rat mite

8 minutes. for reading

One of the most common parasites and pests that enter homes and pose a danger to humans is the rat mite. These parasites live in secluded corners and basements indoors, biting people and damaging their skin. Cases of serious illnesses from tick bites in apartments are well known. The scientific name of the rat mite is the gamas rat mite Ornithonyssus bacoti (Hirst, 1913).

Rat mites are classified as “human pests,” like rats, certain types of rodents, cockroaches, and others. They damage human skin tissue, causing dermatitis. Medically, this condition is known as rat mite dermatitis. If timely measures are not taken, rat mites quickly multiply and colonize the entire room, posing a serious threat to the people living there. Be aware that these ticks can carry serious illnesses, including hemorrhagic fever. Such diseases can lead to various outcomes, including death.

When ticks settle in a host's home for a long period of time, forming swarms and colonies from floor to ceiling, they use human food for their reproduction. To prevent the appearance of this unpleasant and dangerous parasite in your place of residence, it is necessary to take preventive measures.

Simple measures, including wet cleaning and keeping the home clean by the occupants, can often help prevent rat mites from appearing indoors. Compliance with preventive measures and preventing parasites dangerous to humans from entering your home, especially if they smell a pleasant aroma or find favorable living conditions, are the best methods of control.

Development and life cycle of the rat mite

Developing the topic of the rat mite, it is worth remembering that it does not appear in the house on its own, but comes there with rodents that carry it on themselves. The tick first parasitizes the rat, and then can spread to humans. This explains both the areas of spread of rat mites and the rules for protecting against them. The life cycle and living conditions of the rat mite are associated primarily with its parasitic lifestyle. Sometimes a tick can independently enter a house through the basement if it has lost its owner - the rat on which it parasitized, and it died.

During its life, Ornithonyssus bacoti goes through five stages of development. Let's look at all five stages of development and life cycle of Ornithonyssus bacoti mites:

  1. Egg
  2. Larva
  3. Protonymph
  4. Deutonymph
  5. Adult rat mite

Only ticks at stages 3 and 5 are capable of biting people and causing harm. Ticks in the deutonymphal or early stages of development do not pose a threat to humans. Biting and feeding on blood allows the mites to accumulate energy for shedding (in the case of a protonymph) or laying eggs (in the case of an adult female rat mite). Typically, the female lays about a hundred rat mite eggs, which hatch within a day and a half. Such a rapid rate of parasite reproduction can cause concern among the inhabitants of the house.

However, it is possible to identify ticks and their larvae. Ticks love heat, so they can often be found near heating appliances. Carefully inspect corners and recesses near heaters or radiators while cleaning - this will help detect ticks in your apartment. If you find ticks or their larvae, it will likely be in the early stages, when preventive measures can help get rid of them and prevent the spread of larvae in your home, as well as reduce the risk of bites and the transmission of dangerous diseases such as Rat Tick Dermatitis (RTD). . Remember to thoroughly wet clean and carefully check corners and recesses around heating appliances - this is where mites usually hide.

But what is KD, transmitted by ticks, and how dangerous is it? How can a rat mite harm a person, and is it possible to avoid infection thanks to a strong immune system? Detailed answers to these questions are presented in the next section.

Rat tick dermatitis: a disease carried by rat mites

The Moscow State Center for Hygiene and Epidemiology emphasizes that rat tick-borne dermatitis (RMD) is one of the most common and dangerous skin diseases at present. The risk of contracting KDV exists for all people living in areas where rat mites, rats and other rodents actively breed. In addition, ticks can also carry other diseases. For example, rat tick bites and the infestation of ticks or rats in the home can lead to dangerous diseases such as rat typhus, vesicular rickettsial disease, plague and Q fever.

In cities in recent years, the problem of rat mite dermatitis (RMD) has become increasingly urgent. Mass gatherings of people and the penetration of rat mites into apartments on the backs of rats and rodents cause new cases of infection with this unpleasant skin disease. This disease has two types of foci:

  1. Production centers: if your work involves breeding and keeping animals, including wild ones, there are special recommendations for working in such conditions. Compliance with safety measures is important if your work involves interaction with ticks, rats, rodents and other animals. Tick ​​bites in industrial environments can lead to massive spread of the disease and rapid infection of people working within organizations.
  2. Household fireplaces: these hearths are located on the first and second floors of houses. Rat mites and other animals can enter the lower floors of homes from the basement, spreading through openings and joints in walls and floors. Rat mite bites can be painful and itchy. Rat mites are transmitted through household contact.

Typically, itching with CCD goes away within 7-10 days. If you experience symptoms of rat mite dermatitis, it is important to take immediate action to control the mites in your home. Even if you manage to cure the disease and get rid of the dermatitis, as long as your home is infested with mites, they will continue to threaten your health, weaken your immune system and increase the risk of contracting rat mite dermatitis (RMD).

How to protect yourself from KKD

The parasitic bodies that the tick introduces through its bite and which cause infection in the human blood can continue their destructive effects for a long time, especially if the patient’s immunity is weakened. The ideal first step is to make sure that rat mites are completely eradicated from your home. Only after you get rid of rat mites and destroy their foci and habitats can you effectively cure rat mite dermatitis and eradicate microorganisms and harmful substances in the blood.

To prevent this disease, carefully study the recommendations of scientific experts on preventing rat mites from entering your apartment. Carry out all necessary preventive measures, including wet cleaning of the premises, since without it the risk of tick penetration remains. Do not forget to clean the furniture, remove dust and dirt even in the most inaccessible places, as this is where the parasite can penetrate. Ticks are afraid of light and are cunning in their behavior, so all preventive measures against these parasites should be carried out carefully.

Unfortunately, other diseases transmitted by rat mites also pose a danger to humans. Further in the article we will tell you what other threats they pose to our body and what complications can arise after their bites.

Other dangers and harm from rat mites

Typhus from ticks is another possible illness, especially if the patient's immune system is weakened. Parasite bites and introduction of pathogenic microorganisms into the blood can also cause dangerous Q-fever. This fever is accompanied by a sharp increase in body temperature and constant malaise of the body. Typhus, transmitted by a tick bite, is called endemic or rat typhus, and is different from other forms of typhus.

This type of typhus causes skin rashes within a radius of several centimeters from the bite site, and sometimes the rash spreads further due to general infection of the body. The disease may cause itching, scabies, and skin irritation, but is not associated with rat mite dermatitis, which was mentioned earlier. In addition, ticks can carry plague. Nowadays, the plague is no longer as serious a threat as it used to be, but even now, 2.5 thousand people die every year from the symptoms of the plague. Another rare disease that is transmitted by rat ticks is vesicular rickettsiosis.

Now you know what dangerous diseases can be spread through tick bites, it is important to take them seriously. It is better to prevent the threat in advance by getting rid of ticks in your home.

How to deal with rat mites in the house

As mentioned earlier, we discussed methods of preventing rat mites and provided recommendations for keeping your indoor environment safe from these insects. However, if harmful insects and parasites have already found refuge in your home, how can you cope with this problem yourself and get rid of them?

One effective way to protect against rat mites is to seal cracks in the floors and walls with cement. If there are places in your home that cannot be reached with cleaning tools, but where ticks regularly live and where they come from, the best solution is to seal these cracks with cement. This will prevent ticks from accessing secluded areas where they can hide from their hosts and spread, laying eggs and forming new colonies.

It is also recommended that you thoroughly wash and wash all old clothes and items that you have worn. Bedding should also be washed and either frozen (placed in the freezer in a bag) or simply thrown away if you do not plan to use it in the future. Rat mites often settle on clothing, parasitizing humans. It is better to store food in the refrigerator and avoid leaving it outside for long periods of time. If you have already noticed ticks in your home, it is important to take daily showers and regularly check your skin for ticks. If ticks have managed to get on your body, fighting them will become much more difficult.

However, if the preventive measures you have taken and independent attempts to combat insects have not been successful, and the number of mites is only increasing, the best solution would be to seek help from professionals. Before doing this, you should ensure that you have taken all possible precautions and hygiene procedures. If there is a large population of mites in the home, treating and eliminating them can be a difficult task to do on your own. Professionals will carry out a thorough chemical treatment of the premises with specialized means to completely destroy ticks and prevent their further spread. It is also important to prevent the survival of rats and rodents that carry ticks, so treatment must be comprehensive and complete.

If sealing cracks and thorough cleaning using household chemicals does not bring results, and mites continue to increase their population in your home, there is no need to prolong the situation. Contact a professional pest control service and carefully describe your problem to them. The arrangements carried out by them will prove to be the best solution, ensuring you freedom from worry and ensuring a healthy and safe environment in your home.

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