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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: SYSTEMATIC ANALYSIS OF APHIDS, MITES, SCALES, THRIPS, AND TERMITES WITH EMPHASIS ON INVASIVE SPECIES Title: Outbreaks of Itching Bites in the Midwestern Usa Caused by An Introduced Species of Itch Mite

Authors
item Broce, Alberto - KANSAS STATE UNIVERSITY
item Zurek, Ludek - KANSAS STATE UNIVERSITY
item Kalisch, James - UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA
item Brown, Robert - KANSAS STATE UNIVERSITY
item Keith, David - UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA
item Gordon, David - PITTSBURG STATE UNIVERSIT
item Goedeke, Janis - PITTSBURG, KANSAS
item Welbourn, Cal - GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA
item Moser, John - FOREST SERVICE, PINEVILLE
item Ochoa, Ronald

Submitted to: Emerging Infectious Diseases
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: November 21, 2005
Publication Date: May 15, 2006
Citation: Broce, A.B., Zurek, L., Kalisch, J.A., Brown, R., Keith, D.L., Gordon, D., Goedeke, J., Welbourn, C., Moser, J., Ochoa, R., Azziz-Baumgartner, E., Yip, F., Weber, J. 2006. Pyemotes herfsi (Acari: Pyemotidae) a mite new to North America as cause of bite outbreaks. Journal of Medical Entomology. 43(3):610-613.

Interpretive Summary: Some mites associated with stored grain products are useful predators in biological control programs. However, some species that are associated with insects in more open areas could affect humans and animals. This study reports a new invasive species from Europe that is associated with a fly that produces roll galls on several species of oak trees in the Midwestern states. Many people were affected by the bites of the mites when they were clearing the leaves in their back yards. This paper is to inform the community in these states, including extension, medical and public health support services, of the effects and behavior of this introduced mite species.

Technical Abstract: Several reports of high incidences of red, itching and painful welts on people in different areas of the midwestern USA led to the discovery of an European species of itch mite, Pyemotes herfsi (Oudemans 1936), preying on gall-making midge larvae on oak leaves. The mite's great reproductive potential, small size, and high capacity for dispersal by wind make them difficult to control or avoid.

Last Modified: 10/21/2014