Mite Bites and what they look like

Itch mite magnified under a microscope.

Itch mite magnified under a microscope.

Are you sure you have mite bites and not from Cimex lectularius (Bed Bugs)?

Did you know bed bug bites are often mistaken for mites? If not, then take a minute to see what bed bug bites look like.

If you are sure they are from Mites, please consider there are almost 46,000 species of mites, but only a few bite humans; they are the Northern Fowl Mite, Tropical Rat Mite, and Itch or Scabies Mite.

The Scabies Mite bite is often confused with a bed bug bite and can turn into red welts on your upper body (shoulders, face, neck, and arms). After about 10-12 hours, the itch mite bites turn into what looks like pimples and become very itchy, lasting up to 14 days; whatever you do, DO NOT itch them!

Scabies mites usually come from another human, cannot be seen with the unaided eye, digs into your skin, and cause pimple-like bites. Note: You could have scabies mites for up to a month without noticing, and itching will be worse during the night!

Itch mites come in contact with humans when they handle straw, hay, grass, leaves, and seeds that contain the mites. Bites from itch mites look like a rash, similar to the picture above, and will produce a strong desire to itch, which is the last thing you want to do! However, they can’t live on humans or indoors, so if you bring them into your home, it won’t last.

The Northern Fowl Mite comes from birds and can live up to three weeks without its host but will feed on humans when birds can not be found. The bites will become red and itchy, not as bad as the picture above, but certainly noticeable. Tropical Rat Mites come from rats with bites similar to the Northern Fowl Mite.

Many believe the dust mite bite can be mistaken for a bed bug, but this is a common misconception. Dust Mites do not bite humans; instead, they can harm humans by becoming airborne (as well as their feces) and triggering asthma attacks or making breathing difficult.

You may develop red welts that resemble chigger bites on your neck, face, arms, and upper body. These bites are not usually on legs where chigger bites may be found. The itch mite welts form into a pimple-like lesion after about 12 hours. The bites are very itchy and can last up to two weeks.

Mite Bites: See how our visitors dealt with their Mite Infestation.