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Entomology (Study of Bugs)/rodent mite infestation


A client of mine in San Francisco has been diagnosed with rodent mite bites, which we believe come from the basement of her building where the landlord has been doing construction. He refuses to do anything about it until she brings him a mite as "proof", but they are elusive and the only one she found she could not capture intact. I need to find an expert who can "capture" or identify them in the basement and her unit, and opine as to where they are coming from.

Tx. Ross

Hello Ross,

Sorry to hear about your client's problem. It is ridiculous, in my opinion, for the landlord to ask you to catch one. Mites are very, very small. If your client can see them, tell her to lay some packing tape down on them to pick them up. Does she have access to the basement? If this is where they are coming from, then there should be the most down there. Often mites will live in bushes/brush around buildings, so if there is any near your client's windows or doors, clear it or cut it back. This will help.

Can she get a doctor's note? Or call a pest control service? This might be something the landlord needs to do though...

If your client needs advice/guidance about how to approach the landlord, I cannot provide this, but I have heard of this non-profit group, Project Sentinel, helping with similar situations: Good luck!


Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Jessica Mellinger


I can answer questions about invertebrates native to California, including insects commonly found in homes. If you have an identification request, please attach a photo to your question.


I was involved in collection and identification of invertebrates for the United States Geological Survey, Biological Resources Division for six years. Also, I provided these same services intermittently for the UC Davis John Muir Institute of the Environment for many years. I have been a member of since 2009.

Department of the Interior: United States Geological Survey, Davis Field Station; University of California, Davis Aggie Alumni Association; UC Davis Center for Neuroscience; U.S. Department of Veteran's Affairs

I have two B.A.'s from the University of California, Davis and two Associate's degrees from Sacramento City College.

Awards and Honors
Special Thanks for Achieving Results award from the Department of the Interior

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