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People living in ratinfested homes or structures where birds are nest


Rat and Bird Mites in Los Angeles CountyMites are extremely small arthropods which are barely visible unless viewed by a microscope or magnifying glassMost mites either feed on plants or attack and fe

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Document on Subject : "People living in ratinfested homes or structures where birds are nest"— Transcript:

1 People living in rat-infested homes or s
People living in rat-infested homes or structures where birds are nesting are frequentlyattacked by mites which migrate from nests into the structure. The bites can causesevere itching and painful dermatitis in sensitive individuals. Rat and Bird Mites in Los Angeles CountyMites are extremely small arthropods which are barely visible unless viewed by a microscope or magnifying glass.Most mites either feed on plants, or attack and feed on other arthropods, but some can be found parasitizingvertebrates. There are three mites in southern California which cause frequent problems because they will feedon humans in the absence of their normal hosts.(Hirst, 1913), and two mites associated with birds, the northern fowl (Canestrini and Fanzago, 1877) and the tropical fowl mite (Berlese, 1888) can become significant pests under certain conditions. When their primary hosts nest in or onstructures, these mites will frequently invade structures and their bites can cause irritation and sometimes painful occurs on rats and in their nests andfrequently attacks people living in rat-infested buildings. Thesemites can become serious pests when there are many rats livingwithin the structure, but most often they make their presenceknown shortly after control measures are started to eliminate therats (the primary host). When trapped or poisoned rats die or failstructure to feed on human or animal hosts. Migrating mites areextremely active and will crawl long distances to secure a bloodThe mites are attracted to carbon dioxide (a product of respiration)and heat, and by these means locate potential hosts within thestructure. The mites are ultimately drawn to those areas within thehome which experience the greatest a

2 mount of human activity.Rooms such as ki
mount of human activity.Rooms such as kitchens, family rooms, bedrooms, and work areasmaintain the highest concentrations of carbon dioxide and arehighly attractive to the mites. Mites are also attracted to frequentlyused furniture such as sofas, recliners, and beds, and will bite theoccupants as they rest or sleep.The key factorin eliminating tropical rat mites from a home is abatement of the rodent infestation. Rats can becontrolled with bait or traps, but baits are not recommended when rats infest dwellings. Rats may die withininaccessible areas such as wall voids or behind kitchen cabinets, and the resulting odor of decay may be presentfor a week or longer. Snap traps and glue boards should be used in areas of noted activity to control rats indoors.Keep in mind that trapping or otherwise killing rats may increase the activity of the mites as they search for otherand eliminate any stored food caches, fecal pellets and nesting material. Ratsfrequently build their nests in protected areas such as behind large objects, or inside old furniture or storageboxes. They will use any soft material such as shredded paper, rags, insulation, old clothing, or furniture stuffingto line the nest. As a general precaution, before disposing of the material in a plastic bag, spray the area lightlywith a disinfectant such as Lysol, and use disposable paper towels to gather up materials. Seal the bag tightly anddispose of in the trash. Individuals performing such activities should protect the hands with plastic gloves andwear a dust mask to prevent inhalation of dust contaminated with urine or feces. The tropical rat mite is extremelysmall and the color can varydepending upon how recently ablood meal was taken