The BugLady has forever been amazed at Red Velvet Mites. Yes, red spider mites do bite humans. This is wrong as it is a pure hunter. This dark reddish brown pest, which is smaller than a pinhead, does not pose a threat to human … Red velvet mites especially like to stay in dry places. The Giant RVM (Dinothrombium sp.) And their awesome red color? Mite, any of numerous species of tiny arthropods, members of the mite and tick subclass Acari (class Arachnida), that live in a wide range of habitats, including brackish water, fresh water, hot springs, soil, plants, and (as parasites) animals, including humans… Velvet Mites are predators, feasting on other invertebrates and their eggs by way of their strong, pincer-like mouthparts. The mistake probably arises from the confusion with the fruit tree spider mite, also known as the “red spider” and externally quite similar. A possible mite bite can be traced back to completely different species, such as these: The red velvet spider is a definite beneficial insect, because the industrious little animal eats all kinds of insects that are harmful to garden plants, such as aphids or snail eggs, with great appetite. The animals are popularly known as velvet mites or mites and are widespread. The red velvet mite is widespread in Central and Southern Europe. They have an exotic love life, described by scientists Liam Henaghan and George Hammond, as “not to be missed.” A male places his sperm droplets on elevated surfaces like twigs and grass blades, creating what Heneghan calls a “love garden” and Hammond (possibly not a sentimentalist) compares to “tiny golf balls on tees.” Then the male issues an invitation to the female in the form of an intricately woven trail of silk (In Xanadu did Kubla Khan a stately pleasure dome decree). Because they consume some plant-eating insects and because they eat the animals that eat the organisms that carry out the important work of decomposition, RVMs are considered helpful to ecosystems. If you think a 5mm RVM is fun, how about a 12mm (half-inch) RVM? "A typical human skin reaction consists of an intensely irritating rash." Especially if you live on the ground floor or on the mezzanine floor of a house or have a terrace that leads into the garden, you can sometimes be teeming with small red arachnids. But some mites are easily seen. However, if all openings are closed, the animals must stay outside. It does not prefer special habitats, but occurs just as frequently in mixed forests, between rocks, in the dry desert and in gardens as in apartments and houses. For a bunch of pictures of these GRVMs, check out this post from the Sibley Nature Center, TX: Sibley nature center. Pest or beneficial insect? According to North Carolina State University, mites are not insects but more closely related to arachnids, such as spiders. This means that the red velvet mites … They expanded their experiment to include powdered terrestrial RVMs and got the same reaction from the fish. Biocides also act against other insects, some of which are important for the garden (bees, bumblebees). Scientists suspect that some of those red hairs may act as sensors in the mite… They will quickly gravitate to areas where humans sleep or relax. The Red Velvet Mite du jour is in the family (probably) Thrombidiidae (you need a side-view of the mouthparts to confirm their family, but the BugLady is willing to go out on a taxonomic limb here), and in the genus (maybe) Thrombium (which prefers moist, organic soils). Red velvet mites are active predators as grown adults but as early … For a ventral view, check out Arachnid velvet mite.. So before you pull out the vermin spray or want to combat the red velvet mite in any other way, first take a look at what species it actually is. Trombidiid mites are called velvet mites, red velvet mites, large red velvet mites, brick mites, and patio mites. Mites in the family Trombidiidae are the large red velvet mites found in … However, do not use these agents indoors (toxins!) They are harmless to humans Reproduction in red velvet mite: The mating in velvet mites is an interesting one in the form of a mating dance. Trombidium holosericeum), which is between one and four millimeters in size, is a local representative of the so-called running mites. There are accounts of intrepid researchers who consumed RVMs and wished they hadn’t, but the source of the “flavor” is not known. These specimens are less than 1/8" long including legs. Sounds like a red velvet mite to me. Among the world of mites, it is a relative behemoth despite seeming incredibly small to humans. 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