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common names: Rain Bug, Scarlet Mite, Velvet Mite<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

scientific name: Order Acari, Family Trombidiidae

size: 1/3"

identification: Velvet-covered, bright pink to orange to red, pillow-shaped.

biology and life cycle: Incomplete metamorphosis.

habitat: Mostly in sandy areas of the state.

feeding habits: Adults are found feeding on winged ants and winged termites after a shower during the summer. The nymphs have been found in the egg pods of grasshoppers.

economic importance: Considered to be general predators.

natural control: Unknown--by us at least.

organic control: None needed.

insight: These beauties of nature show off dramatically on the wet soil when the air is clean and the sun is bright after a summer shower.

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