If you have been spending time under the shade of oak trees this spring, you might just wake up a little worse for wear. Many residents are getting up in the morning only to find small reddish bumps on their upper bodies that appear similar to the bite of a chigger and may also be confused with the bite of a bed bug or flea. The culprit however is very likely the oak itch mite, which drops out of the tree tops onto unsuspecting humans and bites them. How do you know if you have been bitten by itch mites? Take a close look at the bite mark; the bite of an oak itch mite can be identified by a centralized blister which will form in the middle of the bite area. A Five Star Termite & Pest Control delves further into this.
How Do I Identify a Bug Bite
Many people confuse the bites of chiggers, fleas and bed bugs with oak itch mites. The difference between them is the location of the bites. Itch mites prefer areas that are loosely clothed such as the neck, chest and arms. Oak itch mites cannot be seen with the naked eye so you won’t be able to see them when they land on you. Chiggers on the other hand prefer areas with tight fitting clothing such as the waist line of pants and around the top of socks and shoes. Flea bites can usually be found on the feet and legs of their unsuspecting victims and bed bug bites usually appear in a straight row on the arm and shoulder area. Itch mites have sharp pincers which they use to bite before injecting saliva containing special enzymes into their victim’s skin. The enzymes are designed to dissolve cells which become a source of food which the itch mite will then ingest. The bites itch due to the reaction of the mite’s saliva. While the thought of getting bitten by oak itch mites is unsettling to say the least, it is also preventable.
How Do I Stop Oak Mites from Biting Me?
If you spend time outside under trees, take a shower and run your clothes in the dryer on a medium heat setting for about 15 minutes as soon as you get home. The good news is that if the mites happen to land on you they won’t bite immediately so you will have time to make sure you can get them washed off.
How Do You Treat Itchy Oak Mite Bites?
If you have already been bitten and are seeking some relief from the constant scratching and itching associated with the bites, your pharmacist will recommend calamine lotion or a cortisone cream. If the bites do not appear to clear up or symptoms worsen, consult with your general practitioner for further treatment options.
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If you have oak trees and you know you have been affected by itch mites, don’t despair. The knowledgeable experts at A Five Star Termite & Pest Control believe that the number of oak itch mites has skyrocketed in Texas due to the unusually large number of oak leaves loaded with gall (midge larvae) which are a particularly tasty food source for the mites. Numbers of oak itch mites will begin to diminish in early fall. If you are experiencing a pest control problem in your home or business, contact the knowledgeable professionals at A Five Star Termite & Pest Control today for all of your pest control, removal and exclusion needs.