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Itch Mites Survive Winter, Bite Again

Itch mites, magnified 450 times (Photo credit: University of Nebraska-Lincoln Department of Entomology)

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Some oak leaf itch mites that fell from trees and bit people in the Wichita area last fall have managed to stay alive over the mild winter and are biting again. Sedgwick County Extension Education Center agent Matthew McKernan says the office has received about a half-dozen calls over the past couple of weeks from people who have been bitten. The Wichita Eagle reports that the oak leaf itch mite isn't an issue most years and that during a normal winter, low temperatures would have killed them. But some that are living in in leaves fallen from oak trees are too small to see. McKernan says that mites lasting through the winter doesn't necessarily mean there will be another bad crop of new ones later this year.


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