The mites of the family Pyemotidae Berlese (1897) are a large family of ectoparasitoids arthropods, known as pathogen for humans since the 18th century and responsible for the so-called "straw itch" or "grain itch" in granary and dock workers. The identified species of the genus Pyemotes are divided into two groups: the scolyti group (P. scolyti, P. parviscolyti and P. dimorphus) and the ventricosus group (P. tritici and P. ventricosus). The first group is characterized by nonvenomous mites usually parasitizing bark beetles; the ventricosus group includes species associated with a large number of hosts (Coleoptera, Lepidoptera, Hymenoptera, Diptera and Rhynchota), parasitizing all host stages, often highly poisonous and responsible for itchy skin lesions for humans. Several species of Pyemotes mites can be pathogenic to humans, especially in spring and summer and in indoor environments, where worm-eaten wood or infested foodstuffs are present. The most frequent clinical feature is the "strophulus," characterized by small erythematous, edematous, and papular lesions centered by a tiny vescicle evolving into a small erosion covered by crust, or by a central hemorrhagic punctum. Other less frequently observed clinical features are urticaria-like lesions, erythematous excoriated papular and pustular lesions, and rarely scabies-like eruptions. The parasitological diagnosis together with the environmental disinfestation and removing of each substrate infested by insects parasitized by Pyemotidae is mandatory to definitely solve Pyemotes dermatitis.
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