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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: OUTBREAKS OF ITCHING BITES IN THE MIDWESTERN USA CAUSED BY AN INTRODUCED SPECIES OF ITCH MITE)

Author
item Broce, Alberto
item Zurek, Ludek
item Kalisch, James
item Brown, Robert
item Keith, David
item Gordon, David
item Goedeke, Janis
item Welbourn, Cal
item Moser, John
item Ochoa, Ronald - Ron

Submitted to: Emerging Infectious Diseases
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/21/2005
Publication Date: 5/15/2006
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: 8/24/2016
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