Facts, Identification, & Control

Latin Name

Subclass Acari


What Do They Look Like?

picture of a mite

  • Size: There are thousands of mite species, the majority of which measure less than 1 mm in length.
  • Body: Like other arachnids, their bodies are comprised of the prosoma and abdomen.
  • Legs: Mites bear four pairs of legs.

How Did I Get Mites?

How mites get into the house or yard depends on their species. Clover mites often exploit tiny cracks to enter homes by the thousands. Well-fertilized lawns with fruit trees or gardens attract them. Other types, like dust mites are almost always found inside homes, while chiggers, and rodent or bird mites attach themselves to hosts and hitchhike into homes on people and pets.

How Serious Are Mites?

Mites are a broad category of pests that do a variety of damage. Some mites feed on stored grain and cheese products, while others are biting pests. Bites are small and usually not painful, producing only mild skin irritation. Frequent itching caused by mites may lead to more serious bacterial infections. On the other hand, dust mites are one of the most common allergens and can even trigger asthma attacks.

Are They Dangerous?

Some parasitic species are more dangerous than others, as they reside within the respiratory tracts of their hosts. Others, such as chiggers, can transfer dangerous diseases. Parasitic mites that attack animal hosts can cause severe skin irritation known as mange. Bird mites are similarly bothersome to poultry, while spider mites are destructive to crops.

Signs of Infestation

Mite signs depend greatly on the species of mite. Most are difficult to see clearly without magnification. However, their movement across a surface can sometimes be detected.

Some species of plant-feeding mites produce webbing and silk like spider mites. They also can cause discoloration of leaves and eventually leaf drop. Other mites like the clover mite can easily be seen due to their bright red coloration.

How Do I Get Rid of Mites?

What Orkin Does

Your local Orkin technician is trained to help manage mites and similar pests. Since every building or home is different, your Orkin technician will design a unique program for your situation.

Orkin can provide the right solution to keep mites in their place...out of your home, or business.

Behavior, Diet & Habits

What Do They Eat?

Some mites are predatory and will feed on other mites. Others are detritivores and feed on decaying material. Still, others feed on plants and can become agricultural pests. Lastly, some feed on animals.

Life Cycle

Beginning as eggs, these arachnids develop through larval and pupal stages prior to full maturation. They can survive on land and in water. Although most mites are not harmful to animals, some species are parasitic in nature.

More Information

Mite Species More Information