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Proviso Probe

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

itch mite questions answered

Illinois Department of Public Health created this web page of questions and answers about mites that are now considered the most likely cause of a local outbreak of rashes.
How will I know if I have been bitten?

You may develop red welts that look like chigger bites on your neck, face, arms and upper body. These bites are not usually on legs where chigger bites may be found. The itch mite welts form into a pimple-like lesion after about 12 hours. The bites are very itchy and can be present for up to two weeks.

This is pretty much exactly my experience. The welts have one or two pimple-like things near the center. I was bitten on my arm (crux of elbow) and abdomen (an inch or two about the waistline).

BTW, wikipedia has an entry for Pyemotes herfsi, also known as the oak leaf gall mite or itch mite.

Remember, it still hasn't been confirmed that oak leaf fall mites are the cause of these rashes. It's not obvious why these mites would hit humans so hard this year when they haven't done it before. The mites feed on insect larvae and don't derive any benefit from biting people.

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