Dermatophagoides farinae Hughes (Acari: Epidermoptidae), the American house dust mite, and Tyrophagus putrescentiae (Schrank) (Acari: Acaridae), the mold mite, are medically and economically important but controlling them has proved difficult, and recolonization is commonplace. Their behavioral responses to different sources of volatile chemicals are still not fully elucidated. For the first time, the Y-tube olfactometer, which is an enclosed bioassay to resolve responses to test and control volatiles, has been successfully used with these mites. Mites were tested individually, and both T. putrescentiae and D. farinae responded to food volatiles. Y-tube olfactometers may be used to test for potential semiochemicals, thereby increasing knowledge of our behavior of astigmatic mites.
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Vol. 44 • No. 2