Oak mites cause break outs of itchy bites

Oak mites have been prominent in Kansas City for a year now. These microscopic bugs cause break outs of itchy bites that can be very uncomfortable.


Oak mite bites are red, puffy and sometimes have a oozing center. photo courtesy of Liv Davison

by Cece Curran, Staff Writer

You feel an itch starting to form. You look down at your ankle and see a giant red circle. This is nothing like any bug bite you’ve ever had before. It swells and oozes slightly, and more and more continue to pop up all over your body. It puffs up and grows, forming a large red spot with another small dot in the middle. The bites remain on you for weeks until they slowly dissipate. This is the experience of the oak mite bite.

Oak mites have been present in Kansas City since last year and have recently been bothering the STA community. According to the Kansas City Star, oak mites are also called oak leaf itch mites. Before last year, Kansas City hasn’t had an outbreak in a few years, but  have been incredibly prominent in the area since last year. According to the Kansas City Starlast year was considered one of the worst years for mite-related bites in the Kansas City area.

Many STA students have been getting these oak mite bites, including sophomore Brooke Moore.

“I’ve had very many because of cross country,” Moore said. ”They’re very itchy and they’re really annoying.”

According to SFGate, oak mites are parasites that live on the leaves of oak trees. They are not a great danger to humans but can be a hassle. When their food supplies run low, they bite humans. These bites cause red, itchy bumps. On some occasions, these bumps have an oozy center with an outer ring of puffy, red and irritated skin. Remaining on the body for weeks before slowly dissipating, oak mite bites are a nuisance to many.

Sophomore Liv Davison, a swimmer for the Kansas City Blazers, said that the bugs were getting in the way of everyday swim practice.

“When we were in the pool the bugs were in the pool,” Davison said. “They would get into our swimsuits and stay in there and that’s why I have bites all over my stomach.”

Since these bugs fall from trees, many of the cross country girls have been bit while  running outside, including sophomore Rose Crowe.

“I was running on my daily cross-country run and then all of a sudden my elbow just starts itching,” Crowe said. “Up comes two oak mites, two, within an inch of each other.”

The bites spread quickly and in great numbers. The itching is unbearable and the bites continue to swell and multiply. Oak mites are extremely irritating and unfortunately very prominent in Kansas City.