MDC: Oak mites not yet in the Heartland - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

MDC: Oak mites not yet in the Heartland

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) -

The dreaded oak mite that's plagued the Great Plains region has not yet found it's way to the Heartland, according to conservation specialists.

Some news outlets have reported mysterious bug bites throughout the Midwest and attributed them to oak mites.

Candice Davis with the Missouri Department of Conservation Cape Girardeau regional office said the agency has not received any reports of the bug. That does not mean they can't find their way here eventually.

"At different seasons we have different things especially with insects and their stages." Davis said. "The wind is up right now with the seasons probably blowing them around a bit."

The oak mite's bite is similar to those of chigger bites. The bites leave a tiny welt that itches.

The bug typically lays it's egg in the galls of the oak leaf, but can lay them on human and animal hosts as well.

Pesticides are typically not an effective measure to control the pest.

Good hygiene practices after working outside can help prevent bites.

Over the counter antihistamine medication can ease symptoms if you get bit.

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Copyright 2015 KFVS. All rights reserved. The Associated Press also contributed to this story.

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