The scabies mite is the only arthropod known to infest human skin. It lives under the human skin and causes scabies. They do not need human blood for survival but instead they feed on the dissolved human skin tissue.

Scabies infestations are difficult to diagnose initially as symptoms can take up to a month to develop. Allergic reaction to the mite’s faeces, saliva or fluids cause symptoms to appear.

The common areas that mites burrow are near webbing between fingers, wrists, elbows, genitals and breasts. People suffering from scabies may experience severe itching all over the body which increases in intensity at night.

The Scabies mite does not transmit microorganisms or disease causing pathogens.

Information on the Scabies mite can be found in the Department of Health publication, Arthropod pests of public health significance in Australia (2013).

Current as at: Wednesday 17 March 2021
Contact page owner: Environmental Health