Question I had a rat infestation that was solved by closing entry points to the house and trapping the rats. The last rat was removed 10 days ago. How long will my family likely continue to suffer from new rat mite bites? (The exterminator said only 5-7 days, but that's clearly not true.)
Also, is it true that putting bedding in the drier on hot for 10 minutes kills any bugs on the bedding? What else do you recommend to minimize the mite problem while waiting for them to die off? THANKS.
General cleaning and washing of clothing/bedding is the best treatment for these mites (see http://www.livingwithbugs.com/bird_mites.html for more control info). Insecticides don't work well. Since the mites can't survive on us alone they will die off but it depends on environmental conditions. A week or two is probably a good guess for most situations.
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.