• Laboratoire des sols
  • Université de lorraine


 it is true that mites are very small organisms and therefore often difficult to see with the naked eye, but you will certainly come across them in your compost or in a pot  


Classification (systematic position)
Source : INPN


Animal Kingdom
Embranchement (Phylum) : Arthropoda
Subphylum: Chelicerata
Class: Arachnid
Subclass: Micrura
Underclass: Acari




Morphological characteristics
Arachnids with a compact body (fusion of the cephalothorax and abdomen compared to spiders) with 4 pairs of legs (characteristic of arachnids), mouthparts adapted to the type of food (predators, hematophages or detritivores).


Life cycle
Mites have a very complex life cycle which is little known for many species. They are sometimes thousands in a square meter of soil.


Mites have a very diverse diet and garden mites are either scavengers or predators. Scavengers feed on plant debris often from the droppings of other organisms. Scavenger mites are specialized in the degradation of pine needles. Predatory soil mites feed on small insects and other mites. Some can also feed on blood (hematophages) attached to a host.


Natural predators or regulators
Mites are the prey of carnivorous mites but also of many arthropods including centipedes, ants or even rove beetles.


Dust mites live in a wide variety of environments (soil, compost, water, etc.) and for some species as animal parasites.


Interests in the garden
Some mites eat molds and participate in the decomposition of organic matter. They are valuable aids for the gardener because they can also eliminate certain plant pests.


Did you know ?
There are many species of mites and still many are not known; the species living in the soil are not the same that attack plants or those found in houses.

Soil mites quickly colonize soils by attaching themselves to flying insects or spiders.

The tick (Ixodida) is a mite.


Last change : 03/04/22
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