Mites (Acari or Acarina) are Arachnids i.e. of the same group as spiders. Most mites are tiny, usually less than 1mm in length and cannot be seen without the aid of a lens or microscope. Such small creatures include the human follicle mite which lives in the follicle of a human hair and is only 0.1mm. The exception of this group are the ticks which are usually much larger and easy to see specially when they are gorged with blood.
Mites are found inhabiting almost all habitats from deep in the soil to many forms of parasitic lifestyle living on or in other animals and plants. Many of the parasitic forms cause diseases such as scabies and mange. Our homes and offices are heated, warm and inviting places for many mites. The health problems caused by dust mites are much in the news. The mites feed on dust which is largely made up of dead skin. The waste products from the mites are responsible for causing allergies and aggravating asthma.
As part of a program to reduce the mite population in your home Target Pest can treat the places mites lurk with a safe residual insecticide. This should always be done in conjunction with cleaning bedding and thorough vacuuming of carpets and soft furnishings.
The Varroa mate is a parasite of honey bees. This pest has recently (June 2006) hit the headlines by being discovered in South Island bee hives for the first time. Hives in the Nelson area, where the mite was found are being checked to see how far the mite has spread. Varroa mite infestation kills the honey bees and greatly reduces honey production. Bees are vital for the pollination of fruit trees and clover and reduced numbers of bees and restrictions on bee hive movement will be a severe blow to the fruit and animal feed industries.
Control and monitoring of Varroa mite can be achieved by placing mitacide strips and collection strips in hives. Target Pest can carry out this work.