Human Skin Parasites

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A variety of mites are known to bite humans and cause irritation, itchy papules and rashes. Most of these mites are actually parasites of other animals not humans, but will bite humans when their normal hosts are not present. They are mostly nest parasites of birds, rodents and other animals. Nest parasitic mites blood-feed on their normal hosts and then return to the host's nest. Most species do not remain on the animal or human that they feed on. However, a few mites, such as the dog mite (Cheyletiella species) and scabies mites, remain on the host. Chigger mites only blood feed in the nymph stage (the stage that hatches from the egg) and is predatory the rest of their lives.

Mite bites cause red papules which can be extremely itchy. Free-living mites tend to bite in areas where clothing rubs. Conversely, scabies mites, which live in the skin tend to occur most frequently on the hands and wrists, armpits and groin area - parts of the body where the skin is thin.

Species of Biting Mites

Bat Mite, Chirptonyssus robustipes
bat mite

Cat Mite, Cheyletiella blakei
Cat Mite

Chicken Mite, Dermanyssus gallinae
Chicken Mite

Chigger Mite, Eutrombicula sp.
Chigger Mite

Dog Mite, Cheyletiella yasguri
Dog mite

Fowl Mite, Ornithonyssus sylviarum
Fowl mite

Rabbit Mite, Cheyletiella parasitovorax
Rabbit mite

Rat Mite, Ornithonyssus bacoti
rat mite

Scabies Mite, Sarcoptes scabei
Scabies mite

Straw Itch Mite, Pyemotes tritici
straw itch mite

Other mites known to cause contact dermatitis include a variety of grain mites in the genera



and Acarus.