Why you may be itchy this autumn and how to beat oak mites

Experts predict a big mite presence

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- It’s amazing how something so small can pack such a big bite. Fall marks oak mite season in the Kansas City metro area.

The microscopic bug-like creature bites you and leaves a bothersome rash and bump.

41 Action News sat down with Dennis Patton, a Kansas State University Research and Extension Agent, to find tips to help you avoid the mites this autumn.

  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and a hat outside to keep mites off your skin.
  • Once inside, change your clothes.
  • Consider showering after extended periods outdoors. 

No matter what you do, you could be scratching your skin a lot this fall.

Patton said last year’s mild winter and early spring helped oak mites reproduce. 

“To really put this problem to rest in the fall, we are going to need what I would consider more consistently cold, winter-like conditions," he explained. "Not where we have a drop for a day or two, then it warms back up into the seventies."

Patton warned one fall activity that’s sure to expose you to oak mites is raking leaves off your yard. The little critters live on leaves. They can’t fly but use the wind and contact to get onto humans. 

Print this article Back to Top