Tropical Rat Mite

Actual Size: 0.75 to 1.40 mm

Characteristics: Tiny bodies that are cream-colored. Turns red when engorged.

Legs: Juveniles have 6 legs; adults have 8.

Antennae: No

Wings: No

Habitat: Attracted to warmth. Often congregates behind walls and near heat sources, such as water pipes or stoves.


  • Parasites that primarily feed on rats. 
  • May wander several hundred feet from a rat’s nest in search of a new host. 
  • Are about the size as the period at the end of this sentence.

Tropical Rat Mites in Anaheim

As their name suggests, tropical rat mites are mainly found on rodents across the world – especially Norway rats. They’re most common in tropical and warm regions, which includes Anaheim. Unlike some other parasites, these mites do not stay attached to their host; instead, they drop off immediately after feeding. Though tropical rat mites cannot jump or fly, they frequently crawl several hundred feet away from a rat or rat’s nest while searching for a new host. They can also survive for up to 6 months without feeding on a host, so they can remain a problem even if you get rid of the rodents.

Tropical Rat Mite Habitat

Tropical rat mites mainly live near rodent nests, where they can easily find a new host at any time. However, they’re also drawn to warm environments and are often discovered near heat-producing appliances like water heaters, washing machines, and dishwashers. Tropical rat mites may also migrate to other areas of the home if their primary host dies, which is usually when they become a problem for humans.

Tropical Rat Mite Behaviors, Threats, or Dangers

Like rodents, you don’t want to encounter tropical rat mites. While we’re uncertain as to whether these pests can transmit diseases to humans, these pests will attack people and other animals to survive. Their bites can trigger painful and irritating dermatitis that persists for several days, which is often severely itchy. Additionally, their presence usually means you have a rodent infestation, which can damage your health and property. If you’re worried that you have rats or tropical rat mites, contact a professional tick and mite control expert for help.