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Pest Information

Grain Mite

  • Latin Name: Acarus siro
  • Common Name: Grain Mite
  • Other Names: Baker’s itch mite

Pest Details

Origin:

It is found throughout the world and its origin is uncertain.

Biology:

This species of mite is a common pest in dried food products such as cereals, feed, cheese, flour, and dried fruits, and is found throughout the world. Its presence imparts a sour taste to the food and encourages deterioration of it in storage. High humidity and damp conditions encourage their presence and reproduction, with a relative humidity below 62% causing them to die. Complete development from egg to adult takes less than 3 weeks when conditions are favorable, and under optimal conditions the reproductive rate is staggering, with millions of mites produced within just a few months.

Identification:

Adult mites are only one third of a millimeter long and grayish white with pink legs. The body is oval and at the front appears pinched, with the mouthparts protruding forward from this. Under high magnification the body can be seen to have dozens of long, thin hairs sticking out of it. When large numbers are found in cabinets they often will be massed together in large clumps, and a close look reveals the movement of all the mites as they crawl over one another.

Characteristicts Important to Control:

Maintaining stored food products in cool and dry condition will greatly discourage the mites. Where they are found they can be killed by placing the infested product in either a freezer or heating it or, since it is contaminated with bugs, disposing of it entirely. The area where the infested food was stored should be thoroughly cleaned and dried and possibly treated with a labeled insecticide.

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