Other Pests of Medical Interest
Besides ticks and mosquitoes, MDH often receives inquiries about various “bug” issues. Most of these insects or insect relatives do not carry diseases, but they can be a significant public health nuisance.
- Head Lice
Head lice live on people's heads, in their scalp and hair. They often infest children. MDH has prepared a head lice fact sheet and other materials to help diagnose and effectively treat infestations.
- Pubic Lice (CDC)
Pubic lice live primarily on the groin area and can be effectively treated.
- Bed Bugs
Bed bugs have received much attention in recent years, especially as travelers come into contact with infestations of this blood-feeding insect. They may be difficult to control without help from a pest control professional.
- Asian Lady Beetles
Asian lady beetles have become a significant seasonal pest throughout much of Minnesota, as large numbers of beetles often invade homes in the autumn and spring.
Fleas are common parasites of animals (especially cats and dogs) and sometimes bite people.
Cockroaches are common pests within homes and other buildings.
- Black Flies
Black flies, also called biting gnats, are common pests during the warmer months of the year. Immature black flies develop in stream and river habitats.
- Deer/Horse Flies
Deer flies and horse flies are significant pests during summer months in Minnesota. Large numbers of flies can swarm around and bite people who are trying to enjoy outdoor activities.
Spiders and Mites
Spiders are often abundant within homes and surrounding yards. Most are harmless and rarely bite people, but a few species can cause a medically important bite.
- Scabies (CDC)
Human scabies mites live under the skin, and infested people often develop an itchy rash.
- Bird Mites
Birds are often parasitized by mites, and mites are common around nests. However, sometimes these mites can also enter homes and become a temporary nuisance to people.
- Delusional Parasitosis
Delusional parasitosis is a psychiatric condition where people have the mistaken belief that they are parasitized by bugs, worms, or other creatures.
- Swimmer's Itch
Swimmer's itch is a common problem for people who swim in lakes and ponds during summer months. A small worm called a "fluke" burrows under the skin, creating itchy lesions.