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Habitat

Widely distributed in Europe, particularly in damp climates, but also found often in Italy. Mainly found in stored food, bulk grain and animal feed.



Biology

Females lay eggs in and around foodstuffs. Over 6 months this may total 500 eggs. Eggs generally hatch after several days. "Larvae" are 6 legged, progressing into nymphal stages after only a few days, having developed two further legs. Juvenile stages are similar in appearance to adult forms with the exception of their lack of sexual maturity, and will be found living and feeding with adult forms. A significant factor in the biology of this pest is the formation of a Hypopus - a non mobile stage of the life cycle which is incredibly resistant to adverse conditions including insecticidal treatment. However, other stages are extremely susceptible to low humidity, 65% RH being the minimum.

Acarus siro

Arachnida        

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Pest Status

An important pest of dried and stored food, occurring often in grain stores, animal feed and flour mills, bakeries, cheese stores and dried fruit handling facilities.



Control

Although the biology of mites in general makes controlling a population difficult using conventional means, success may be achieved by altering their environment to conditions which are far less favourable to their existence. As mentioned, this species is extremely susceptible to low humidity. If the RH can be brought below 65%, conventional insecticides may be made four more effective in their overall action. Specialist acaricides are available.

 

 


   

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