Flour mite

The flour mite, Acarus siro, a pest of stored grains,[1][2] is one of many species of grain and flour mites.[3] An older name for the species is Tyroglyphus farinae.[4]

The flour mite, which is pale greyish white in colour with pink legs, is the most common species of mite in foodstuffs. The males are from 0.33–0.43 millimetres (0.013–0.017 in) long and the female is from 0.36–0.66 mm (0.014–0.026 in) long.

Flour mites contaminate grain and flour by allergens and they transfer pathogenic microorganisms. Foodstuffs acquire a sickly sweet smell and an unpalatable taste. When fed infested feeds, animals show reduced feed intake, diarrhea, inflammation of the small intestine, and impaired growth. Pigs have their live-weight gain, feed-to-gain ratio, and nitrogen retention markedly reduced by infested feeds.

Flour mites are intentionally inoculated into Mimolette cheese to improve the flavor.[5] When used for this purpose, they may be referred to as "cheese mites".

See also[edit]


  1. ^ J. A. Dunn, B. B. Thind, C. Danks & J. Chambers (April 2008). "Rapid method for the detection of storage mites in cereals: feasibility of an ELISA based approach". Bulletin of Entomological Research 98 (2): 207–213. doi:10.1017/S0007485308005634. PMID 18279566. 
  2. ^ L. M. I. Webster, R. H. Thomas & G. P. McCormack (2004). "Molecular systematics of Acarus si s. lat., a complex of stored food pests". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 32 (3): 817–822. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2004.04.005. 
  3. ^ Jerome Goddard (30 March 2007). Physician's guide to arthropods of medical importance. CRC Press. pp. 248–. ISBN 978-0-8493-8539-1. Retrieved 14 April 2010. 
  4. ^ International Rice Research Institute (1 January 1989). IRRN. IRRI. pp. 39–. ISSN 0115-0944. Retrieved 14 April 2010. 
  5. ^ Melnyk, J.P.; Scott-Dupree, A.; Marcone, M.F.; Hill, A.; Hill, A. (August 2010). "Identification of cheese mite species inoculated on Mimolette and Milbenkase cheese through cryogenic scanning electron microscopy". Journal of Dairy Science 93 (8): 3461–3468. doi:10.3168/jds.2009-2937. PMID 20655414. 
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