Flour Mite (Acarus siro)
Structure, Appearance and Characteristics
Females can lay 20-30 eggs over food source. Eggs hatch in 3-4 days. Larvae feed for approx. 3 days then lie dormant for approx. 2 days. Complete life cycle can range from 17-28 days depending on conditions.
Requires habitats of high humidity. In such habitats mass propagation can occur. Below about 70 per cent relative humidity, the population will die out.
Feeds in broken grain, flour, tobacco and animal feeds, dried fruit, vegetable materials and even cheese.
Unpleasant odours can occur because of cast skins and droppings. Can lead to skin irritations in sensitive people (e.g. dermatitis). Infested food becomes unsuitable for consumption. Damage is caused by adults and larvae alike.
Rapid breeding, large range of food sources and small size are all strengths of this mite. Weaknesses include the fact that the entire life cycle is spent on the food source and the need for good conditions in terms of temperature and relative humidity. Control can be achieved in a number of ways. Contaminated food sources should be removed and disposed. The environment could be dried out or the temperature conditions could possibly be altered. Clean out the infested area to ensure spilled commodity does not remain. Chemical measures to kill adults that may seek cover in cracks and crevices should be used, for example, space sprays. Fumigation could also be used in extreme cases. If the problem continues to occur it may be owing to reintroduction of the mite in newer stocks of processed goods. Thus stock inspection may be necessary prior to storage
Our licensed technicians can assist you with a flexible, tailored solution to meet your needs and prevent these pests from becoming a problem in your home or workplace. Please contact us to see how we can help you maintain an environment free of these and other pests.