We have a dairy and we specialize in hard and soft cheese (France and Italian Style. For the last few weeks we see a development of brown layer with small particles on some of our cheeses. This layer seems to deteriorate the cheese (small holes). Under a microscope it seems like kind of insect (pictures attached). We will appreciate if you could help and advise to identified the insect, it’s origin and ways to disinfect. Thank you in advance
You have some species of Culture Mite, possibly of the genuses Acarus or Tyrophagus. We have been unable to locate any specific information except that they infest foods. Sorry, I can’t tell you how to disinfect without destroying the integrity of the cheese.
Update from Barry M. OConnor (05/23/2006)
Culture mites (2/14/05). You’re right that this is a species of Acarus, most likely Acarus siro. This is the most common "cheese mite" infesting cheese produced in traditional operations. As a historical note, this species was the first mite named by Linnaeus!