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Acarina:  Demodicidae




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       Humans are frequently attacked by mites that inhabit hair follicles, with Demodex brevis and D. foliculorum being most common.  Demodex foliculorum prefers hair and eyelash follicles while D. brevis inhabits hair sebaceous glands.  These mites are unique in possessing very short legs and actually do not resemble other mite species.  Service (2008) noted that they are most frequently found on various parts of the head. 




       For the most part, these mites do not cause any discomfort and therefore they often go undetected.  However, sometimes eruptions may occur on the face resembling other symptoms such as acne or rosacea, etc.  But simple treatment with antibiotics or thorough washing usually alleviates the problem.




       Hatched eggs give rise to larvae with six legs.  The larvae moult and change to "Protonymphs", "Nymphs" and "Adults" over a period of about two weeks.  All development takes place within hair follicles or sebaceous glands.  Service noted that 90-100 percent of older people become infested.



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 Key References:     <medvet.ref.htm>    <Hexapoda>


Matheson, R. 1950.  Medical Entomology.  Comstock Publ. Co, Inc.  610 p.

Service, M.  2008.  Medical Entomology For Students.  Cambridge Univ. Press.  289 p

Legner, E. F.  1995.  Biological control of Diptera of medical and veterinary importance.  J. Vector Ecology 20(1): 59_120.

Legner, E. F.  2000.  Biological control of aquatic Diptera.  p. 847_870.  Contributions to a Manual of Palaearctic Diptera,

          Vol. 1, Science  Herald, Budapest.  978 p.