Flour mite: description, habitat, methods of struggle

A flour mite is a pest that destroys and infects them with dangerous diseases. In today's article we will tell you what a given insect looks like and how to get rid of it.

general description

This is a barely noticeable bug, whose dimensions do not exceed one millimeter. It can only be seen through the colors. It has reddish-brown paws and a dull white or light gray body with four stripes on the abdomen. Despite the absence of organs of vision, it is quite mobile.

flour mite

The main feature of the flour mite is that it can move not only along horizontal, but also along vertical surfaces. This insect lives for a relatively short time. But in a very short time, females can lay several hundred eggs. In addition, this pest adapts easily to any habitat conditions and perfectly tolerates sharp temperature fluctuations.Scientists have found that these insects survive even after radiation treatment.

Habitat flour mite

This insect can often be seen in warehouses, barns, bakeries, barns and fields. It is started up in food processing plants, kitchens, grocery stores and livestock pens. It lives in the remnants of plant food, rotting wood, stacks and burrows of rodents.

dried fruits

In general, this pest inhabits where various types of products are stored, including dried fruits, nuts, flour, and cereals. If a colony of such ticks develops indoors, then it can capture not only foodstuffs, but also medicines or tobacco products saved there. Favorable remnants of straw and fodder are a favorable environment for their livelihoods.

Breeding features

Like most arthropods, these mites need special conditions. They can only multiply if there is a sufficient amount of organic matter and in the absence of direct sunlight. The optimal conditions for the continuation of the genus of these pests is the temperature from 18 to 27 degrees and humidity in the range of 15-18%.

The females of this insect are able to lay several hundred eggs in their short life.At the end of the incubation period, a tick larva appears from each of them. It has three pairs of limbs, and its size is so small that it can be compared with a poppy seed. Before becoming an adult, it feeds heavily and undergoes two molts. There are no bristles or shells on her body.

A few days later, the tick larva transforms into the first generation nymph, which lasts only a week. During this time, she manages to significantly increase in size, acquire an additional pair of limbs and become similar to an adult insect. Under favorable conditions, after the next molt, it turns into a nymph of the second age. After a few days, it produces an adult insect that can reproduce offspring. The whole development cycle lasts two weeks.

Why is this insect dangerous?

The mite inflicts enormous damage. It spoils the grain and reduces the germination of the crop. Destroying crops, it leaves behind the waste products containing E. coli and other pathogens. It feeds not only grain crops, but also flax seeds, sunflower, corn, crushed cereals, flour, dried fruits and meat waste.

tick control

Infected product becomes unsuitable for human consumption. It can cause poisoning, scabies, Lyme disease and allergic reactions. By consuming such products, a person runs the risk of contracting a urticaria and getting malfunctioning of the urogenital or respiratory systems. Animals that have eaten such food may experience severe diarrhea and their appetite will disappear.

How to understand that an insect started in the products?

Most often, the pest begins to live in flour. Sometimes people just can not see such an insect. But its presence can be determined by a number of characteristic features.

These mites have a rather peculiar odor, vaguely reminiscent of mint. If the food stock has such a fragrance, it means that this pest has settled inside it. In addition, food infected with a tick acquires a slightly perceptible, sweetish taste.

tick larva

Cereals and flour products infected with this parasite change color. A crust appears on their surface, in appearance resembling ordinary sand. There is another effective way to check for pests.To do this, it is poured on the table, leveled and left for twenty minutes. If, after this time, bumps appear on its surface, it means that a tick has started in it.

Detect the presence of the parasite and using double-sided tape. To do this, it is glued to any cabinet, which stores dried fruit, legumes, cereals or flour. After a couple of days, you need to take a magnifying glass and carefully look at what is stuck on the tape.

How to get rid of the pest?

Since this insect not only destroys food, but also carries dangerous diseases, it must be dealt with. To get rid of the tick need to fumigate the grain. This method of destruction of parasites is based on the use of gas mixtures that are harmful to microorganisms. Such cartridges with toxic substances are widely used in agriculture and industry.

flour products

Contact insecticides, as well as chemicals based on sulfur and hydrogen phosphide, have proven themselves well. However, they are not appropriate to apply at home. Usually they are used for disinfection of large batches of grain. Houses can be limited to freezing or calcination.

Another radical tick control measure is the disposal of contaminated products. Immediately after this, disinfection of the places in which they were stored must be carried out. No less effective are techniques based on creating conditions unfavorable for the existence of these pests. They can not stand the cold and low humidity.

Useful recommendations

To combat tick was effective, it is necessary to prevent the presence of rodents near the places where food stocks are stored. A good effect is provided by repeated washing and the use of a strong chlorine solution, followed by airing the room.

tick pest

At home, to preserve food, you can use deterring agents such as lavender, garlic and bay leaf. And in order to permanently get rid of these pests, it is imperative to find the main source of their spread and destroy it. Moreover, not only those products in which the parasite was wound up are recycled, but also those that just lay side by side.

Prevention methods

So that the flour mite does not start in kitchen cabinets, they should be cleaned regularly.It is advisable to constantly wipe all surfaces from crumbs and dust. Banks used for storing cereals should be dry, clean and sealed. They are recommended to be placed in cool places, away from heat sources. In addition, home can not bring cereals or flour of dubious quality, bought with a big discount. Very often they sell expired and low-quality goods at reduced prices, in which there are already pest larvae. Therefore, saving a couple of rubles, you can get yourself a real problem.

flour mite habitat

Do not keep at home large stocks of food. Buy as much flour and cereals as you can spend in two weeks. Pet food is more susceptible to tick infestation. Therefore, it must be kept separate from other food supplies.

It is strictly forbidden to mix fresh and expired products. A prerequisite for the prevention of flour mite is to maintain an appropriate microclimate. The rooms should be fresh, clean and not too hot.


From the above, we can conclude that the flour mite is a dangerous pest that destroys food stocks and carries serious diseases.These annoying insects perfectly adapt to environmental conditions, and therefore are widely distributed in nature. These arthropods actively reproduce at high humidity. Throughout her short life, the female reproduces more than one hundred small ticks. The whole cycle of their development, starting with the larva and ending with the imago, lasts only two weeks.

To get rid of the bugs who settled in the groats or flour, you need to apply an integrated approach. And if you could not get rid of them yourself, you will have to use the services of professionals.

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