While a hot topic, not all bug bites outside can be blamed on oa - KCTV5 News

While a hot topic, not all bug bites outside can be blamed on oak mites

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KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

Unfortunately, it's that time again when the bugs get you. 

However, don't be too quick to blame the king of the no-see-ums - the oak mite. 

It may not be their fault at all. 

Oak mites have gotten a lot of attention lately. The crafty critters cause serious itchy skin in its victims and have become quite the hot topic. 

They weren't even a thing in the Kansas City area until 2004, when Kansas reported it's first outbreak of oak mites.

However, that doesn't mean all bites are from the oak mites, experts said. 

"Typically oak mites will bite people on the head neck upper chest arms things of that nature," said Dr. Dana Hawkinson of the University of Kansas Health System. "There's a lot of other bugs that are out around this time of year especially."

With it being spring time and closing in on summer, Kansas Citians are just venturing back out into our yards again. 

Hawkinson has some advice for everyone who plans to spend time outside. 

"When you get done working outside go inside - get your clothes off - put them in the washer and shower because they can stay in your body for a while," Hawkinson said. "Showering as soon as you get done will help reduce the chance of them biting."

A horticulturist at the Johnson County Research Extension says it's simply too early to know when and if the metro will have another oak mite outbreak.

He says right now, they're eating their usual meal off the trees and it depends on how long that food sticks around.

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