Harvest mites are part of the family of Chiggers. Chiggers are arthropods whose bodies have no apparent segmentation. Their tiny spider-like form makes them part of the Arachnida class. It is estimated that species number from 30,000 to half a million. They are characterised by a very high adaptability and are found everywhere on the planet, including in Antarctica and the oceans.
The harvest mites have many microscopic larvae. The female lays its egss on the ground; the larvae then wait in the grass for a warm-blooded vertebrate to pass by, such as a human. They then climb along the arms and legs then gather in natural folds such as the groin or areas of skin where the skin is tighter, such as the waist. Their small size of 0.25 mm does not prevent them from biting and injecting their saliva containing agents that help with the external digestion. The harvest mite’s bite is very irritating and itches the next day for up to 5 to 6 days. It forms a very itchy welts from 1-2 cm wide. Harvest mites can be found in great numbers in meadows from July to September.
They best way to establish the diagnosis is to find them. You can find them at the centre of the lesions which have not yet been scratched. This condition is not serious in itself, but it causes very unpleasant and stubborn itching.