4954 N. Shamrock Place, Tucson, AZ 85705

Giant Red Velvet Mite

Dinothrombium sp.

Giant Red Velvet Mite

Physical Features

Giant Red Velvet Mites are visible to the naked eye growing to a length of 1/2 inch.  They are covered with red, velvety fine hairs.  They have eight legs.

Life Cycle

Incomplete metamorphosis
Eggs are laid and young hatches emerging with six legs rather than eight.  The young will go through a series of molts reaching the adult stage and forming their fourth set of legs.


  • Diet: Pests including termites.
  • Activity: Mainly underground, but come above ground after monsoon rains.
  • Preferred Climate: Warm, humid.
  • Defense: Coloration.
  • Cautions: Irritation can occur from the oils they release if on your skin, however, very rare to have human contact without human intent.
  • Home Invasion: Not a typical concern because they live in the soil.

Helpful Hints

  • Keep other insect populations under control to minimize their food source.
  • Monitor their population. If you notice eggs anywhere notice where and whether they are increasing from year to year.
  • Controlling mites with an insecticide will develop resistance to these chemicals.

Interesting Facts

In India, the oils of the Giant Red Velvet Mite are considered an aphrodisiac, therefore, these are often captured and sold in stores.


Red Velvet Mites do not bite or sting.

Nesting Sites

Notorious for making multiple nests spread wherever they can settle. Loose bedding though is a common spot for red mites to try and nest.