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Pest Control/bird/rodent mites


QUESTION: Hello Jack,

I have been experiencing bites all over my upper body for over 2 months now, this only happens when I'm at work. At first I thought it was food allergies, but after speaking with my co workers I realized they've been experiencing the same bites. My boss called in an exterminator after we found these tiny bugs crawling around, about the size of a period. The exterminator said those were too small to bite us, tried to convince us that it was bed bugs. After his useless visit, I decided to do my own research. I dug out my baby brother's microscope skit, and examined one of the tiny bugs I found on my body after work. It looks very much like a rodent/bird mite, but not 100% sure. I work at a sports bar, we don't serve food but we were surrounded by restaurants. I've included pictures of the bites and a bug I killed on my finger.

Please give any advice you may have on how to deal with these tiny bugs, or even what they may be. I get anywhere from 3-15 bites everytime I go to work. I have been spraying OFF deep woods repellent on myself, it haven't made any difference. Also, there seems to be a delay period before the bites show up or start itching.

Many thanks,

ANSWER: Lyssa,

The pictures did not get posted. Take a look at for a picture of a bird mite for comparison. I think it is unlikely that you would encounter bird mites in a bar but I've learned to "never say never" when talking about insects and mites. If you can post a picture I'd be glad to take a look.

Jack DeAngelis

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------


QUESTION: Thanks for getting back to me. Sorry the pictures didn't upload the first time. As for what I saw under the microscope,this is the closest thing.

Unfortunately bites alone are not diagnostic for what caused them. In other words different causes can produce very similar lesions (bites). The image you linked to is a drawing of one of the ectoparasitic mites on birds and rodents but I can't confirm that this is what you actually found.

If you find any more of the mites you could collect them into alcohol using a damp Q-tip then have them identified through your local Extension office (

Jack DeAngelis

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Jack DeAngelis


I can answer questions about the control of pest insects, spiders, mites and related arthropods. These household pests include termites, carpenter ants, powderpost beetles, nuisance ants, bed bugs, cockroaches, fleas, wasps, and many others. I can also answer questions about using pesticides and other pest control tools such as baits and traps.


I am a retired university extension entomologist. I've taught and conducted research in urban and agricultural entomology. I've published over 70 extension publications, 20 research publications and several books about insects.

Ph.D. in Entomology

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