Top Ten Mite Questions
Top Ten Mite Questions From Our Customers
1.) Do essential oils work as well as chemicals against mites? Are essential oils as strong as chemicals? Do mainstream doctors use them?
Essential oils are not just homeopathic remedies used by naturopathic physicians. In an article released by the National Library of Medicine, essential oils are characterized as effective alternatives for chronic scabies mite cases where permethrin and lindane fail. (View Source.) This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consult your doctor or use the chemical cream prescribed by your dermatologist. Permethrin creams have helped large numbers of people. No two mite cases are exactly the same, and different people may have unique allergies or sensitivities, which makes it nice to have options. All mite treatment regimens should begin with a comprehensive consultation with a medical professional. We are simply here to provide organic alternatives for those who don’t respond well to chemicals.
2.) Is your cedar oil formula safe for people?
Humans tend to tolerate cedar oil pesticides quite well. The Environmental Protection Agency classifies cedar oil as a low risk pesticide. Permethrin—the chemical most pest control operators use against mites—is classified as a likely carcinogen. Lindane, a chemical commonly found in lice and scabies treatments, is classified as a probable carcinogen. This doesn’t mean that natural pesticides are 100% safe and consequence free. Different people have different sensitivities. If you have chronic allergies or respiratory problems, start with a small amount of our product and monitor your reaction. As with any topical pesticide, our organic formula should not be ingested by humans or animals. Direct eye contact should be avoided. A painter’s mask should be worn when using ANY type of fogging solution for pest control purposes, including our organic fog solution. Humans and animals should be removed from the home during fogging procedures. Occupants may return in 4 to 5 hours. For a deeper discussion of safety measures, see our fog machine instructions.
3.) Is your cedar oil formula safe for dogs, cats and horses?
Dogs and horses tend to tolerate cedar oil pesticides very well, but you should always consult your veterinarian when treating sick or elderly animals. It is often reported that cats are uniquely sensitive to essential oils because their fragile livers can’t metabolize the phenol compounds. According to GreenPaws.org, essential oils that are safer for cats include cedarwood, lemongrass, peppermint and rosemary. In rare cases, ingestion of our product may cause lethargy or vomiting in cats. The same is true of ANY flea product or shampoo, be it chemical or natural. When in doubt, do a patch test to see how well your cat tolerates our formula or apply an Elizabethan cone to prevent your cat from licking its fur during treatment. If your cat is already responding well to a chemical treatment prescribed by a veterinarian, continue that course of treatment and save our product to treat carpets and furniture. Mites connected to pets can become a very serious problem for humans if the home is left untreated. For a deeper discussion of this topic, visit our animal safety page.
4.) What’s in Dr. Ben’s Evictor? What are the active and inactive ingredients?
Our organic indoor formula contains 10% cedar oil and 90% hydrated silica. Silica is the name given to a group of minerals composed of silicon and oxygen. The cosmetic industry frequently uses silica to promote superior penetration of the active ingredients in hair and skin products. Silica is the carrier agent that helps our product penetrate the exoskeleton of insects to deliver the active ingredient more effectively. Since mites and insects breathe through pores outside their bodies, this is particularly important. Note that our indoor product is especially formulated not to stain clothing, carpets, curtains and furniture. Since the formula is premixed, you should not add water.
Our outdoor formula contains 85% cedar oil and 10% ethyl lactate (an organic solvent derived from corn). Note that the outdoor product is a concentrate. One quart makes eight gallons of solution for the treatment of yards, barns and vegetable gardens. Since oil and water tend to separate rather quickly, ethyl lactate helps the solution stay mixed for even coverage of wide areas. The formula is specifically designed to combat insects that destroy food crops without harming vegetation. The outdoor formula is also very popular with dog breeders and pet owners who wish to control a wide range of parasites in the grass. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!
5.) How many times do I have to fog or spray with Dr. Ben’s Evictor before the mites in my home are gone? How much of your product should I buy? Do I need to get a fog machine?
It depends upon the type of parasite you’re battling. Every case is different. Certain species of mites can persist longer in the environment than others, and some homes are infested to a much higher degree than others. The following guide may help you to determine how aggressive your pest control measures should be.
The Human Scabies Mite: The human scabies mite is a tenacious organism that burrows under skin and lives on the host. Fortunately, it can’t live away from the host for more than a few days. This is not the kind of mite that can infest walls or persist for long periods in the environment. That means fogging won’t be necessary, but it’s important to spray couches and beds to avoid re-investing yourself or spreading the infestation to others. Continue treating couches, beds and skin until there’s no more evidence of skin infestation. To reduce the number of times you must spray couches, avoid lounging around the house with uncovered skin. A one-gallon purchase is optimal for the scabies customer. This should provide enough for ongoing treatment of skin and routine misting of furniture. Visit our laundry page for a deeper discussion of how to treat clothing.
The Sarcoptic Scabies Mite: The sarcoptic scabies mite is a form of mange that generally comes from pets. Unlike the human scabies mite which is primarily transferred through direct contact with infested skin or furniture, the sarcoptic scabies mite can jump to a new host from the floor. It’s a good idea to wear socks around the house, as these mites often attack feet and ankles. Thankfully, sarcoptic mange mites tend not to persist on humans or burrow under human skin. For added protection, spray your socks with our indoor formula to discourage mites from landing on your feet and ankles. Since infected pets often wander throughout the home and relax on couches and easy chairs, spray treatment is highly recommended. Mist carpets evenly, and mop hard surfaces with a Swiffer pad saturated with our indoor formula. Be sure to treat couches, easy chairs and dog beds. Continue treating carpets and dogs until pets show no signs of mange. A two-gallon purchase is optimal for most homes below 1,500 square feet. Fogging is considered optional for this type of infestation.
Rodent Mites: Rodents have a strong tendency to die behind walls, leaving their mites behind. Rodent mites often go unnoticed until extermination efforts eliminate their hosts and force them to feed upon humans and pets within the home. Fogging is highly recommended, as these mites are known for disbursing throughout the home. Begin with one gallon per 1,000 square feet and get enough to treat the home twice in 48 hours. If your home is 1,000 square feet, start your rodent mite agenda with two gallons. If your home is 2,000 square feet, start with four gallons. If there’s a rodent problem on your property at large, it’s wise to begin an outdoor pest control maintenance program. We suggest spreading our cedar granules around the base of your home to discourage rodents and insects from entering cracks and crevices around the foundation. These are not your average cedar chips from the hardware store. They are extremely potent red cedar granules richly impregnated with oil. Repellent properties last up to two months. Replace the granules when you can no longer smell them after a good rain.
Bird Mites: Bird mites tend to enter homes by the thousands. Red Poultry Mites (Demanyssus Gallinae) can live up to nine months without a blood meal. In other words, hidden bird mites can stay away for long periods and come back to bother occupants after an initial infestation is thought to be resolved. Fogging is highly recommended. Begin with one gallon per 1,000 square feet and get enough to treat the home twice in 48 hours. If your home is 1,000 square feet, start your bird mite agenda with two gallons. If your home is 2,000 square feet, start with four gallons.
Collembola: A springtail infestation can be particularly chronic because these resilient hexapods aren’t natural parasites. They can feed upon mould, paper, cardboard and cotton materials within couches and mattresses. Carbon dioxide traps can be particularly useful in luring them out of hiding places before fogging with our organic indoor formula. Springtail customers often report that mattress encasements aren’t enough to stop the cycle of infestation. If your bed is chronically infested, you may want to replace it with a good inflatable mattress. Go for a plastic mattress that can be sprayed or wiped clean with liquid pesticides. Don’t introduce new beds and couches until you’re sure the infestation is gone. Fogging is highly recommended. Begin with one gallon per 1,000 square feet and get enough to treat the home twice in 48 hours. If your home is 1,000 square feet, start your springtail agenda with two gallons. If your home is 2,000 square feet, start with four gallons. If your infestation began immediately following a landscaping project, outdoor treatment may be necessary. In the wild, springtails are commonly found hiding under leaf litter. They feed upon things like mold and decaying mulch. Soak your yard with our outdoor concentrate and apply our cedar granules around the base of your home.
6.) How can I tell what type of mite is infesting me?
A formal identification of the organism infesting your home or skin can only be obtained from a degreed professional with a microscope. However, certain environmental factors can provide clues as to what kind of mite you may be dealing with. If you’ve found abandoned bird nests in your attic or gutters, bird mites may be the culprit. If you’ve recently dealt with a rodent infestation, rodent mites will be your prime suspects. If you have pets, mange mites could be the enemy. If you feel sensations of being swarmed by several micro tiny creatures at one time, springtails or straw itch mites could be the enemy. This list of generalizations is not meant to serve as a guide for medical diagnosis. The idea that springtails can bite or infest humans is still disputed by most doctors, but there is compelling evidence to support claims that springtails are the culprit behind mysterious itching and crawling sensations in mold infested homes. Politics aside, pest control professionals agree that springtails are quite capable of infesting homes by the millions. The only dispute lies in their ability to bite or infest skin. For a deeper discussion of the collembola debate, consult our article on springtails.
7.) How can I tell the difference between a mite and a springtail?
When viewed under a magnifying glass or microscope, bird and rodent mites look like tiny spiders. Scabies mites resemble tiny turtles. Springtails look like little insects. Most species will have a tail-like appendage known as the furcula. It’s possible you won’t spot the tail right away, as it may be tucked up under the abdomen. When in doubt, use Google Image Search to find pictures of common mites that bother humans. If you don’t own a magnifying glass, run out and buy one immediately. No mite infested home should be without one! To increase your chances of catching a glimpse of random attackers, keep one magnifying glass beside your bed and another near your favorite sofa or armchair. Study your skin the moment you feel a crawling sensation.
8.) How can I trap mites and collect mite samples for identification?
The action of pressing tape against skin tends to smash tiny organisms, making them difficult for entomologists to identify. To collect undamaged specimens or pictures, try the following:
Smartphone Microscopes: For less than £25, you can purchase a high powered microscope for universal smartphones. This ingenious device connects to your phone camera lens to show you magnified images within a targeted area. It’s a great way to study skin, carpet fibers and bedding. Such devices are now available in toy departments nationwide. For a better selection, try specialty stores like Toys-R-Us.
Glue Boards: Glue boards are small cardboard panels covered in a super strong adhesive. Place glue boards on the floor near areas where humans relax. It’s possible to catch random crawlers on their way to a host. Jumping organisms are more difficult to catch, as they can propel themselves above various traps and land directly on the host.
Attractants: Many mould and fungus loving insects are powerfully attracted to apple cider vinegar. To illustrate this concept, consider this age-old remedy for fruit fly and fungus gnat infestations. When a bowl of apple cider vinegar is placed on the counter, dozens of fruit flies will flock to the bowl, but they usually won’t go into the solution. They’ll cling to the outside of the bowl, where they can be shot down with a pesticide spray. (Sneak up slowly, as the flies will scatter if you approach quickly.) To simulate this type of trap for mites, fill a plastic soda cap with apple cider vinegar. Place the cap at the center of a glue board. Each day, study your glue boards with a magnifying glass or smartphone microscope. Don’t be discouraged if you can’t capture samples right away. Traps must be moved around the house and monitored regularly. Experiment with different locations and different types of bait. A small piece of badly molded bread or cheese may suffice. If you’re interested in growing your own mold for trapping purposes, dissolve a bit of instant coffee into an inch of hot water and leave the cup on your counter until mold begins to grow.
Carbon Dioxide Traps: If glue traps don’t seem to be effective, you might consider building your own carbon dioxide trap. (Ask me to email instructions.) Parasites are not just attracted to body heat and pheromones. They perceive the carbon dioxide humans expel when we exhale. By simulating our breath in the air, it’s possible stir up parasite activity before fogging a room. Catching large numbers of mites can be difficult because most carbon dioxide traps are designed to catch bedbugs. Jumping mites can simply bypass the catch basin. Still, carbon dioxide traps can be useful in drawing mites out of their hiding places before fogging a room.
Double Sided Tape: There are many creative ways to use double sided tape. You can apply a thick strip of quality tape across the floor to prevent crawling mites from entering your bedroom doorway. This will deter mites that aren’t capable of jumping. To catch a jumping mite, cover a tall box (about knee high) with double sided tape and place a small LED light on top of the box. Leave the box in a dark room overnight. Do not cover the bottom of the box with tape, as it will just stick to the floor. You might also want to place an attractant on top of the box. Try a plastic soda cap filled with mold or apple cider vinegar.
Fly Strips: Arrange several fly strips across the top of a tall box. Place a plastic soda cap filled with bait on top of the box.
9.) Who can identify my mite samples?
Ask a local dermatologist, veterinarian or entomologist. When contacting research professionals at local universities, offer to pay a consultation fee for their time. Remember that they are busy individuals who aren’t exactly looking forward to your call. It might be better to make an offer through email or contact a scientific laboratory that offers this service for a fee.
10.) Do you offer a money back guarantee?
Money back guarantees connected to mite control products and services are very difficult to find. Mite infestation often becomes a maintenance problem that involves much work and many lifestyle changes. Doctors can’t guarantee permethrin creams, salespeople can’t guarantee natural skin tonics and natural soap manufacturers can’t guarantee their richly scented products will leave you feeling anything more than refreshed. More and more pest control operators are refusing to work in mite infested homes. Companies that still accept mite jobs are obligated to tell clients that they will probably have to come back and spray multiple times.
Bonus Round! More of Your Top Questions Answered.
1.) Are mites more attracted to some individuals than others? Why do mites seem to attack me more than other people living within the home? Is there something about my personal makeup that attracts mites?
Candida is popular buzzword worth researching online. Many holistic practitioners believe that mites are more attracted to individuals with fungal infections of the skin or intestinal tract. Springtail customers are especially concerned about battling candida infections. Many insist that they seem to be less attractive to micro tiny attackers when they remove bread, pasta and sugar from their diets. Symptoms of candida overgrowth may include brain fog, intense sugar cravings, weight gain, abdominal bloating and nail fungus. Your doctor can administer a simple candida test, or you can purchase one online.
Lyme Disease is another condition worth researching. Borrelia burgdorferi is a bacteria of the spirochete class and the main causative agent of Lyme Disease. Those infected with this bacteria are prone to bizarre neurological sensations such as tingling, crawling, numbness and buzzing. I’ve received many calls from people who believe that the Lyme bacteria makes them more attractive to insects, including mosquitoes, gnats and no-see-ums. While their stories are very compelling, it’s important to understand that this theory of attraction is not proven. There’s a huge difference between hearsay and medical research. Phone calls are not documentaries, and blogs are not medical journals. There’s a long list of factors that make certain people more attractive to insects, including excessive sweat, increased pheromones, higher body temperatures and varying carbon dioxide emissions. Discuss ALL of these factors with your doctor, and get tested for Lyme as part of a comprehensive health maintenance program.
Allergies can sometimes make it appear as if one person in the home is more attractive to mites than others. If Dad has a couple minor bites and Mom’s skin is badly riddled with marks, it could be that Mom is experiencing intense allergic reactions while dad isn’t showing much evidence of nightly attacks. An over-the-counter antihistamine can help lessen the body’s reaction to mite bites.
*Mite cases increase dramatically in the summertime. Many cases are connected to pets, mold or landscaping materials. In other words, mite infestations are not always tied to candida or chronic illness. Bird and rodent mites tend to bother all occupants living within a given space, although people with compromised immune systems can experience much greater irritation. The same is true of mange mite infestations, particularly those connected to sarcoptic and cheyletiella mites. The human scabies mite is quite adept at infesting anyone who comes into direct contact with it, including young or healthy individuals with no preexisting medical conditions.
2.) Are there any natural supplements I can take to help my immune system battle mites?
Many natural herbs and oils are purported to kill fungus and parasites in the intestinal tract. Such substances are said to battle external parasites by strengthening the immune system and turning the blood into a less appetizing delicacy for micro tiny attackers. The following guide is included in our discussion of parasites for research purposes only. Consult a medical doctor or holistic practitioner to determine how much of these substances you can ingest as part of a daily regimen. Beware that natural treatments are powerful, and they can have consequences. For example, raw garlic can thin the blood. It shouldn’t be taken by individuals on prescription blood thinners such as Coumadin. Peppermint oil can cause drastic heartburn issues, and it may interact with certain medications.
A comprehensive consultation with a naturopathic physician will help you design a daily regimen that doesn’t conflict with pharmaceutical prescriptions or worsen existing medical conditions. The modest fee is worth its weight in gold. Patients with chronic parasite issues tend to feel brushed aside by the mainstream medical community, partly because their doctors don’t have the time for lengthy consultations in a busy clinical environment. Holistic practitioners tend to spend much more time consulting with clients and designing comprehensive nutritional plans to fit individual needs.
Turmeric (Available in pill form.)
3.) What are some handy products I can buy at the store to treat mites?
Customers often ask us if there are any products that can help them feel more comfortable while they wait for our fogging materials and skin creams to arrive in the mail. We are happy to provide a shopping list. If you find this list helpful, you may also like our article on the Top Ten Myths surrounding Mite Treatment.
Gold Bond Extra Medicated Powder: I can’t say enough about this simple and widely available product! It contains enough menthol to make skin feel tingly. It can safely be used almost anywhere on the body to relieve itching and repel mites while you sleep. For added protection, sprinkle a little powder into your bed. Mites breath through pores outside their bodies. They can potentially be killed while crawling through the powder to get to the host.
Borax Laundry Booster: For many years, we’ve recommended Borax as a laundry additive. For some customers, it works like a charm. Others report that it doesn’t seem to do the trick. If you have an extremely difficult or resiliiant mite infestation. This product was originally designed to add to bath water for pets who are infested with fleas, ticks or mites, but it can also be added to wash water. To pre-treat clothing, try our Indoor Spray FormulaKleen Green Naturally. This formula can be used to treat carpets, furniture and bedding. It’s also a formula that can be used in fog machines. Always dilute the indoor formula, and the Kleen Green ready to use is mixed exactly as it should be and ready to spray.
Quality Filters: Get the very best furnace filters you can find in local stores. Large numbers of our customers have reported seeing unidentified organisms that seem to float through the air, like dust particles caught in streams of light. Without a formal identification from an entomologist, it’s impossible for us to determine if you’re looking at dust or micro tiny bugs floating within your home. However, it is known that mites can float on gentle currents. In the wild, this is a natural method of disbursement. Mites can also be be sucked into intake systems and blown back out into the environment. For this and many other reasons, our fog machine is an excellent tool for mite control. Fog will also settle on walls, ceilings and other flat surfaces that go untreated in traditional spray programs.
Double Sided Tape: Consult our discussion of trapping mites to find many creative uses for double sided tape.
Giant Ziplock Bags: Store clean laundry in giant Ziplock bags found in the grocery aisle where food wraps are sold. Never get into bed wearing clothing that has touched infested couches or socks that have touched infested floors. For the duration of the infestation, all of your bedtime clothing should come from a Ziplock bag.
Vaccum storage bags are a must to store each seasons clothes away safely and even to protect after washing to be totally safe each week.
Essential Oils for Skin: When mixed with fragrance free lotion, natural substances such as tea tree and eucalyptus oil become powerful skin treatments. Unfortunately, most popular oils associated with pest control are sold in tiny bottles. For wide scale home treatment, you’ll need about two gallons of specialized fluid that is specifically formulated not to stain carpets, clothing and furniture. More importantly, you’ll need a fogging solution that isn’t mixed with water because oil and water combinations can stain carpets and furniture. Our indoor pest control formula does not contain water. It stays mixed for even coverage of wide areas.
Kleen Green Naturally as no oil and can be sprayed everywhere you can safely spray water.
Cedar Oil products areformulated to evapourate over 3 day's so can be sprayed on fabric too.
Listrine or Bleach for Hard Surfaces: It’s possible to achieve a contact kill with Listrine or bleach, but these substances may damage hard wood floors. Furthermore, theses substances don’t impart long lasting aromas. That means mites from other areas of the home are free to move into bleached territory as soon as the scent dissipates. This is why essential oils are so popular in the world of mite treatment. They leave lasting aromas that repel insects. For the treatment of wood floors, saturate a Swiffer dry pad with our indoor formula. The wood will hold the scent of fresh cedar for up to three weeks, which is good news because cedar is a notorious repellent used in organic bug control sprays. Carpets will also hold the scent of fresh cedar for weeks.
Organic Mosquito Repellents: Since most of our customers report that chemical repellents containing Deet aren’t terribly effective against mites, we recommend the lemon eucalyptus brand made by Cutter. This product can be applied to the skin to repel mites while you sleep. You may also use our organic indoor formula on your clothing and skin. Ounce per ounce, it’s much cheaper than buying individual bottles of mosquito repellent.
Icy Hot Arthritis Cream: This product delivers an extra strong dose of menthol. It can be used as a powerful spot treatment for infested skin, but please consult a physician before using large amounts. Irritated or broken skin may not respond well, and the fumes may be difficult to tolerate when used over wide areas of the body.
Vicks VapoRub: This age old product for congestion can keep mites from entering your nostrils at night. Apply a thin strip between the nose and upper lip. Do not apply inside nostrils. If you have special respiratory problems, consult a physician before using any type of essential oil product near your nose.
Rhoto-V Ice Drops: For eye irritation connected to the human demodex mite, try this refreshing menthol product available without a prescription at most pharmacies. This product also contains medical grad boric acid, an ingredient known to fight micro tiny organisms. Note that over-the-counter eye medications should not be used to replace antibiotic drops prescribed by doctors for conditions such as conjunctivitis or ocular Rosacea. Think of these treatments as soothing remedies to help you feel better while waiting for an appointment and a prescription.
Glue Boards: Place them near areas where humans relax to trap crawling mites searching for hosts.
Lint Rollers: It’s possible to remove mites from clothing using a sticky lint roller. Samples collected in this manner are difficult for entomologists to identify, but it’s still a great way to pick up mites clinging to your clothing.
Small L.E.D. Lights: When placed on the floor in dark rooms, these lights can draw mites out of hiding places. Place them near glue traps or carbon dioxide monitors.
The advice delivered on this website is not intended to replace a consultation with a your doctor, veterinarian or dermatologist.
A proper mite treatment regimen should include appointments and consultations with medical professionals. We are simply here to provide organic alternatives to individuals who may be sensitive to chemicals. We make no medical claims, and we don’t fancy ourselves doctors.