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No matter where a person lives within the United States, or anywhere in the world, arthropod pests like lice, bed bugs, mites, and fleas cannot be avoided. Of all these arthropod pests, mites are the most ubiquitous within human living conditions. In fact, everywhere people go, mites go too. This is because mites literally live on our skin. In fact, right now at least two mite species are inhabiting the pores near your nose. These two mite species belong to the Demodex genus, and they are known as Demodex brevis and Demodex folliculorum. All humans have traces of Demodex mite DNA on their skin, but the amount of demodex specimens inhabiting human skin varies from person-to-person. When the two common Demodex mite species become overabundant on human skin, dermatological conditions, such as rosacea, can result. Demodex mites are not treated by pest control professionals, as the tiny arthropods are present on all humans; instead, demodex mite issues are handled by medical practitioners in the rare cases when they become medically significant. However, experts believe that nearly 49,000 mite species have been documented worldwide, and several species are considered pests within human living conditions.

Several mite species reside within house-dust that is present within all homes. During the 1990s, it became clear that these dust mites were causing allergic conditions and worsening existing allergy conditions, such as asthma. Unfortunately, there does not exist a reliable chemical-based method for controlling indoor dust mite populations; instead, dust mites are best controlled by making indoor conditions less hospitable to the pests. This can be done by regular dusting, vacuuming and maintaining well ventilated and low-moisture conditions indoors. Mites that infest animals, like rodents and birds, can enter homes through foundation cracks, and they can travel indoors from bird nests that are located near window-ledges. Keeping foundation cracks sealed and minimizing bird nests on a home’s exterior is often sufficient for preventing indoor infestations. Pest control professionals often treat outdoor grass for a particular group of mites known as “chiggers.” Two species of chigger mite are known for attacking humans and animals, but these species typically dwell within soil located in rural areas, but chiggers have persisted in residential areas as well. Keeping lawn-grass short and well-groomed will prevent chiggers from attaching themselves to clothing and pet hair. While pest control professionals can treat lawns for chiggers, indoor infestations are a bit trickier to treat. However, chigger infestations usually call for a pest control professional, as they are the only available experts that can pinpoint the source of an infestation.

Have you ever sustained chigger bites?