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K-State Turfgrass

Hot Holiday Weekend Didn’t Slow Down the Oak Leak Itch Mite

(By Jared Hoyle, KSU Turfgrass Research and Extension)

Do you have a Pin Oak tree close by to your house? Well, if you do then you are a prime target for the Oak Leaf Itch Mite.  I was outside this past weekend and this morning I found little red bites on my skin with a tiny little blister in the middle.  I remembered this time last year the same thing happened to me and it was the Oak Leaf Itch Mite. After getting bit there isn’t much you can do other than use some anti-itch cream and try not to scratch the bites, that will make it worse.

I wrote a blog post about this last year but I wanted to let everyone know that with fall right around the corner and everyone picking up leaves be aware that you might find some bug bites on your skin.  Definitely don’t let you kids jump in the pile of leaves, especially if you have oak trees.

Below is some more information about Oak Leaf Itch Mites and what to do about them.

Three Quick Facts about Itch Mites:

1. The itch mites are microscopic and can not be seen by the naked eye.

2. DEET or other bug repellents will not prevent you from getting bit.

3. Itch mites can not live in your home.

Here is a link to the post from last year (with pictures):

https://blogs.k-state.edu/turf/got-unexplained-ichy-bites/

KSU Entomology has an article here (scroll down to see):

http://entomology.k-state.edu/doc/Newsletters/2014/KSInsectNewsletter24.pdf

and a fact sheet here:
http://www.bookstore.ksre.ksu.edu/pubs/MF2806.pdf

and here is some more info:

http://www.idph.state.il.us/envhealth/pcitchmites.htm