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Thread: Turkey Mites

  1. #1
    Sacred White Buffalo Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Debunk's Avatar
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    Oct 2007

    Turkey Mites

    I have been trying to understand more about what everyone keeps calling Turkey Mites. After studying this in detail to find out more I keep finding little about turkey mites. So for from what I have found ( I maybe wrong - insufficient information) there really isn't such thing as a turkey mite other than a new term to describe these small bugs. The bugs are real and appear to be classified as Seed Ticks which are the larvae stage of tick growth.

    By Lee Townsend
    Lone star tick larvae and nymphs (immature stages) are very abundant now. Earlier in the summer, female ticks deposited masses of several thousand eggs on the ground. Anyone unfortunate enough to stand in or to pass through such a site can easily pick up dozens (and dozens) of larvae. A sample that arrived this week contained 104 pin- head sized ticks picked off of a 4-year old.

    These tiny, 6 or 8-legged creatures, also called "seed ticks, sometimes turkey mites", are most active between July and October. During this time, the larvae climb low vegetation and wait with outstretched front legs to latch on to passing animals or humans. Once "on board", they crawl around to find a suitable place to attach and feed. The painful feeding site can be irritating for days after the tick has detached or been removed.

    Hikers, hunters, and persons working outdoors should be aware that seed ticks apparently are much more abundant than normal this year. Use repellents and check regularly for ticks. See ENT- 35 for more information.

    Clothing repellents that contain permethrin (eg Permanone) can greatly reduce, but not necessarily eliminate encounters with ticks. These products are for clothing not application to the skin. See http: - Ticks and Disease for more information.
    Seed Ticks

    Ticks have four life stages: egg, six-legged larva, eight-legged nymph and adult. After the egg hatches, the tiny larva (sometimes called a “seed tick”) feeds on an appropriate host. The larva then develops (molts) into the larger nymph. The nymph feeds on a host and then molts into an even larger adult. Both male and female adults find and feed on a host, then the females lay eggs sometime after feeding.

    So whats the difference between a mite and a tick. Well thats a tougher question because a tick is a large mite.


    Like all arachnids, mites and ticks have 4 pairs of legs, pincer-like mouthparts called "chelicerae," 2 antennae-like appendages near the mouth called "pedipalps," and no antennae. Although all arachnids have 2 main body segments (cephalothorax and abdomen), on mites and ticks the segments are fused and appear to be 1 large segment. Like spiders and most other arachnids, adult mites have 8 legs, while some immature stages have 6 legs.

    Okay, So What is a Tick?
    A tick is a type of mite: the word "tick" is used to describe large, parasitic mite species that attach themselves to hosts for several days at a time.

    SIZE: Most mites are very small (less than 1/10"). Some ticks can grow to about 1/4".
    In Conclusion, Turkey Mites (Seed Ticks) are larvae stage of ticks.
    So if you have a couple hundred red dots on you they are Ticks
    “Give a man a fish and he has food for a day; teach him how to fish and you can get rid of him for the entire weekend.” –Zenna Schaffer

  2. #2
    Sacred White Buffalo Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket lofjas's Avatar
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    Nov 2008
    Gallatin County
    I have wondered that myself. Glad to find out for sure. And how to treat them.

  3. #3
    Chiggerz are red to right??

  4. #4
    Sacred White Buffalo Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Debunk's Avatar
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    Oct 2007
    Yes, chiggers are red also and are also mites.

    Chiggers are not bugs or any other type of insect. Chiggers are the juvenile (or larval) form of a specific family of mites, the Trombiculidae. Mites are arachnids, like spider and scorpions, and are closely related to ticks.

    Chigger mites are unique among the many mite families in that only the larval stage feeds on vertebrate animals; chiggers dine on us only in their childhood, and later become vegetarians that live on the soil.

    Chiggers are tiny-less than 1/150th of an inch in diameter. More than a thousand of them could line up across this page and still leave room for two or three hundred more. At this size, chiggers are almost invisible to the unaided eye. However, when several chiggers cluster together near an elastic waistband or wrist watch they can be seen because of their bright red color.

    Chiggers are born red; they do not become red from feeding on blood as some believe. An engorged, well-fed chigger changes to a yellow color.

    Under the microscope, you can see that the chigger is an ugly little creature (if it was larger, it could star in any science fiction movie). Although adult chigger mites have eight legs, the troublesome young chiggers has only six.

    One of the greatest misconceptions about chiggers is that they burrow into our skin and eventually die within the tissues, thus causing the persistent itch. This widespread myth has its origin in the southern states where pests with similar names such as jigger flea or the chigoe do attack by burrowing under skin. Chiggers are not equipped to burrow, and they are much too large to enter through the pores.
    “Give a man a fish and he has food for a day; teach him how to fish and you can get rid of him for the entire weekend.” –Zenna Schaffer

  5. #5
    Sacred White Buffalo Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket DetectDave's Avatar
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    Freeburg, IL
    That's mitey good information there.
    I never drink water because of the disgusting things that fish do in it. .....W. C. Fields

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  6. #6
    Top Poster Charter Member gretchensteele's Avatar
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    Jun 2007
    out there..somewhere...
    Thanks Debunk for such good info!!!

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  7. #7
    Mountain Man Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Cool_Guy's Avatar
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    Just reading this makes me feel things crawling on me and I am starting to feel itchy. Thanks

  8. #8
    Official SILO Sponsor lifestudent55's Avatar
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    That was a very bad pun DDave. Bad pun, bad!
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  9. #9
    Nimrod Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Zingnut's Avatar
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    Carbondale, IL
    Geez that is the worst, I have run into these nasty fellas about 4 times so for and only when I forget to put on the bug spray. I bet I had over 200 on me one time. My wife was picking them off for hours. She got quite a chuckle out of the whole ordeal. Man, they itch the worst a few days after to pull them off. Glad I read this before I head out to hunt the shroom and turkeys. I will make sure the bug spray is on...


  10. #10
    TOP POSTER / Veteran SILO Member BAM's Avatar
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    Mar 2007
    Very good but itchy info Debunk......

    There are two things to aim at in life; first to get what you want, and after that to enjoy it. Only the wisest achieve the second~~

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