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© 2005, The Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska on behalf of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln Extension. All rights reserved.


Two North American Species of itch mites — the straw itch mite and the "oak leaf gall mite" (Family Pyemotidae) — are found in Nebraska and Kansas. The straw itch mite was known in the early 1900s as a nuisance pest after farm workers handled small grains. Wheat, oats, and barley were often infested with insects on which the itch mites fed, allowing them to reach large numbers by harvest. The oak leaf gall mite recently discovered in galls on pin oaks in Lincoln, Neb., and Manhattan, Kan., is believed to be a relatively recent introduction to the United States.

This NebFact discusses these two mites, their bites, life cycle, prevention, and control.