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Sidewalk Mite (Balaustiinae spp.)

Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Sidewalk Mite

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Incredibly small, these bright red mites are no threat to people or pets, but they love pollen.

Updated: 07/09/2021; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
Sidewalk mites are the small red creatures seen crossing patios, parking lots, decks, and of course, sidewalks. They are also called Concrete Mites because they are often spotted on that surface. They are fast for their size and adept at crawling up onto benches. They do not bite or sting and are often seen in company with others, though they tend to wander past each other instead of forming congregations.

This little arachnid (not an insect) has eight legs. They are short and move quickly, so counting them may be difficult. It is an active hunter of soft insects and small insect eggs, but it can also live on nutritious flower pollen. For this reason, a sidewalk mite can be found in and near gardens and plant containers as well as backyard patios and sidewalks. These super small arachnids are unlikely to take notice of people, even if they walk over them to get to other places.

General Characteristics
Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Fast insect icon
Hairy insect icon


Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Chelicerata
      Order: Trombidiformes
        Family: Erythraeoidae
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          Genus: Balaustiinae
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            Species: spp.
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Balaustiinae spp.
Other Name(s): Concrete Mite; Pollen Mite; Red Mite
Category: Mite or Tick
Size (Adult; Length): 1mm to 3mm (0.03" to 0.11")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: red
Descriptors: tiny; fast; small; red; velvet; sidewalk; concrete; patio; running

Sidewalk-Mite Video(s)

Sidewalk mites roaming for pollen.

Relative Size Comparison
Typical Size Between 1mm (0.0in) and 3mm (0.1in)
Lo: 1mm
Md: 2mm
Hi: 3mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Sidewalk Mite may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data is useful when attempting to see concentrations of particular species across the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some insects are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America. States/Territories shown above are a general indicator of areas inhabited by the Sidewalk Mite. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.


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