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Lice (Mites) and Lice Control Sydney

Lice (Mites) and Lice Control Sydney. Got an unexplainable itch? There is a good possibility you could have mites or lice. There are eight main types of lice (mites) prevalent in Sydney, Bird lice, Rat lice, the Sydney grass lice, the Clover lice, Head lice, Body lice, Dust mite and Scabies. The following information will give you a good grasp on what lice and mites are, how to control them and on how to get rid of lice and mites. Micropest pest control is a leading lice and mite control company based in Sydney and are fully licensed and insured. All our lice and mites control operators have being in the pest control industry for over twenty years and use safe, environmentally friendly and pet friendly lice and mite control treatments.

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Mites are very small arthropods and those likely to attack humans are only 0.5 to 2.5 mm in length. With one or two exceptions they are not true parasites of humans but merely attach themselves to the skin to feed; however, the period of feeding can extend over hours or a day or two instead of about a minute as with blood sucking insects.

Medical significance

The bites always cause mild to severe irritation, but in addition vesicles and pustules may develop. Many bites are more likely to be received than just one or two. Occasionally people attacked by mites may be feverish and exhibit respiratory symptoms. Very occasionally severe anaphylactic responses are exhibited.

Itchy vesicular skin reactions on children are always a problem and mites are one of the possible causes of these; they are also one of the most difficult to detect, unless the various circumstances which are likely to give rise to acute infestations are understood. Mites can only crawl although occasionally they may be airborne within a very short radius and infestations are convened to the various materials in which they live and breed. Birds nests, rats' nests. grass, clover, hay, straw, leaf litter and foods such as cheese are likely places in which infestations may become established. There are other even smaller mites which probably infest all dwellings and appear to be a normal component of house dust. These can be an important cause of an allergic response manifesting itself as asthma.

The starling mite (Ornithonyssus bursa) Bird mite

This is a widely distributed pest, often incorrectly thought to be, and commonly referred to in pest control advertising as "bird lice". The usual host in Australia has been the starling, but in recent times the Indian Mynah has become more important, and pigeons, sparrows and chickens are also among its hosts. Almost every case of starling mite attack on humans is due to the birds which nest in the roofs, eaves or exteriors of homes or buildings.

The bird is the true and only satisfactory host for this mite and the nest is its breeding place. The adult mites may live for up to 10 days away from the bird host but do not survive any longer away from the bird's nest.

ln Australia the nests of Mynahs and starlings are commonly found in roof cavities or beneath eaves of buildings. Most such nests are mite infested, often very heavily while nestlings are present. invasions of the interior of homes and buildings are common, particularly in the summer months and especially when the young birds leave the nests. The infestation may be severe, with an invasion, sometimes of thousands of mites, into the interior of buildings. Entry is made through ventilators, windows or even cracks in cornices. The invasion is self terminating but can persist for two or three weeks. A bed, chair or work bench adjacent to a wall may be in the path of the invasion and the occupants of these infested. The mites may traverse the floor but most transfer to humans takes place close to the points of entry to the room.

The starling mite attacks humans with greater frequency than any other mite in Australian cities and other urban centres. Most attacks are in late spring, occasionally in summer, rarely in early autumn. Although children show the most obvious bite reactions a reasonable number of adults, mostly females, are also affected. Occupationally, adults who move about at work are not likely to be affected, only those who remain seated in the one place.

The primary operation in control is the removal and destruction of the nest since insecticides used inside rooms do not prevent further invasions while the nest is permitted to remain. invading mites can be dealt with by household insecticides if the path of invasion can be detected (mites can be seen especially when they are moving _ dead mites on a window sill for example can be seen as specks of dust but are rather larger, and uniformity of size and shape does make one suspect that they are not ordinary dust). Coopex dust is known to be effective where circumstances permit, but the source of the invasion requires removal for proper control.

Once the immediate problem is overcome the means by which birds gain access to the roof or eaves should be determined and repaired. imperfectly sealed eaves, broken tiles. and badly constructed roof valleys are the usual sources of trouble.

The Victorian architectural heritage, with its columns and carved stonework, presents another problem in city buildings. Here pigeons can nest on the exterior faces of buildings which are architecturally sound. Bird repellent coatings (stable plastic gels) have been developed to cope with this problem.

The rat mite (Ornithonyssus bacoti)

This is a cosmopolitan ectoparasite of commensally rats. As with bird mites, the rat mite is primarily an inhabitant of the nest. When rats are numerous. Or when they have been suddenly controlled, these mites may migrate through the house, store, shop or warehouse. Attacks on humans by rat mites used to be reported in Sydney. but now appear to happen very rarely. Waterfront buildings would probably be the most likely sites.

On the human skin this mite produces irritation, sometimes with vesicular dermatitis or urticaria, The basic control is of course rat control and rat proofing of buildings.

The Sydney grass itch mite (Odontacarus australiensis)

This species is sometimes common on lawns in Sydney during the summer only but although it may be reported with some frequency for a few years it then seems to disappear for even longer; possibly changed methods of lawn maintenance have had an inhibitory effect. Cats and humans are readily attacked by this mite and although it has been recorded from the bandicoot this animal does not appear to provide a satisfactory explanation for a natural host in some of the areas which have been infested in past years in Sydney suburbs. The grass itch mite is slightly larger than most mites which attack humans and is the one most likely to be seen on the skin by an untrained observer. The area of attack on cats is inside the ear and although this mite may bite anywhere on the human body there is often a tendency for bites to be grouped in the armpits. The bites produce papular or Vesicular reactions, especially on children who in any case comprise the group most likely to have prolonged contact with infested grass .Control of these mites is fairly readily effected by the use of insecticidal dusts (carbaryl, maldison, BHC) over the infested grass areas.

The grain itch mite (Pyemotes ventricosus)

Strangely enough this mite is a parasite of insect larvae, particularly of those feeding in various stored grains, but also of timber borers. Infestations are common in harvested wheat, barley, rye, other grains, hay, straw and tobacco, and especially in such materials when they are stored for long periods.

People most likely to be attacked are those who handle haystacks, grain or packing straw. The incidence of human infestation is most common among farmers, and next among those handling cargoes in ships which have been used for bulk wheat transport and factory workers using susceptible materials such as tobacco. Outbreaks do occur from time to time in any industry in which straw is used for packing (e.g. plant nurseries and glass, clay and terracotta products). Coal miners have also been attacked in New South Wales and Queensland, the source being borers in pit prop timbers.

This mite is an unusual accidental invader of humans in that it does burrow supemcially in the skin causing severe itching and producing local petechiae and erythema. Fever and sweating are sometimes associated with the infestation but the mites soon leave the skin, and the itching usually subsides within two to three days, but the marks may persist. No specific areas of the body are attacked, in fact a much wider dispersion of bites is likely with this mite than with most others. In part this may be due to methods of handling some types of infested material such as straw or hay which are likely to result in airborne transfer of mites.

Small quantities of infested material may be destroyed; larger quantities which cannot be disposed of require fumigation or other insecticidal treatment for the sake of the predisposing insect infestation as much as for the mites. ln some cases, as with farmers handling haystacks, personal protection by the use of insect repellents containing dimethyl phthalate or diethyl toluamide during periods of exposure, and a bath and change of clothing after, are all that is required.

Tyroglyphid mites - Species of Acarus and Tyrophagus

This group of mites includes several species prone to be found infesting stored foodstuffs. Acorus siro is a destructive pest of cheese, dried fruits and vegetables, grain and flour. This is probably the mite which in the past was most commonly associated with grocers` itch, an occupational condition associated with the sale of groceries from bulk bags or open drawers. Modern handling and packaging has probably obviated most such troubles, and although there has been a return to selling susceptible foodstuffs from bulk in some stores (albeit with greater general sanitation of containers) there has been no major resurgence of the problems of the past.

Similar, related mites may also be found in grass and leaf debris and are occasionally the cause of urticarial or anaphylactic responses in humans. Sometimes several different types of mites are found in these infestations and it is difficult to be sure which is actually the cause of irritation. As with most other mite attacks there must be a source of infestation and the opportunity of a period of stationary contact with the infested material. They do not actively seek out humans. People have to be actually in the way of their movement to become infested.

The clover mite (Bryobia praetiosa)

Although this species may occur on a wide variety of plants it is traditionally associated with clovers. It has been, but only very seldom, reported as a pest of humans in New South Wales. Its peculiar feature is that it does sometimes invade the interior of houses in a mass migration.

The itch mite (scabies) - (Sarcoptes scabei)

This is a true parasite of the human skin since it does not exist in any other situation. There are other varieties of this species, such as variety wombati, which are specific parasites of various animals. In Australia the wombat is the animal most commonly seen with gross scabies infestations.

The itch mite burrows in the horny layers of the skin. Initially the infestation passes unnoticed but after a period of sensitisation, a month or so, the infested areas become irritable and scratching is inevitable. This removes some mites and may eventually free the person since the number of individual mites in the skin at any one time is normally relatively few.

There is a common distributional pattern of scabies on humans. The back of the hands and wrists are most favoured, next the extensor surface of the elbows, then feet and genitals and sometimes the buttocks or armpits. Infestations of the penis, or the area around the nipples in women, are very characteristic when they occur. There is atypical incidence on babies when the palms of the hands, soles of the feet, and even the face may be affected, otherwise scabies is not found above the neck line. L though this classical distribution has been established from the ' examination of hundreds of European cases it is by no means always as clear-cut.

Scabies has not been particularly common in Australia but from the beginning of the l97Os there has been an increasing incidence in many parts of the continent. Unusual features have been the involvement of aged people, outbreaks in hospital wards and convalescent homes, and a greater frequency of the rare Norwegian scabies condition, a name used to denote extremely heavy infestations resulting in gross crusting and scaling of the skin. Also unusual have been the cases of direct invasion of numbers of mites from heavily infected persons to their immediate contacts, usually nurses, causing almost immediate irritation without the normal latent period.

Despite the fact that well established cases usually have suggestive clinical signs scabies is not easy to diagnose. A positive diagnosis can only be made when a mite is seen or recovered from its burrow in the skin. Hence competent medical examination is essential.

There has been some controversy as to whether the scabies of animals can transfer to humans. The circumstantial evidence of cases occurring in the tenders of camels or circus animals suggests that if the possibilities of contact are sufficiently close and frequent this may well happen, otherwise it is most unlikely.

ln normal scabies, the mites become active with warmth and transfer is by close personal contact as in the warmth of a bed and one case is likely to be accompanied by others in the same family. Indeed, family contacts should also be included in any treatment of a proven case of scabies.

Scabies was characteristically treated with sulphur ointment, but this was replaced in recent decades by the simpler to apply, and more effective, benzyl benzoate lotions. Proprietary lotions containing lindane can be satisfactory for scabies control, and products containing crotamiton which relieve the itch as well as killing the mite can be recommended.

The use of benzyl benzoate should be restricted to two treatments of the entire body from the neck to the toes at an interval of one week. Repeated use, especially the treatment of suspect itchy areas can give rise to an itchy reaction to the chemical just as unpleasant as the original scabies. lf there is doubt as to the effectiveness of the treatment further advice should be sought.

The house dust mite (Dermatophagoides spp.)

These mites are a normal component of the interior of dwellings and are probably fully ubiquitous. They appear to survive on shed human skin scales and other debris that occurs in house dust. Surveys of homes have found their greatest numbers are generally in the bedrooms, and may be particularly associated with some beds and mattresses.

The mites are very small and difficult to detect unless special techniques of extraction from dust are employed. The mites have been incriminated as responsible for allergic dermatitis in some individuals, and as one of the causes of asthma, loosely classified in the past as "house-dust asthma' '_ It is fairly obvious that the mites can be airborne within enclosed spaces, and one of the problems with insecticidal control of this mite is that the dead body, and body parts of the mite can also produce the allergic response in sensitive individuals.

Control of the problems associated with this mite is therefore a difficult and frustrating task. Fumigation or other insecticidal treatment is not the answer, but thorough cleanliness through rigorous vacuuming will reduce numbers of mites considerably. Particular attention should be paid to the bedroom and bed of sensitive individuals, and the mattress could be covered with plastic to facilitate cleaning or a bed bug mattress protector.

Mite control price list

Micropest provides the following mite pest control service with an approximate price. Please don't hesitate to ring because we do have specials from time to time and we are flexible.

Services Apartment
(Conditions Apply)
Houses
(Conditions Apply)
Restaurant
(Conditions Apply)
Commercial
(Conditions Apply)
Lice & Mites $180.00 $240.00 Call for quote Call for quote
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