Help ID this microscopic bug (answer: bird or rodent mites)(10 posts)
I am frantically trying to identify this bug. Before I found these microscopic bugs while looking *very* closely at my dog's skin, my wife, my two toddlers, and my two dogs are getting these weird, itchy bumps that appear to be bug bites. Now I think I know what is causing them.
This little dude, only about 170 microns long (less than 0.2 mm) (PHOTO) seems to glide slowly around on the dog's belly. I captured a couple with transparent tape and took some macro photographs.
I've been scouring the web for photos of tiny pests for hours now, looking at mites, lice, ticks, fleas, and so on, but I don't feel like I've seen anything that is a decent match to the subject here.
If anyone could help, I would greatly appreciate it!!
The samples are mites which may be the cause of your bites.
I would try and get them confirmed as to the species of mites by an entomologist as it will influence what treatment is appropriate.
I have written a primer on bird mites which may help and can be seen here:
Great microscope images though.
Bed Bugs Limited
Thanks, David. I also took some more pictures, this time of bugs walking freely on a tile floor. The first pics were of a specimen stuck under adhesive tape, and they looked kind of different since they were squished.
Yes, those images look like parasitic mites that would be from either birds or rodents. Do you have any nests or infestations of either of these 2 kinds of vertebrates? Or do you have any pet birds, rodents?
No pets except the 2 small dogs who are indoor-dogs (only taken outside to do their business). Some small birds do seem to have made a nest, under the steps to our deck area. It seems surprising that it could cause an indoor infestation, though... perhaps just one or two mites got one of the dogs, and brought it into their bedding indoors. We probably need to be washing the dogs' bedding more frequently.
I have seen no evidence of rodents either indoors or out.
I just bathed the dogs, letting them soak in the tub for a while, hoping to rid them of the mites on their bodies. Then discarded their old bedding and steam cleaned the laundry room where their bed is located, as well as the living room furniture upholstery (the dogs spend most of the daytime hours sitting on the couches...). My wife and I changed our bedding and I am eager to go shower finally (it's 4:00 am here now... might as well stay up for 2 more hours when I need to get ready to go to work... :-).
Thanks for the replies.
As Lou said its either bird or rodent mites.
Check for signs of both and engage a professional, this sort of mite is not an amateur solution job as it requires through investigation to find the source and complete treatment for there to the ingress point to get a rapid solution. The good news is that they tend to be very susceptible to treatment.
OK, I followed your advice and am glad I did. I got medication for the dogs (topical medication on back of dog's neck) and have had all our carpets sprayed. We are still having a few mites come into the house through our bathroom window though, GRRRRR..... even though the bird nest has been removed.
I do have another question, though. I also have found several of these other bugs, which appear to be an insect and are about 1 mm in length, in the bathroom and on the outside of the house.
NEW BUG PHOTO - bug is 1 mm in length. Can anyone help identify this new pest?
Looks like an entomobryid collembolan, a springtail. Actually had been classified as an insect but now these creatures are related to insects.
Did the dogs have mites or only thought they had mites and then acaricide applied on their backs? Those rodent mites are not mites that actually stay on the host, but feed and leave and go back to nest area of host. If host is not around the mites crawl about searching for the host which can be you if the correct one is no longer available.
The dogs had mites on them (and were losing frightening amounts of hair) and I found their bedding to be completely infested with the mites. We of course replaced the bedding and have been trying to stay on top of the problem since then by frequently washing linens and bedding, etc.
My concern is whether the mites that are still wandering about on the outside of the house have another home/host that needs to be eliminated, or whether they are just the last few living, homeless wanderers looking for a new host. Time will tell.
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