Never heard of grain mites? You aren’t alone. This small pest can have a big impact on crops, workers and in our homes. Winter grain mites, which are dark brown to black in color, and the more common grain or flour mite, can cause extensive damage to crops by eating the germ of the plant, other parts of the kernel and mold that can grow on grain. This activity can cause the plants to have stunted growth or not produce at all. These microscopic pests can also spread fungal spores throughout stored grain and from storage bin to bin.
Grain mites are also sometimes referred to as the “straw-itch mite” and can be blamed on a condition called grocer’s itch. This ailment can cause allergic reactions and severe dermatitis among workers handling infested grains.
Winter grain mites have reddish-orange legs and are associated with damage to oat, wheat and barley … Read Full Post »