Kansas City residents dealing with oak leaf itch mite
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A Johnson County horticulturist says the number of people dealing with bites from the oak leaf itch mite has picked up this year.
Dennis Patton, a horticulturist for the Johnson County Kansas State University Research and Extension Office, tells The Kansas City Star that the mites have been back in full force and that the number of calls from people who've been bitten has picked up in the last several weeks.
Itch mites are associated with a wasp-like insect that forms galls on oak trees. When the insect stings the leaves, a gall forms around the insect's larvae. The mites then feed on the larvae and exit the gall in the fall.
There has been a high number of galls forming on oak trees this year. Patton says the mites get on humans after being windblown.