Northwest Hot Springs & Red Spider Mites *UPDATED*

RSM: Red Spider Mite (magnified)

Ahh yes, a natural nemesis of the hot springer, the Red Spider Mite (RSM) is known to inhabit a few hot springs. Barley visible to the naked eye, these tiny crimson mites scurry about on rocks and the top of water in and around select hot springs in Idaho and the Northwest.

They cling to the body (including clothing left next to the pools) and proceed to bite the skin in an unsuccessful attempt to lay eggs. The bites leave itchy red sores behind that usually heal completely after a couple weeks. It is highly advisable to use itch relief cream and avoid itching the bites. The human immune system kills off the eggs before they can hatch and eventually builds up enough immunity to kill off the mites themselves.

Precautionary Measures
  • Avoid the hot, dry rocks near and next to hot springs as the majority of RSMs inhabit this area.
  • Use bug juice, but only after your soak - RSMs usually wait to dig-in until their host has dry skin, applying bug juice after soaking should reduce your chances of receiving bites.


Anonymous said...

I was always told that there were mites in the hot springs at Whitey Cox along the Middle Fork of Salmon River. Was wondering if there is any confirmation of this.

DANNO3737 said...

Yes. It is INFESTED with the little bastards. We did not soak here due to the large colony while on our May 2005 trip.

bryanbgood said...

Do you know if these bugs look like little hairs floating around on top? I visited Pries Hotsprings this weekend, and found little bugs that looked like this. We didn't receive any bites though, so I'm wondering if this is the same thing. Any idea what they could be if not Red Spider Mites?

Hot Springs Guy / Brother Hot Springs said...

I don't think the bugs you speak of at Preis are Red Spider Mites. They are very hard to see, and look like tiny crimson droplets. It's pretty rare to soak without bites with RSMs, especially in a smaller pool the size of Preis.

Anonymous said...

We went up to the hot springs by atlanta and one of the hot springs right outside the town was infested with these spiders. now i have bites that itch all over my body. so be aware of them

Anonymous said...

Hot springs in the Soldier Meadows north of Gerlack, NV, have the red spider mites. I did not see them as it was dark, but I have the bites.

Frank said...

Willow Creek HS is now infested with RSM We were totaly BUMMED !! Campers there said this infestation just recently happened 4-09 Frank McCleary

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