The area will swell and serous fluid will seep to the surface creating a crust and scabs. The hair or wool will fall out or the goat or sheep will pull it out when biting at the very itchy lesions.

The Psoroptes mites do not prefer to live on the bare crusty patches so they will migrate to the edges extending the infection outward. Skin scrapings to identify this mite needs to be made at the edges of the crusty lesions. Long standing infections can cause weight loss. These mites are most active in the autumn and winter. Psoroptes mites are identified by their long, segmented pedicles.

Life cycle

Larvae feed for several days after hatching then molt to a nymph stage. These nymphs will molt in another 3 to 4 days into young females or males. Usually about twice as many females than males form. Mating takes place shortly after the molt and lasts only for 1 day or less. The female mite will molt again about 2 days later then will begin laying eggs in another day. This whole cycle takes only 9 days after she first hatched from the egg. The female will live for 30 to 40 days, laying about 5 eggs every day.

Chorioptes mites

Infections of Chorioptes caprae the species that infects goats usually begins on the lower legs, later spreading to the hindquarters. Infections cause itching, and crust and scab formation. The life cycle is very similar to Psorptes mites, but is completed in about 3 weeks.

Sarcoptes mites

Life cycle

The female remains in her moulting pocket until fertilized by a male then extends it into a breeding tunnel, or returns to the skin surface to create a new tunnel and then begins laying eggs. Mature females do not live much longer than a month. Wandering larvae, nymphs and fertilized females spread the infection on the host and to other hosts. They cannot survive off the host for more than a few days.

As they pierce the skin to feed on lymph fluid and skin cells they cause a great deal of irritation, itching, and scratching which worsens the condition. Crusts form on the skin and then the skin becomes thickened and wrinkled and the hair falls out. Lesions in the skin begin to develop in just a few days after infection, but the intense itching typical of Sarcoptic mite infection does not begin for a month or so later. The fecal pellets of the mite are responsible for the host inflammatory response.

These mites prefer areas where there isn't much hair such as the face of goats and ears although in long standing infections the mites can spread to all parts of the body.

The signs include bare skin, which is thick and wrinkled and covered in dry crusts. Early in the infection small raised red bumps and fresh exudate can be seen. To identify these mites in the microscope deep scrapings of skin must be made down to the point of drawing blood. It still might be difficult to find live mites in the burrows.

Bird/rodent/nest mite identification

These mites (there are a number of different species with different specific host animals) belong to a group that normally parasitize birds (including poultry) and rodents. They live in the animal's nest and feed on its blood. They normally do not leave the host's nest while the host is alive but may leave if the nest is abandoned for some reason, or the host animal dies.

When mites leave the host animal's nest they can enter homes, sometimes in large numbers. They will bite people but cannot survive and reproduce on our blood alone. The bite is irritating and itchy but not otherwise dangerous. Mites can survive for weeks or even months without feeding.

Bites can also occur when people handle birds, poultry, or rodents. For example people who raise poultry and pet store workers frequently report bird mite bites. Adult mites are about 1/32" and often dark in color because of the presence of blood inside the mite (see photo).

"Hummingbird mite (

1/32") (probably Pellonyssus gorgasi) and a human hair. Dark coloration inside mite is blood (bird blood in this case) on which the mite had fed some use the term "black pepper mite" referring to this dark coloration. This photo was taken with a inexpensive digital camera, and digitally enlarged. Photo by Elizabeth DeAngelis.".

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House Dust Mites

Dust Mite

Introduction and Medical Importance

There are many substances in household dust which can cause allergies in humans, including animal dander, insect parts (especially from cockroaches), mold spores and pollen. The most common allergenic components of house dust, however, are from house dust mites. House dust mites are tiny creatures related to ticks, chiggers, and spiders, that live in close association with humans. Their primary food is dander (skin scales) shed from human and pet activity. Most homes in the United States probably have detectable levels of house dust mites and their allergy-producing fragments.

House dust mites are not parasitic nor are they capable of biting or stinging humans. Their significance as pests is due to the powerful allergens contained in the mites, their cast skins, fecal material and secretions. Symptoms of a house dust mite allergy include stuffy or runny nose, sneezing, coughing or watery eyes. Inhalation of dust mite allergens by hypersensitive individuals can result in acute attacks of bronchial asthma, accompanied by wheezing, shortness of breath, and perhaps even death. Diagnostic tests and clinical studies by allergists have shown house dust mite to be the most common allergy in asthmatics, and an important "root cause" for the development of asthma in young children. Recent studies suggest that at least 45 percent of young people with asthma are allergic to house dust mites. Unlike "seasonal" allergies caused by molds and pollen, people who are allergic to dust mites often will have symptoms year round. Mite Description and Detection

Mite Description and Detection

House dust mites are tiny adults are about 0.5 mm long and the immatures are even smaller. Consequently, they generally are visible only with the aid of a microscope. The mites are globular in shape, clear to creamy white in color, with hairs on their legs and body. There are two common species in the United States, the North American house dust mite,Dermatophagoides farinae, and the European house dust mite, D. pteronyssinus.

The presence of house dust mites can be confirmed by collecting dust samples from inside the home and examining them under a microscope. Another diagnostic test more accessible to householders can be purchased from drug and allergy supply stores. The detection kits (e.g., Acarex) measure the presence and infestation level by combining dust samples, collected from various places inside the home, with indicator reagents. Sensitivity to house dust mites and their allergenic proteins can be confirmed by an allergist-immunologist, via a skin and/or blood test.

Biology and Habits

House dust mites have specific environmental requirements for their development. The mites tend to be most numerous in warm homes with high humidity. Optimum conditions for growth and development are around 75-80 degrees F and 70-80 percent relative humidity. House dust mites absorb and lose moisture through their skin, and are very vulnerable to dehydration. Consequently, humidity levels within the home have a significant effect on survival. Dust mites cannot survive well at relative humidities below 50 percent. Although mite populations tend to be low in dry climates, most homes throughout the United States are capable of supporting dust mites. House dust mites and their allergenic particles are present within homes year round, but people tend to have fewer symptoms during the summer, perhaps because they spend more time outdoors.

Food is seldom a problem for house dust mites. Their primary food is skin scales (dander) contained in house dust. People and pets regularly shed small flakes of skin from their bodies as the skin continually renews itself. Since the greatest fallout occurs in areas of human and pet activity, the mites tend to be most numerous in beds, overstuffed sofas and chairs, and adjacent carpeted areas. Relative humidity also tends to be higher in these areas, because people perspire and exhale water vapor where they sleep and lounge. Mattresses, sofas, carpet, and other soft furnishings trap and accumulate dust, dander, and moisture, making them ideal microhabitats for mite development.

House dust mites go through five major life stages: egg, larva, protonymph, tritonymph and adult. Between life stages the mites molt, shedding their outer skin. When temperature and humidity are optimum, development from egg to adult takes about one month. Adults live approximately 1-2 months, and the females lay about 50 eggs. It is not uncommon to find thousands of mites in a single gram of house dust (a gram is about the weight of a paperclip). An infested mattress can contain millions of dust mites.

The allergenic proteins responsible for causing symptoms are contained within the mites themselves (alive or dead), their shed skins, and especially in their feces. Routine human activity such as housecleaning, walking or playing on carpeting, or making the bed, causes the tiny fecal particles to become airborne and inhaled.

Managing Infestations and Alleviating Symptoms

There are two basic approaches to managing dust mite allergy: 1) treatment of the patient, and 2) modification of the patients' environment to minimize exposure to the mites. An allergist may prescribe quick-relief medications and/or allergy vaccinations (immunotherapy). Immunotherapy involves injecting gradually-increasing concentrations of mite extracts over time in order to desensitize the affected individual.

The second approach often done in conjunction with patient therapy is to minimize exposure to the mites and their allergenic materials inside the home. This is not a simple process and usually requires significant effort and expense. Dust mite abatement has become a huge industry, with companies offering many products and services to allergy sufferers seeking relief from their symptoms. While some abatement measures are helpful, others are relatively ineffective or as yet unproven. Of the treatment measures discussed below, numbers 1-3 are generally considered most essential and effective, whereas the others may provide some secondary benefit.

1. Remove or modify furnishings that accumulate dust and provide habitat for dust mites. Carpeting, upholstered furniture, drapes, curtains, stuffed toys, and other fabric-covered furnishings should be replaced with easy-to-clean items. This is especially important in bedrooms and other areas where allergy sufferers spend most of their time. Carpet is a perfect breeding ground for dust mites. If carpeting must be used, select low pile varieties. Area rugs are easier to clean than wall-to-wall carpeting. Hardwood, tile or linoleum floors are much easier to keep clean and dust-free. The same is true of wooden, leather or plastic-covered sofas and chairs. Do not allow children with dust allergies to sleep or play with stuffed, furry toys.

2. Encase mattress, box springs, and pillows in allergen-impermeable covers. Bedding is an extremely important source for dust mite development. Plastic or vinyl covers that zip around mattresses, box springs and pillows seal in allergenic materials so that they are not inhaled while sleeping. They are also easier to keep clean than cotton-based materials. Various styles of dust-proof bedding protectors are available through mattress and allergy supply stores. Many are equipped with an outer layer of material, such as nylon, to enhance comfort. Ideally, it's best to install dust-proof protectors on new bedding items rather than those that are already laden with allergens. Using "non-allergenic" pillows is not a substitute for covering them with allergy-proof encasements non-allergenic simply means that the materials are synthetic. Moreover, the evidence is contradictory as to whether foam pillows are any less prone to dust mite allergens than are feather pillows. Use only washable bed spreads, sheets and blankets, and launder bedding weekly in hot water.

3. Attempt to lower relative humidity inside the home. House dust mites have a difficult time surviving when the relative humidity is below 50 percent. Improving ventilation and installing a dehumidifier can often help to reduce populations indoors. Since fabric-covered surfaces retain air and body moisture better than less porous materials (e.g., wood, vinyl, linoleum), removal or modification of carpets, bedding, overstuffed furniture, etc. will further help to reduce humidity and favorable habitat for dust mite development.

4. Maintain good levels of sanitation and housecleaning. Vacuuming and cleaning activities have not shown much benefit in reducing mite populations, or removing their allergenic materials (feces, cast skins, carcasses). Routine, thorough vacuuming can, however, help to remove dust, dander, and a small percentage of mites. When vacuuming is performed, it's important to use a vacuum cleaner equipped with a HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Arrestor) filtration system, so that the microscopic allergens are retained within the vacuum bag. Vacuum cleaners lacking this level of filtration will simply re-circulate the tiny allergenic particles back into the air, often causing even greater allergy symptoms. Emphasis should be on bedrooms, mattresses, and other locations where dust mites are likely to be living. Ideally, allergic individuals should not be the ones doing the vacuuming, nor should they be around when vacuuming is being performed. If this is not possible, they should wear a filtered breathing mask. Dusting of surfaces should be done with a damp or oiled cloth.

5. Consider the use of allergen-trapping air filters. Microscopic dust mite particles (especially feces) can remain suspended in the air for hours and be inhaled. To help remove these allergens, HEPA-grade filters can be installed in the central air conditioning and heating system of the home. HEPA filters can also be used within portable air cleaners, placed in bedrooms and other critical areas of the house. The value of such portable room air cleaners may be marginal, however, especially in rooms with good ventilation.

Companies that perform air duct cleaning often cite dust mite control as a major reason to purchase their services. As mentioned earlier, dust mites require high relative humidity for their survival. It's doubtful that the humidity levels found within air ducts are high enough to support ongoing mite development. Removing heavy accumulations of dust and filth from air ducts may be of some benefit, but should be considered secondary to allergy abatement measures 1-3 listed above.

6. Consider treating carpets with an acaracide. Mite-killing products containing benzyl benzoate (e.g., Acarosan) are available for treatment of carpeting, upholstery, and other surfaces. Although benzyl benzoate will kill dust mites, clinical trials are lacking that show much improvement in allergy symptoms. The same is true of products containing tannic acid (e.g., Allergy Control Solution), which are designed to denature dust mite allergens so that they no longer cause symptoms. Treatment of the premises with either of these chemicals should be considered only as a supplement to more important allergy-reducing measures, such as encasement of bedding and removal of dust-laden furnishings.

Conventional pesticides, such as those utilized by pest control firms or sold to homeowners in grocery and hardware stores, are not to be used for control of house dust mites.

CAUTION! Pesticide recommendations in this publication are registered for use in Kentucky, USA ONLY! The use of some products may not be legal in your state or country. Please check with your local county agent or regulatory official before using any pesticide mentioned in this publication.