Mites are some of the least favored house guests of the parasite kingdom. They bite, dine on blood, and sometimes set up housekeeping in the ear canals, lungs, intestines, and bladders of domestic animals. Not all mites bite people — a good many of them prefer to reside on livestock or the family pet — but the number of species runs in the thousands. Biting mites cause itching, allergic reactions, and can sometimes set off asthma attacks in humans. The best way to get rid of them depends on which species you have, put certain insecticides and pesticides are usually effective.
The most widely recognized biting mite is known as the scabies, mange, or itch mite. These mites love to feast on people and animals, boring under the skin and consuming bodily fluids. Scabies are transmitted from human to human by something as simple as shaking hands, and outbreaks are prevalent among school-aged children. Lotions containing an insecticide will eventually kill them, but reinfection is a common occurrence. The clothes and bedding of a person with scabies should be repeatedly washed in soap and very hot water.
Chiggers are a plague for hikers, campers, or anyone who lives in a wooded or rural area. They possess an uncanny ability to snack around the top of socks and directly under a waistband. The bites cause intense itching and dermatitis. The best way to terminate chiggers is to spray lawns and wooded areas with a pesticide. Insect repellants containing DEET may be safely applied to the clothing and skin of most people to ward off chigger bites.
Farmers, lawn workers, and landscapers are often afflicted with the straw-itch mite. True to their name, these biting mites reside in harvested grains, wheat, straw, and dried grass. Straw-itch mites aren’t all bad; they feed on the insects that inhabit and consume harvested grain, but they are also more than happy to bite people. The best way to rid an area of these tiny vermin is to apply pesticides that kill the insects upon which the mites feed.
The saliva of a biting mite could cause a person's skin to itch for several days after the parasite has departed. You can minimize discomfort by taking a hot, soapy bath after a walk in the woods or after engaging in any other activity that could expose you to mites. Keep handy a tube of hydrocortisone cream, as well as a bottle of over-the-counter, oral antihistamines.