Learn all about paper mite’s bites, rash, appearance and the methods to get rid of them.
The North Carolina State University Extension Office states that paper mites are an imaginary mite that is commonly blamed for bites on the body that appear to be from a small insect.
Mites can leave bites that look like they came from bed bugs but not all mites are the same, so let me quickly explain. In fact, there are almost 46,000 species of mites, but only a few bite humans.
You will need a magnifying glass to be able to see them and know where to clean (they are almost microscopic). The eggs are laid singly or in clusters and are sometimes covered with a silken web. The small, irritated bumps commonly attributed to this mystery mite are actually caused by other insects or hard-to-notice particles floating in the air.
All of the insects that can bite and that live in a home or work environment, such as scabies and bed bugs, can be seen with the naked eye and are found quickly during a thorough inspection. Airborne particles make up most of the reported cases of “paper mite infestations” according to the District Council 37 Health and Safety Unit.
What is Paper Mites?
Paper fleas are mythical office bugs. Despite an extensive search, they are never found, but that does not stop office workers from feeling itchy. Many tend to show signs and symptoms like red wheals or welts on the skin as a result of which they believe their workplace to be heavily infested with bugs. Many times, this results in the use of unnecessary chemicals or pesticides which do not bring about any positive results..
Paper Mites Bite
Pin prick-like biting sensations, usually on exposed skin and often producing inflammations that resemble insect bites, can be a persistent problem in some offices. Occupants tend to blame these “bites” on some sort of pest infestation, typically fleas (which are extremely rare in office buildings) or “paper mites” (which do not exist). Affected spaces are often sprayed with a pesticide in the absence of any evidence that pests are responsible.
Paper Mites Rash
Skin irritation caused by cardboard mites appears like a rash or a series of bug. The bite itself or the rash that comes around it might be red, itchy or swollen. The skin around the irritation looks dry and patchy to the eye. Humans will experience the itchiness, but are better able to explain it as a burning, itching, bothersome feeling in the affected areas. A mite infestation causes skin irritation, so your skin might also feel itchy or crawly in other places.
Paper Mites Look like
Paper mites in outdoors often have two pairs of wings, while indoor paper mites do not. They are very small, with soft simple bodies, long antennae, and a chewing mouth. The head is slightly larger than the rest of the body. Paper lice are all female, laying eggs without ever mating. They are grayish-white in color and move with jerking, hopping movements.
Paper Mites Control
Paper mites control depends on the area of infestation. To avoid attracting paper lice, store books and papers in waterproof, air tight containers. Make sure that no paper goods are stored on the floor where dampness can collect underneath. Check around the outside of your home for damp areas along the foundation collections of dead leaves, firewood, or other debris can provide an ideal breading and feeding ground for paper lice. New houses are not the only places that have problems with psocids, however.
- The tiny bugs can live outdoors on bark feeding on mosses and lichens and in grass, leaves and damp wood.
- Because they are so tiny, it’s impractical to try to prevent their entry into the home (beyond standard exclusion practices that can help keep out pests of all kinds), so it’s important to make your home as unattractive to these tiny bugs as possible.
- That is primarily by reducing or eliminating the moisture in which they thrive and the micro-molds on which they feed.
- Reduce their food supply by cleaning with enzymes and/or borax, then keeping the areas clean and free of molds and mildew.
- Use a dehumidifier or air conditioner in the infested or potentially infestation areas to reduce moisture to below 50%. Using fans can also help to increase the air flow.
- Dispose of all moldy articles.
- Reducing the temperature to below freezing for one hour can also kill off the mites, but this would be impractical for a home, though it could be viable for infested items particularly for those who live in the Northern climates where an article could be placed outdoors when the temperatures drops below freezing.
- Talcum powder, diatomaceous earth or boric acid can be dusted in non-food area cracks and crevices, crawl spaces and other areas away from children and pets, to help dry out the area.
Commercial products that help to control mold and fungi will also help keep the areas clean and maintain control of mold-feeding pests.