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Pest Control/suspicion of mites


Mr. DeAngelis,

About 5 days ago, I was sitting in my living room and I smelled an awful, almost skunk-like smell that seem to emanate from the air duct (return vent). It only last a couple a minutes and I haven't smelled it again. The next day as I was sitting in my living room, I gradually realized I was  frequently scratching myself. I just seem to feel pinpricks of sensation and I haven't seen any evidence of bite marks, redness or swelling and of course I don't see any bugs. This has been going on for 4 days. I vacuumed, mopped and hung fly traps (no result). Does this sound like I should be concerned and/or hire a pest control service? Is there a test they can do to determine if I do indeed have mites? Thank you.


I'm guessing you are concerned about so called bird mites (also called nest mites, rodent mites and poultry mites), see for background and a picture of the mites. These mites are fairly easy to see and the bites look like a mosquito bite. So from your description I don't think you have these mites. Most of the time when people report "bites" but can't find an insect or mite the real cause is something other than insects or mites. See for a list of insects and mites that bite plus some things that can be mistaken for "bug bites". Post a follow up if you have questions after looking over this material.

Jack DeAngelis

Pest Control

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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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