Itchy mites will return to Oklahoma and southeast Kansas

Thursday, February 24th 2005, 11:47 am
By: News On 6

PITTSBURG, Kan. (AP) _ Entomologists in southeast Kansas say you can count on those pesky itch mites returning this year -- but the severity of their infestation is unknown.

Last August, several people were bitten by the mites after a football game at Pittsburg State University. Complaints later spread to Nebraska, Missouri, and Oklahoma, and last month the itch mites reached Texas.

Scientist say the Pyemotes mites are rare in North America, but sporadic outbreaks have happened in the last century. They feed on insects that eat leaves.

Health officials say the bugs are invisible to the naked eye and leave victims itchy for days. Some people have allergic reactions that require medical attention.