I live in southern Cuyahoga County. We had Oak Mites last year in 2016. Will...

Asked June 18, 2017, 7:57 AM EDT

I live in southern Cuyahoga County. We had Oak Mites last year in 2016. Will they be back in our area this year? Is there anything we can do to keep them away? Do windows in our house need to be closed? Thank you!

Cuyahoga County Ohio

1 Response

Hi. At present, there is no good way to predict whether they will be back again next year. The Buckeye Yard & Garden Online from Ohio State had an excellent article on this phenomenon last year that suggested the large numbers of this mite might be related to the periodical cicada outbreak. If so, then they should not be a problem this year. But as noted in this article from Kansas State, we really do not have enough information about the mite right now to say one way or the other. Regardless, there is nothing that has proven to be highly effective in keeping them away or preventing bites. Theoretically, the mites could enter through window screens (since they are wind-blown), but most bites occur when people are outdoors (see this article from Penn State). Keeping your doors and windows closed might help a bit, but I certainly wouldn’t do that until it is established whether they are back again this year.