Mites bites can cause severe itching, allergic reactions, and even transmit diseases.
The bites are initially invisible, but gradually form pimple-like lesions after a few hours. If not treated well, the lesion can go on for up to 2 weeks. Even worse, the constant itching can introduce germs to your skin and cause infection.
Mite Bites: Get to Know the Mites that Bite
There are multiple types of mites, but only a few whose bites affect humans.
1. Itch Mites
You can get bites from itch mites when you handle hay, straw, leaves, grass, and seeds. Itch mite bites look like rashes and come with a strong itching sensation. It’s recommended not to touch or scratch the rashes as they can easily develop into wounds.
Itch mites can’t live indoors, or on humans, so you don’t have to worry when you carry them home with you.
Scabies mite bites are often confused with bedbug bites – and it’s clear to see why. They both look like red welts, and they majorly occur on your upper body (arms, neck, face, and shoulders). After 10-12 hours, scabies mite bites look like pimples and become very itchy. Don’t scratch them to prevent inflicting wounds on yourself.
Scabies mite bites also resemble rashes caused by dermatitis, poison ivy, syphilis, and other parasites like fleas.
Scabies mites are transferrable via infested beddings, furniture, and human contact. Sadly, you can’t see them with your naked eyes. They dig into your skin can survive on your body for weeks. The itching sensation is usually worse at night.
3. Bird Mites and Rat Mites
These mites come from birds or rodents and can survive up to three weeks without a host. Their bites are red and itchy.
Chigger mites attack birds, animals, and people. During their nymph stages, they can feed off insects if no host is found. Chiggers are yellow to red in color and look like tiny visible specks.
While chiggers don’t suck blood, when they get into the skin, release some skin-digesting saliva and suck up the liquefied substance. They can feed on you for up to a week without notice.
You may notice some bites on the waist, armpits, crotch, ankles, or behind the knees. Once the chigger latches or bites, you will feel the effect hours later. They’re mostly found in cracks and soil.
5. Dust Mites
While they don’t bite, dust mites can cause allergic reactions to some people. In most cases, the allergies are mild and seasonal.
Some of the symptoms include a running nose, sneezing, as well as itchy and red eyes. For more serious allergic reactions, you may experience congestion, sore throat, sinus headache, cough, wheezing, breath shortness, swollen undereyes, and severe asthma attack.
Dust mite symptoms are treated using antihistamines such as Claritin or Allegra to reduce the allergy reactions. Nasal corticosteroids like Flonase or Nasonex reduce inflammation, while decongestants like Afrin and Sudafed shrink tissues for better breathing.
Home Remedies for Treating Mite Bites
Several natural remedies can help relieve the symptoms of mite bites. They include:
1. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil heals skin rashes and reduces itching. It’s antibacterial, antipruritic (relieves itching), acaricidal (kills mites), and anti-inflammatory. However, it might not be effective in removing scabies mites under your skin.
To use this product, add a small amount of tree oil to a squirt bottle and spray it on your sheets and bed linen.
Neem plant eases pain and inflammation. It has antibacterial properties, and it’s easily available in the form of soaps and creams. Use it to treat your mite bites.
3. Aloe Vera
On top of having a soothing and healing effect on sunburned skin, Aloe Vera helps in easing itching and killing mites. For best results, ensure that you buy pure Aloe Vera gel with no additives.
4. Cayenne Pepper
When applied on your skin, cayenne pepper reduces pain and itching from mite bites. While there is no scientific proof of cayenne pepper killing mites, some people believe that it kills scabies. The capsaicin in cayenne desensitizes skin neurons when applied on the skin. Before using cayenne pepper, make sure you do a skin patch test to check for irritability.
5. Clove Oil and Essential Oils
Clove oil is an effective insecticide that can kill the mites on your body. It also comes with antimicrobial, antioxidant and anesthetic properties that contribute to the healing of rashes.
Some of the essential oils recommended for treating mite bites include thyme, clove, lavender, peppermint, lemongrass, ylang-ylang, and nutmeg.
To relieve you from the itch, put ice on the affected area.
Seeking Medical Attention for Mite Bites
Normally, your doctor will prescribe anti-itch ointments. Medications such as hydrocortisone and calamine lotion are good anti-itch solutions for mite bites.
However, in severe cases, anti-itch injections may be required – especially for allergic reactions.
In case the bites have been infected, you can get relief from antibiotics prescriptions.
When you itch the mite bite rashes, you’ll most likely create an open sore which provides an entryway for bacteria. This causes secondary infections which can develop into something serious if not treated well.
What’s more, mites can transmit serious diseases like typhus and spotted fever. While such transmissions are rare, their symptoms include fever, rashes, headaches, and delirium.
Like other biting or stinging insects, mites can also cause serious allergic reactions like breathing problems, swollen limbs, and swollen throat. For allergy reactions, you can get relief by taking antihistamine pills.
The mite bites will get better with time. However, you should see a doctor if the symptoms persist.
Getting Rid of Mites
Signs of mites in your home will greatly depend on the type of mites. Some are tiny and difficult to see with your naked eyes. However, their movements on your skin can be detected.
Other species like the spider mites create silk-like webbings around your home. Since they are plant-feeding mites, they may also cause discoloration of your houseplants. Other mites like the clover mites are easily visible because of their distinct red color.
If you want to prevent future mite bites and the inconveniences they cause, you need to eradicate them from your home as soon as possible.
1. Wash Your Clothes and Beddings
If you notice a lot of tiny red itchy dots on your skin, you may be harboring mites. Take a warm bath, scrubbing your body with anti-bacterial body soap. This will help remove the mites under the skin.
Use hot water to wash your clothes, beddings, and towels to eliminate all mites in them.
Another option is dry-cleaning or sealing the clothing in clean plastic bags for a few days. For dust mites, do frequent dusting and house cleaning. You can install HEPA air filters, and buy new beddings.
2. Handle the Source
To completely do away with mites, you may not need to treat or fumigate the whole house. Simply remove or treat pets that can act as hosts for mites. Ensure your pets are cleaned every day.
3. Vacuum Frequently
Vacuuming daily limits the chances of your house harboring mites. Make sure your rugs, carpets, and fabric furniture are vacuumed thoroughly. The vacuum bags should be sealed to ensure the mites don’t make their back into the house. If your vacuum cleaner doesn’t use bags, empty the dirt into a plastic bag and put it in a closed trash can.
Vacuuming regularly will also get rid of dust accumulation and limit allergic reactions.
4. Protect Your Bed
Dust mites get trapped in the pillows and mattress pads. Invest in new pillow covers and mite-proof mattress covers for better nights.
5. Lower the Humidity
Create an environment that makes it hard for mites to survive. Mites thrive in warm environments, so you’ll want to set your dehumidifier below or at 50% humidity level to eliminate mites in a room. If you are not using your house for a while, you can set the temperature to a freezing point.
Treating Mite Bites Shouldn’t Be Complicated
While you need to treat mite bites in time, it is imperative to take measures to keep them away from your home. Also, avoid itching the mite bites to prevent bacterial infections. Once you notice an itchy rash or swelling that seems to worsen with time, talk to your doctor.
If you need help with the mite infestation, don’t hesitate to contact your local pest control specialist. They have the expertise and equipment to deal with these kinds of pest issues effectively.
Keywords: mite bites