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These elongated, worm-like mites have stump-like legs (xxxx). They are parasitic in the subaceous glands and hair follicles of humans and animals. They have modified piercing mouthparts. Members of he genus Demodes in the family Demodicidae attack humans.
Demodex folliculorum Simon is an annoying species on humans that is of little importance in spreading disease. Demodex canis Leydig infests dogs, causing a mange, which is difficult to control. Reports on this mite attacking humans are not substantiated even given the close association of dogs in households.
Distribution of these mites may be worldwide but they are rarely found in North America. Other species in the genus attack a variety of animals such as dogs and cattle, and are capable of spreading disease. But they rarely are found on humans and apparently incapable of spreading disease pathogens if present.
Key References: <medvet.ref.htm>
Matheson, R. 1950. Medical Entomology. Comstock Publ. Co, Inc. 610 p.
Service, M. 2008. Medical Entomology For Students. Cambridge Univ. Press. 289 p