I get a call from one of the property management companies in town that I do apartment complexes for. It seems this one tenant is complaining about a mite infestation in her apartment. The mites are coming in from a Post Oak that snugs right up to her apartment landing. The manager had two extermination companies come out and they couldn't identify the pest and didn't know what to do. Since the mites are coming in from the tree, they decided they needed a tree expert. OK, so I go on out and check out the tree. It's an older Post Oak, about sixty feet high with a 2'+ DBH. I take some leaf samples and can't really see evidence of mites on the gross. I knock on the gal's door. She comes out and I hear the Twilight Zone theme playing in my head. She just looks weird. I ask her what's going on. I also comment on the white powder she has spread all over the place, including her window sills. She tells me it's DE and it'll help keep the mites away. She tells me they are biting her, are getting in her ears to the point she puts in ear plugs when she's in her apartment, and are getting sucked into her air conditioner fan, outside, and getting blown into her apartment via her return vents! She has panty hose over the vents to catch the mites. OK----yeah---sure. I look at her place. It looks like she's just moved in. Boxes everywhere, hardly any furniture. Turns out she's been there four years. OK----yeah----. I comment on the DE on her window sill that is looking out at another Post Oak, one that is about eight feet away. "They are in that one too" she says. "They are climbing from it to under my window." OK---sure---- I ask her to show me the bites, if she would. She says, "They don't leave any marks, but they hurt!" OK, chiggers are mites and they sure leave marks, within 24-48 hours. I would bet that any mites that bite would leave marks. She's been having this "problem" for over a week. I ask if she has samples. She gives me a baggie with an ear plug, and a napkin with some little black dots. I let her know that I'll run the samples in my lab when I get home. I go home and scope the samples, leaves, etc. At 20-40X--Nothing! At 100-1000X---Nothing! The black dots are dirt and/or fungal spores. There is not an arachnid body feature to be found anywhere. I call the property manager and start running down my inspection, after telling her that I think the girl is disturbed. She stops me--"Miles, let me cut to the chase. I had a third extermination company run samples in their lab. The dots and other "mites" are asphalt and sand grains!" Case closed!
OK, y'all beat this one, for weirdness factor------