WASHINGTON - Cicada-weary DC area residents were just recovering from the onslaught of Brood X when a new creepy bug settled in for the summer.
Residents in D.C. and suburban Virginia and Maryland are now dealing with pesky mites that are falling from trees and biting them.
The mites are linked, naturally, to the cicadas that reigned over the region in July.
University of Maryland entomologist Mike Raupp says that Brood X’s large deposit of eggs might be enabling the mites to proliferate.
He says that although the mites typically feed on oak leaves, they are instead turning to the "super abundance of cicada eggs," which are also found in oak trees.
The expanded food source, experts believe, is generating large numbers of the mites, which are falling from the trees and biting people, causing itchy welts.
Raupp says you can avoid the mites by refraining from picnicking under oak trees. If you do linger under an oak tree – especially with sagging branches – launder your clothing thoroughly.