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Grass mites: recognize bites & treat itching

Grass mites in children? Right, they bite and leave little red spots that itch nastily. Adults can also be affected. We explain where they come from, how you recognize them and how you can get rid of them!

Most of the time the spook begins at night. The skin itches and burns so that it is impossible to go back to sleep. A look at the itchy areas shows numerous red dots and pustules, too small and too numerous for mosquito bites. The suspicion often falls on fleas or bed bugs. If you can rule this out after an examination of the bed, you (or your child) may have been a victim of autumn bite.
Never heard? The little pests that are responsible for the itching have different regional names. The autumn mite, grass mite, hay mite or autumn grass mite belongs to the family of running mites. They go through several stages in their development, only the tiny pale red, 6-legged larvae are annoying for humans. If these sting, then you have the autumn bite, harvest bite or harvest scabies (as the grass mite is also called).

When do the grass mites bite?

Usually the mite larvae look for a small mammal as a host because the human skin is too thick. If they get lost on a person, they usually walk around for a while in search of warm areas of the body with thin skin (armpits, back of the knees, pubic area) before stabbing. If the mites are stopped by clothing, they also sting in these areas, which often leads to whole groups of pricks (and corresponding itching) in these areas. The stitches are usually very small, but they can also look pimples.
When they stab, the mite larvae use their mouthparts to injure the top layer of the skin and inject saliva into the wound so that they can suck up the dissolving tissue. That sounds nasty, but people don't notice it yet. The great itching usually only sets in with a delay, sometimes not until the next day. The mite larvae leave the human body after a few hours if they have not previously been destroyed by scratching. The mouthparts usually remain in the skin when scratching, which can also irritate the skin. With the renewal of the top layer of skin, the remains of the mites are then repelled. A full mite that has not been destroyed by scratching will drop and no longer bother people in the further stages of development.

Where do I have to expect grass mites?

Grass mites are harmless in themselves because they do not transmit any diseases, at least in our latitudes. The distribution of grass mites varies greatly from region to region, while in some areas there are hardly any, in other places they occur en masse. The hay mites go through the larval stage, which is annoying for humans, in the period from July to October. During this time, the mite larvae wait on grasses and bushes for their new host. They are particularly active in the late afternoon on warm summer days, a time when families also like to be outside. Unfortunately, it doesn't meet so well.

How do I know where grass mites are lurking?

The small mite larvae are very difficult to see with the naked eye. If you want to know whether your own garden is infested, you can lay out a white plate or piece of paper and wait a while. After a few hours you can see the larvae very well on the white background.

How can I protect my child and myself?

In theory, the best protection against hay mite larvae, grass and meadows would be generally to avoid or to wear closed clothing and sturdy shoes. In practice, hardly anyone will be happy to do this on warm summer afternoons. And in view of the annoying but harmless consequences of the autumn bite, it might be exaggerated.
If the lawn in your own garden is infested, it is best to keep it as short and moist as possible and to dispose of the clippings.
Anyone who suspects they have come into contact with hay mites can also do so with the following tip fromwikihowto attempt: "When you're outside, briefly wipe your exposed skin every 30 minutes. Grass mites like to bite into exposed skin, but usually not immediately. If you stroke the exposed areas on your arms and legs, you may be able to get rid of mites before they sting. "

What to do if i was stung?

If you suspect that your child (or yourself) has caught grass mites while playing or sitting in the grass, the Children's Health Foundation (according to IDW) advises you to take a shower and change your clothes immediately when you return home. If the hay mites have already stung, it is recommended to rub the sting areas immediately with 70 percent alcohol or special itch-relieving agents from the pharmacy.
Source: idw