Mites are tiny, but you can usually spot them with the unaided eye. They may look like insects, but they actually belong to the same family as ticks and spiders. Many species of mites exist, several of which commonly affect humans. Different types of mites like specific kinds of environments. The best way to identify the mites you are dealing with is to check for bites and rashes in specific areas of your body. Note that mites can be difficult to identify, so you may have to go to a doctor for a concrete diagnosis.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Bright light
- Private room
Check for an itchy, red rash in folds of skin, between fingers, around the genitals, on the sides of feet and on the inside areas of elbows and knees. If you find any, the problem may be scabies mites (also known as mange and itch mites), according to North Carolina State University.
Examine any areas where clothes are tight, especially on the ankles and waist where elastic bands in clothing are tightest. Look for red, itchy areas and dermatitis, which is a rash caused by allergic reaction. If you find any, the problem may be chiggers (also known as red mites). North Carolina State University notes that some people may develop blister-like lesions if they are allergic to chiggers.
Remove the shirt and look on the trunk of the body and the arms. If you see bite marks, then the problem may be straw-itch mites, according to North Carolina State University. People who work in landscaping or around large amounts of straw or grains are likely to encounter straw itch mites.
Go to a physician if there is any doubt about what type of mite bites you have. Tell the doctor about any animals you have recently encountered. Some types of mites, such as the tropical rat mite and the chicken mite, normally attack animals, but occasionally bite humans as well, according to the Illinois Department of Health.
Tips and warnings
- Do not attempt to exterminate mites in your home before getting a positive identification of the problem by an expert. Without knowing exactly what type of mite you're dealing with, chances are your attempt to eradicate the problem will fail, according to North Carolina State University.
- Don't scratch the rash area. You may worsen the symptoms and make it harder for a doctor to diagnose what type of mite you have.
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