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Acarus siro L.
(Tyroglyphus farinae [L.])
Common Grain Mite


Because they are very small, grain mites are usually only detected when the infestation is sever. The infested goods then appear to be covered with a moving layer of dust. The female is 0.5 mm and the male is 0.4 mm long; the body is transparent white aqnd sparsely covered with hair: the legs are pale violet. The addult mites have 4 pairs of legs, while the larvae have 3 pairs, like insects.

Life History:

Mass infestation by grain mites is only possible when the stored goods are very moist. A female deposits about 20 eggs. The white, six-footed larva is 0.15 mm long. Within a period of two weeks, it passes through two eight-legged nymphal stages before becoming an adult. Occasionally the mite passes through a long very resistant stage of development between the two nymphal stages, the so-called hypopus stage.




Apart from grain and cereal foods, the mite also damages animal feeds, dried fruits, tobacco, etc. Infestation by mites leads not only to damage caused by feeding, but also produces a bad odor and rapid deterioration of foodstuffs.

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