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Cheese Mite/Mould Mite

Tyrophagus putrescentiae


  • Adults — 0.5mm. They have hairy soft cream–white body with 8 hairless legs.


  • The life cycle of egg to adult takes 10 days at normal room temperature.
  • A female can lay up to 800 eggs in her lifetime at a rate of 20 to 30 a day.
  • The first or larval stage has only six legs. However, when they moult into the nymphal stage, they have eight legs like the adults. Adults live for 60 to 70 days.


  • Capable of tainting foods and causing skin or gut irritation.
  • They prefer old cheese to young cheese and can feed on nuts, dried eggs or fruit, flour, and tobacco.
  • Favours warm, moist conditions – therefore cannot live in a refrigerator.

Controlling Insects that attack Food Products