What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

mites in phone?
January 21, 2010
First, let me say I know all about delusionary parasitosis. what I’m about to describe differs in that I have no sensation of anything “crawling on me…”
I enjoy insects of all kinds. they do not creep me out at all.
So here’s my question; I have an old fashion telephone, the kind with a handset and the curly wire. If I look into the earpiece I see several pale colored creatures that I’m guessing are mites. they move slower than spider mites and are slightly smaller. It takes a magnifying glass to see them well. There are also afew in the cradle where the phone rests, but they are mostly concentrated in the ‘vents’ of the earpiece. Again, I have never found one on me, and there is no itching. The only other place I’ve seen one of these was walking across the page of a library book. I know what a psocid looks like, it’s not the same. Please tell me what these are, why they are in my phone, and can they effect me or cats. I’m keeping the phone in a plastic bag until I find answers.
thanks
darn! it won’t let me submit my question without a pic…so, sorry, but this pic has nothing to do with my question. It’s obviously just some nice bees in a cactus flower. no need to id.
just wondering
north california

Dear just wondering,
Without a photo, it is difficult to say.  We suspect probably book lice.
http://bugguide.net/node/view/18966/bgimag
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Culture Mite

Thank you, but it turned out to be Acarus siro …the phone was on the floor, and there was a piece of kibble cat food in the carpet just COVERED with ’em.
I vaccumed really well, spritzed the carpet with isopropel, and put the phone in the freezer.
My question now is; how long should the phone stay in the freezer? will over night kill them completely?
I love your website. Thanks for all your necessary and educational (and fun!) writing.

Thanks for the followup.  We are posting your letter with a photo from our archives of a Culture Mite, Acarus siro.  We posted this image in 2005.  Regarding freezing, we believe the longer the better.

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

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