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Mites and disease

Mites are small animals, usually less than 1.2 mm, with eight legs. Many species have piercing and blood-sucking mouthparts.

Species causing disorders include the scabies mite, which burrows in human skin causing intense itching; the housedust mite, which can cause asthma when inhaled in dust; and chiggers (American harvest mites), which are found in thick grass and cause an itchy rash when they bite. Mites in grain or fruit may cause skin irritation, sometimes known as grocers’ or bakers’ itch. Certain mites transmit diseases, particularly scrub typhus and rickettsial pox.

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