House mites (Glycyphagus domesticus) - Anyone else had them?

Wazrach

08 Oct 2019, 21:31

My kitchen has storage mites, or house mites (they don't even have a Wikipedia page or any general name that applies directly to this species). I used my microscope to identify them, which is kind of important as there are many mite species that look almost identical. These are not mold mites, dust mites or grain mites, although these general names seem to be used interchangeably. Glycyphagus mites are extremely small, cream-coloured mites with no eyes and long hairs (setae) protruding from their bodies, although that's fairly typical for mites like this. It's a good thing I find mites incredibly fascinating...

It's very easy to miss them as they look like specks of dust. You won't notice them unless you have a problem - if you have spotted one mite, it means there are others. Unfortunately, that's exactly the case in my house. They're in every kitchen cupboard - small enough to crawl into unsealed jars with the lid on, into packets that have been rolled up tight, etc. It's horrifying. Every time I get a pan and most of the times I get a bowl from the cupboard, there are mites on them. My parents don't seem to care and have absolutely no awareness when it comes to contamination. I hate to say that, as they cook wonderful meals for me and I'm very fortunate, but something as simple as RINSING my bowl is something I have to KEEP ASKING them to do. If I don't, they either don't bother or wipe just the inside with the same towel we use to dry dishes - probably transferring mites to the towel and leaving any on the bottom or sides of the bowl to crawl onto my dinner. Even worse, I take my dinner upstairs - so that increases the risk of mites infesting my room. They also take cling film out of the mite-infested cupboard, put it over food in a glass bowl from the mite-infested cupboard and straight into the fridge. So carelessness and laziness means there's a risk of the fridge becoming infested as well. Just fucking great.

They're not good for your health. Mites are well-known to cause allergies when mites, mite hairs or mite droppings are inhaled or ingested. Acariasis is an often-overlooked condition in which mites invade the body. It's a problem for farmers and people working in factories with large mite populations (especially around rice and stored grain). They can survive in your urinary tract, your lungs, your intestines, you name it. Even if you cook, say, infested flour, and kill all the mites inside, it will still make you sick. But no, I guess that's just extra protein amirite? xdddddd
Last edited by Wazrach on 16 Oct 2019, 01:29, edited 3 times in total.

Wazrach

15 Oct 2019, 21:42

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Last edited by Wazrach on 15 Oct 2019, 22:48, edited 1 time in total.

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AJM

15 Oct 2019, 22:04

I don't think you're a freak and I sympathise with you.
The thing is: I (and maybe a lot of others) am at the moment convinced, that I'm not affected and want it to remain that way. So I don't want to start looking and - on the contrary - would like to forget everything about it. :mrgreen:

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mr_a500

15 Oct 2019, 23:02

I came here to read about house mites, but the posts are missing. What happened?

I'm not sure about house mites, but I've got a severe problem with motherfucking cluster flies. I'd never even heard of the bastards before I moved to this place. They invade my house in fall and come out all winter long. I used to like winter because all insects were gone, but these are flies that only come out in winter! (sons of bitches!)

I'd rather have a house-warming party for house mites than be cursed with these fucking flies.

Wazrach

16 Oct 2019, 00:45

mr_a500 wrote:
15 Oct 2019, 23:02
I came here to read about house mites, but the posts are missing. What happened?

I'm not sure about house mites, but I've got a severe problem with motherfucking cluster flies. I'd never even heard of the bastards before I moved to this place. They invade my house in fall and come out all winter long. I used to like winter because all insects were gone, but these are flies that only come out in winter! (sons of bitches!)

I'd rather have a house-warming party for house mites than be cursed with these fucking flies.
I've never ever heard of cluster flies before. How do they behave? Gonna have to look that up.

Yeah I shouldn't have, but I just deleted it because I wasn't trying to attract sympathy. I felt bad for bitching about how my parents aren't taking it seriously, as well.

Wazrach

16 Oct 2019, 00:46

Oh, blowflies... Do you have any idea why you have them in your house? What are they living off?

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mr_a500

16 Oct 2019, 01:17

These aren't the regular green blowflies that live off rotting meat or piles of shit. No, these bastards don't eat anything. They just look for a warm spot to spend the winter. They can squeeze into little tiny gaps and work their way to the attic, then come down through any little microscopic opening into the living areas, then head for the nearest window to buzz around and generally fuck up my day.

(See, I don't feel bad about bitching - and I do want sympathy.)

Wazrach

16 Oct 2019, 01:30

mr_a500 wrote:
16 Oct 2019, 01:17
These aren't the regular green blowflies that live off rotting meat or piles of shit. No, these bastards don't eat anything. They just look for a warm spot to spend the winter. They can squeeze into little tiny gaps and work their way to the attic, then come down through any little microscopic opening into the living areas, then head for the nearest window to buzz around and generally fuck up my day.

(See, I don't feel bad about bitching - and I do want sympathy.)
Updated the post again to roughly what it was before.

I'm sorry that the blowflies are bothering you. I take it they never try to infest your foodstuffs? Just a general nuisance?


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mr_a500

16 Oct 2019, 03:24

Wazrach wrote:
16 Oct 2019, 01:30
I take it they never try to infest your foodstuffs? Just a general nuisance?
They don't go anywhere near my food, just to the windows or the brightest light source. At least that's one good thing. If these were the kind of flies that land on food, I'd go berserk, grab a machine gun and trash the place, sort of like this:
Image

I definitely don't have those mites in my house. That must be annoying if they're going all over your dishes.

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XMIT
[ XMIT ]

16 Oct 2019, 04:08

We had these a while ago when a slice of bread went unnoticed in the back of the cupboard a while back. The answer was to pull everything out of the kitchen, toss away any unsealed food, and bleach everything daily until the mites were gone. Took about 10 days. Good luck.

Wazrach

16 Oct 2019, 10:37

XMIT wrote:
16 Oct 2019, 04:08
We had these a while ago when a slice of bread went unnoticed in the back of the cupboard a while back. The answer was to pull everything out of the kitchen, toss away any unsealed food, and bleach everything daily until the mites were gone. Took about 10 days. Good luck.
Somewhat comforting to know somebody else is familiar with them. Chances are, if they were on a slice of bread, you also had them in your house but didn't know it. They eat pretty much everything. They can proliferate in areas with no food. My bedroom in the previous house had mites in the drawers of my bed. They love wires and electronics for some reason, although it's said it's because of the warmth they provide. The mites seem to start crawling out of drawers and cupboards in the colder months.

I've moved a lot in ten years, and it appears that I've brought them with me with every move. The first house (my grandmother's house) was really, really dirty and damp and I remember seeing these mites frequently, even when not looking for them. Since they're so small, they pretty much anchor themselves to your house, getting into skirting boards and in cracks. That's why they're so hard to deal with.

I bet this wouldn't be such a problem if I was actually getting help with the situation. You know, like keeping open food out of the kitchen and being extremely careful with contamination. Cleaning is generally pointless - they just swarm the cupboards again after cleaning with bleach. I bet the only way to truly deal with it would be to starve them by removing EVERYTHING from the drawers and cupboards and storing them in a different room, while keeping humidity low. It's just a fucking carry-on.

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Chyros

16 Oct 2019, 11:31

When I was a kid I lived in a street where at some point there was an infestation of pharaoh ants. They're very tiny and get absolutely EVERYWHERE, even in things with closed lids, like jam jars. There wasn't a meal we ate that didn't have ants in it, they even got into your drinks. The council had to fumigate the entire street, it was awful xD .

Wazrach

16 Oct 2019, 12:05

Chyros wrote:
16 Oct 2019, 11:31
When I was a kid I lived in a street where at some point there was an infestation of pharaoh ants. They're very tiny and get absolutely EVERYWHERE, even in things with closed lids, like jam jars. There wasn't a meal we ate that didn't have ants in it, they even got into your drinks. The council had to fumigate the entire street, it was awful xD .
That must have been traumatising. First time I've heard of pharoah ants. How long did you have to stay out of the street after it was fumigated? Did you have to throw out your things?

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Chyros

16 Oct 2019, 13:59

Wazrach wrote:
16 Oct 2019, 12:05
Chyros wrote:
16 Oct 2019, 11:31
When I was a kid I lived in a street where at some point there was an infestation of pharaoh ants. They're very tiny and get absolutely EVERYWHERE, even in things with closed lids, like jam jars. There wasn't a meal we ate that didn't have ants in it, they even got into your drinks. The council had to fumigate the entire street, it was awful xD .
That must have been traumatising. First time I've heard of pharoah ants. How long did you have to stay out of the street after it was fumigated? Did you have to throw out your things?
Oh I was very little, I wasn't all THAT traumatised really xD . They're really tiny ants, much smaller than the ones you'll be used to - at some point you just accept that your peanut butter sandwich has at least half a dozen ants on it xD . I was much more afraid of spiders when I was a kid.

I can't remember how they got everything out tbh. I don't think we needed to throw anything out either. But it took them a week or something to clear the whole street.

andrewjoy

16 Oct 2019, 15:12

Chyros wrote:
16 Oct 2019, 11:31
When I was a kid I lived in a street where at some point there was an infestation of pharaoh ants. They're very tiny and get absolutely EVERYWHERE, even in things with closed lids, like jam jars. There wasn't a meal we ate that didn't have ants in it, they even got into your drinks. The council had to fumigate the entire street, it was awful xD .
That is like free protein!

You just wait till overpopulation gets even worse and we are all living in hive cities and you have to fight someone to the death for a tiny scrap of delicious rat meat! You will miss them ants and there free protein then!

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depletedvespene

16 Oct 2019, 15:16

andrewjoy wrote:
16 Oct 2019, 15:12
Chyros wrote:
16 Oct 2019, 11:31
When I was a kid I lived in a street where at some point there was an infestation of pharaoh ants. They're very tiny and get absolutely EVERYWHERE, even in things with closed lids, like jam jars. There wasn't a meal we ate that didn't have ants in it, they even got into your drinks. The council had to fumigate the entire street, it was awful xD .
That is like free protein!

You just wait till overpopulation gets even worse and we are all living in hive cities and you have to fight someone to the death for a tiny scrap of delicious rat meat! You will miss them ants and there free protein then!
Nonsense. Soylent green is full of high-quality protein. Why would you want rat meat, dirty and hairy, in the first place?

(it's also baked in high-quality ovens, powered by the clean energy Vespene™ provides, but that's another issue)

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mr_a500

16 Oct 2019, 16:30

Soylent green is people!

When I eat people, I prefer the unprocessed free range kind. It's better for you and much tastier.

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depletedvespene

16 Oct 2019, 16:33

mr_a500 wrote:
16 Oct 2019, 16:30
Soylent green is people!

When I eat people, I prefer the unprocessed free range kind. It's better for you and much tastier.
Says the guy who's never tasted low-fat Soylent Neon Green.

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swampangel

16 Oct 2019, 16:37

Wazrach wrote:
16 Oct 2019, 10:37
I've moved a lot in ten years, and it appears that I've brought them with me with every move. The first house (my grandmother's house) was really, really dirty and damp and I remember seeing these mites frequently, even when not looking for them. Since they're so small, they pretty much anchor themselves to your house, getting into skirting boards and in cracks. That's why they're so hard to deal with.
I wonder, have you ever had a chance to investigate a friend's house for a similar presence?

And you said they can cause health problems, but do you think that you or your family are having health issues from them?

I don't ask to be contrary, but because I grew up in an old-but-basically-clean house and was raised with the idea that "bugs live here too". Of course you try to make things less hospitable for them -- I do have a dust mite allergy -- but that quote ^ makes me wonder if it's less about the actual effects of the mites now than the association with a prior, dirty house. You might go somewhere you think of as "clean" and find their pantry is equally mite-ridden.

That said, I'm a big fan of diatomaceous earth as a safe and inexpensive tool to discourage bugs from coming through cracks around doors/baseboards/etc. It's generally food-safe and pet-safe, although it's a fine powder so you want to avoid getting a lungful. But it would be an easy thing to use at the back of drawers and the threshold of your room.

Wazrach

16 Oct 2019, 18:51

swampangel wrote:
16 Oct 2019, 16:37
Wazrach wrote:
16 Oct 2019, 10:37
I've moved a lot in ten years, and it appears that I've brought them with me with every move. The first house (my grandmother's house) was really, really dirty and damp and I remember seeing these mites frequently, even when not looking for them. Since they're so small, they pretty much anchor themselves to your house, getting into skirting boards and in cracks. That's why they're so hard to deal with.
I wonder, have you ever had a chance to investigate a friend's house for a similar presence?

And you said they can cause health problems, but do you think that you or your family are having health issues from them?

I don't ask to be contrary, but because I grew up in an old-but-basically-clean house and was raised with the idea that "bugs live here too". Of course you try to make things less hospitable for them -- I do have a dust mite allergy -- but that quote ^ makes me wonder if it's less about the actual effects of the mites now than the association with a prior, dirty house. You might go somewhere you think of as "clean" and find their pantry is equally mite-ridden.

That said, I'm a big fan of diatomaceous earth as a safe and inexpensive tool to discourage bugs from coming through cracks around doors/baseboards/etc. It's generally food-safe and pet-safe, although it's a fine powder so you want to avoid getting a lungful. But it would be an easy thing to use at the back of drawers and the threshold of your room.
I don't believe we're having any health problems, as it's not quite an infestation yet. I don't need to look far for them, but it's not quite... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=80Xi5a6PeVo

How did you find out you had a dust mite allergy? Do you still have them?

I actually put diatomaceous earth along the sides of some of the cupboards well over a year ago, but this didn't really stop them (in fact there's clearly some mold on it now). The mites cause mold growth in the least likely places, it seems. My mother had to throw out her juicer when we first discovered them in this house, as the cable was moldy and mites were crawling on it. Two tins of Nescafe Azera instant coffee had to be thrown out, as the coffee had turned into a shriveled, moldy island in the center of the tin, with a few mites in there. In a previous house, they turned the insides of a Quality Street tub moldy, even though there was nothing organic inside? Literally just coins and stuff. The inside was covered in mold dust and CRAWLING with mites. It makes no sense.

Wazrach

16 Oct 2019, 18:58

andrewjoy wrote:
16 Oct 2019, 15:12
Chyros wrote:
16 Oct 2019, 11:31
When I was a kid I lived in a street where at some point there was an infestation of pharaoh ants. They're very tiny and get absolutely EVERYWHERE, even in things with closed lids, like jam jars. There wasn't a meal we ate that didn't have ants in it, they even got into your drinks. The council had to fumigate the entire street, it was awful xD .
That is like free protein!

You just wait till overpopulation gets even worse and we are all living in hive cities and you have to fight someone to the death for a tiny scrap of delicious rat meat! You will miss them ants and there free protein then!
Exactly. Just think, if he didn't crunch on those ants, the keyboard lord himself wouldn't have developed quite as well.

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swampangel

16 Oct 2019, 19:42

Wazrach wrote:
16 Oct 2019, 18:51
I don't believe we're having any health problems, as it's not quite an infestation yet. I don't need to look far for them, but it's not quite... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=80Xi5a6PeVo

How did you find out you had a dust mite allergy? Do you still have them?
I haven't actually been allergy tested, but my mom had skin tests and reacted strongly to dust mites. It's heritable and I have the same kind of hayfever-like symptoms, so on balance of probabilities, I have the same allergy.

Bad for symptoms:
- houses with carpet or forced-air heat
- letting my house go too long without cleaning
- a musty-smelling room or bed is usually bad news

Good for symptoms:
- vacuuming often (I have a shop vac with a hepa filter cartridge, good for dog dander too)
- cleaning the walls and baseboards occasionally with a swiffer broom
- sunlight and airflow to reduce humidity
- an anti-allergen mattress cover
- mattress on slats and raised off the ground so air can circulate underneath

I live in an ~80 year old house (different from the one I grew up in); I'd be amazed if you could eliminate dust mites entirely in anything other than a modern apartment building. So it's just about damage control, trying to remove/discourage them from my main living spaces.
Wazrach wrote:
16 Oct 2019, 18:51
I actually put diatomaceous earth along the sides of some of the cupboards well over a year ago, but this didn't really stop them (in fact there's clearly some mold on it now). The mites cause mold growth in the least likely places, it seems. My mother had to throw out her juicer when we first discovered them in this house, as the cable was moldy and mites were crawling on it. Two tins of Nescafe Azera instant coffee had to be thrown out, as the coffee had turned into a shriveled, moldy island in the center of the tin, with a few mites in there. In a previous house, they turned the insides of a Quality Street tub moldy, even though there was nothing organic inside? Literally just coins and stuff. The inside was covered in mold dust and CRAWLING with mites. It makes no sense.
I would have said it's the opposite, the mites feed on the fungus, but maybe it goes both ways and mold develops on their dropping/bodies.

You don't live in an especially humid area like Vancouver/Seattle, do you?

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purdobol

16 Oct 2019, 19:44

andrewjoy wrote:
16 Oct 2019, 15:12
You just wait till overpopulation gets even worse and we are all living in hive cities and you have to fight someone to the death for a tiny scrap of delicious rat meat! You will miss them ants and there free protein then!
Make Room! Make Room! comes to mind.
Spoiler:
Image
That's some dope cover art by the way.
Too bad it's just a myth.

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