If you live in these states, watch out for painful insect bites, experts warn – Best Life

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Summer can come with longer days, more beach and pool time, fruity cocktails and fresh seafood, but it also has its downsides, especially the host of red insect bites. and swollen that itch season. With Labor Day almost upon us, you might be relieved that those mosquito and bee bites are behind you, but experts say people in some states may soon see an increase in itchy blister bites caused. by insects falling from tree tops called oak mites. While this may sound like something out of a horror movie, it’s actually the result of Brood X’s cicadas re-emerging this summer, an event that only happens once every 17 years. Experts found that in states where Brood X’s cicadas were abundant, oak mites followed in their wake. These mites feed on cicada eggs, but when these become depleted, they then attack humans.

In late July and early August, residents of the Washington, DC metro area (which includes DC and parts of Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia), reported an increase in painful, itchy and irritating insect bites. causing blisters. Experts quickly identified microscopic oak mites as the culprit. The DC area has seen some of the highest volumes of periodic cicadas during their most recent re-emergence, and experts say the mites have come to town to feast on their eggs.

Gene Kritsky, PhD, the dean of behavioral and natural sciences at Mount St. Joseph University in Cincinnati, said The Washington Post that oak mites likely fall from oak trees after feeding on cicada eggs and then biting humans. “I want to let people know that they are not crazy,” he told the outlet. “It is a phenomenon related to the presence of cicadas, and it will dissipate. And finally, you will not have it next year because the cicadas will not emerge.”

According to the Illinois Department of Public Health (DPH), the first confirmed case of oak mites feasting on periodic cicada egg nests occurred in the Chicago metro area in 2007. An outbreak of Itchy bites occurred in and around the city in August and September of that year. The Illinois DPH says another mite species that cannot be distinguished from the oak mite was commonly found in periodic cicada egg nests in Michigan, Virginia and Washington DC as early as 1885 .

If other states that have seen cicadas emerge this year follow the trajectory of the Washington, DC metro area, they’ll start noticing these bites soon enough, David Price, Associate Certified Entomologist and CTO of Mosquito Joe, a Neighborly Company, said Better life.

Michael raupp, PhD, professor of entomology at the University of Maryland, told Inside Nova that oak mites “are creating a problem that we hadn’t anticipated so far.” He said that while the mites are there you should avoid lingering under trees, wear gloves if you are handling fallen branches or trees, wear a hat while walking in a forest, and throw your clothes in the dryer. medium temperature if you spend time in the woods.

Experts at the University of Maryland Extension said we probably still have a few weeks left with these oak mites, depending on when the cicadas started to emerge in your area. Cicada eggs take 6-10 weeks to hatch, and Brood X hatching in some areas ended in late August. Once this food source is gone, the density of oak mites will dissipate.

To see if you live in an area that may experience an increase in itchy oak mite bites, in addition to what has already been reported in DC, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia, read on.

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The biggest problem with cicadas in Delaware was in New Castle County, although some also arose in Kent County, the Delaware News Journal reports. This means that oak mites could also be a problem in these areas.

Savannah, Georgia, USA Aerial view of downtown
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According to local outlet 11 Alive, North Georgia has seen the most Brood X this year, especially Fannin, Gilmer, Union, Lumpkin and Towns counties. People in these areas should therefore take particular heed of warnings about oak mite bites.

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In Illinois, Brood X’s cicadas got stuck in the central and eastern part of the state along the Illinois-Indiana border, NBC 5 Chicago reported. As a result, Clark, Edgar, Crawford and Vermilion counties should be on the lookout for oak mite bites.

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Indianapolis, Indiana cityscape photo at night
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The majority of Brood X sightings from Indiana have been in the southern part of the state, with the Indianapolis Star reporting that “Bloomington and the surrounding forests” have seen the worst of the cicadas, which means oak mites may soon follow.

Cityscape photo of downtown Lexington, Kentucky at night
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Bluegrass State had its fair share of cicadas in areas near the Ohio River and Jefferson County, including Louisville. According to Louisville Courier News, entomologists at the University of Kentucky say they have already received a growing number of complaints of insect bites and itching in recent weeks.

“I imagine Louisville is where this would happen”, Jonathan larson, an assistant professor of extension entomology at the University of Kentucky, said in an email about the oak mite outbreak. “It’s teeming with cicadas!”

Jackson, Michigan
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Michigan’s lower peninsula has been the most affected by Brood X cicadas, according to reports from Michigan State University – an indicator of oak mite bites may also be on the increase there.

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New Jersey
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Central New Jersey saw the worst of cicada wrath during the most recent re-emergence, with Princeton being the state’s “cicada capital”, according to NJ.com. The bugs have also been spotted in Hopewell, Clinton Township, Kingwood and Lambertville, MyCentralJersey.com says.

While there have not yet been any reports of an increase in oak mite bites in the Garden State, they may start popping up soon.

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The New York Times reported this summer that although Long Island was once “Brood X’s last stronghold in New York … the population there has declined over the past few decades,” so New Yorkers can be safe from bites oak mite.

The skyline of Charlotte, North Carolina with fall foliage in the foreground
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Cicadas were especially prominent in Buncombe, Cherokee, Surry and Wilkes counties, Spectrum News 1 reports, which could mean oak mites are also bubbling up in those parts of North Carolina.

bridge with a bright red railing and buildings in downtown Toledo, Ohio
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Central Ohio was hit the hardest by the loud sounds of Brood X cicadas this summer, which began to die out in July, The Columbus Dispatch reports. In 2016, the state saw an upsurge in oak mite bites, but so far no similar trend has followed this year.

Cityscape photo of streetcars and buildings in downtown Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
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Entomologist Ehrlich Pest Control Chad Gore, PhD, told CBSN Pittsburgh that oak mites are currently breeding in western Pennsylvania, which means they’re not doing you much harm. But by the time the leaves fall from the trees, the outlet says they will be “in abundance.” Gore suggests using an insect repellant that contains Deet to discourage oak mites from biting you.

City and river in Nashville, Tennessee
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> Eastern Tennessee saw the largest congregation of Brood X cicadas, Ridger Oak reports, which means that residents of these areas should also be on the lookout for oak mite bites.

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