Q: What is the best way to manage rat mites inside a residence? Rats have been trapped out and the openings sealed up, but the customers are still receiving bites.
— Mikail, CA
A: Even though rat mites were a known issue, still make sure they are present with sticky monitors before you continue helping your customer. Although rat mites don’t necessarily disappear when the rats do, it’s common for people suffering from parasites to continue to believe the parasites are present after they’ve been managed effectively.
If not already found and you have an idea where rat nests might be in the structure, that’s the best place to start. Remove them if possible and/or treat the area with an appropriately labeled product.
Tropical rat mites tend to like wall voids, especially if there is a heat source. Otherwise, they hide in cracks and crevices near their food source. Pay attention to where your customer says they receive bites. Treat the wall voids of the room(s) and the cracks and crevices around the problematic sitting or resting areas. The approach is similar to a bed bug treatment, except mites are even harder to see.
Here’s the good news – in the absence of rats, a rat mite infestation will not continue to grow like a bed bug infestation. Humans are not their principal host and they do not survive well without rats. They are not known to transmit human diseases, either.
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