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Health & Science

Oak Itch Mites Are The Latest Bug Nuisance for Northeast Ohio

photo of oak itch mite
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Northeast Ohio is dealing with yet another insect nuisance just weeks after the cicada outbreak.

Entomologists say that populations of tiny oak itch mites are increasing around Northeast Ohio. The biting mites drop on humans from oak trees and leave small red bumps, usually on the upper body. 

David Shetlar, an entomology professor at Ohio State University, thinks the boom is connected to Ohio’s cicada outbreak earlier this summer.

“There are some theories that this thing may be feeding on the eggs of periodical cicadas. And of course, I find it kind of interesting that this thing popped up right after the periodical cicada eggs hatched, which occurred about three to four weeks ago.”

Shetlar says while these bites itch, they are not dangerous.

He suggests staying away from oak trees and using anti-itch cream for the insect’s bites.