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'Turkey mites'--myth or reality?

16 years ago

Hi everybody.

I posted a query on this same topic a year or so ago and I don't recall if I asked the folks on here what they know about it.

We had wild turkeys reintroduced here about 15 years ago and they are now commonplace. Now there is a new complaint circulating among hunters and outdoor enthusiasts about these birds spreading "turkey mites". I have been asking around, trying to get some understanding as to what this is. I wonder if there actually is such a thing or if it's just another round of misinformation and wrongly placed blame. Sure, there are several different types of mites and lice found on all sorts of fowl, but is there something like a chigger dropping off wild turkeys and going after humans?

I have noticed years where the chigger (the usual mite we call 'chigger')population seems higher than usual, but this goes for dog ticks and deer ticks as well. Can't say I ever noticed anything new clinging to my ankles and we certainly do have a healthy number of turkeys around.

One person I heard going on and on about these mystery mites also swore that spike bucks were the product of whitetails and goats getting amorous. So I wonder if anyone knows what they are talking about or if it's just more backwoods hooey.

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