WSU CAHNRS and WSU Extension


Search by pest name

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  L  M  N  O  P  R  S  T  W  Y 

Pest NameDescription 
Mites in stored foodsMites in stored foodsSeveral species of mites (Tyroglyphidae) can become pests of stored foods. They infest products such as flour, cereals, packaged baking mixes, dried fruits, and pet foods. Mites may also be found feeding on molds and organic debris such as that associated with bird or animal nests. Most of these mite species prefer moist areas and are commonly found in cracks and crevices near their food source. The mites are barely visible to the unaided eye, but may be present in such huge numbers that the surface of the infested material appears to move. A tan coating or pile of “mite dust” comprised of living and dead mites and their waste products may appear on surfaces under or near infested foods. Prolonged contact with mites can cause a skin irritation known as grocer’s itch. In addition to being pantry pests, mites may also be a problem in other food storage areas such as barns or outbuildings. They commonly infest moldy animal feed such as baled hay and stored grain products. The mites themselves are not considered a health hazard to animals feeding on the infested products. However, the molds the mites are feeding on may produce toxins which can poison animals that ingest the contaminated feed.