Mite control. Mites are a separate class of animal organisms, with a simpler biological cycle and morphology than insects. They usually have four pairs of legs and, unlike insects, do not have functional jaws but have organs in their mouths called chelicerae and podoprosactrids. Their body, in general, is single and resembles that of spiders. In stored agricultural products and food, mainly Astigmata are found, but also Prostigmata and Metastigmata. They have an extremely wide range of food preferences while several species are bloodthirsty.
Biology varies by species. For example, storage mites, especially Astigmata, can easily develop large populations and when conditions are unfavorable for their development, they transform into hypopods, a form which is particularly resistant.
An important category of mites are also the “house” mites, with the most important being Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus (Pyroglyphidae) which is the “dust mite”. In addition, it should be mentioned that blood-sucking mites or mites that feed on the skin or the area below it are also classified here (Dermanyssidae, Laelapidae, Macronyssidae, Sarcoptidae, etc.).
The importance of mites for public health is very great. First of all, the mites found in food are pollutants and they also carry fungi, causing serious quality degradation. Also, their presence in places, in products and food, is related to allergies and skin diseases. Dust mites are the main cause of asthma in humans, while they can also cause shortness of breath, dermatitis, etc. Blood-sucking mites are most often found in mammals and birds, while their presence is very common in humans, causing intense itching and dermatitis.
Modes of Management
For most species, with the exception of bloodsuckers, it is recommended as a preventive measure to reduce the humidity in the area and the product. For bloodsuckers, it is recommended to take measures related to the cleanliness of the area and preventing the entry of mites. In the case of ticks, which live in vegetation (when off-host), in addition to individual protection measures, thorough cleaning should be applied, combined with weedicide.
In general, the detection of mites is particularly difficult, due to their biology and their small body size. So, although there are pitfalls to detecting them, this should be done by experienced and qualified personnel. In too many cases, detection is done after the fact, that is, based on symptoms.
Some insecticides are also effective against mites. At the same time, there are also several approved acaricides, which should be applied according to the case. Finally, it is emphasized once again that cleanliness, appropriate hygiene conditions and the reduction of humidity have an important contribution to the treatment. In some cases, such as dust mites, given that asthma and other disorders are more due to their derivatives (particles, secretions, excretions, etc.) and not to the mites themselves, it is recommended to remove them frequently with cleaning (e.g. special brooms).
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