4. Experimentation with live mites

Mite populations tend to fluctuate seasonally, in patterns that are moderately consistent at the regional level. However, individual colonies frequently experience unexpected increases or decreases in mite abundance, thereby complicating experimentation with them. There is no record of experimentation with individual mites until after they were discovered in North America in the 1990s. Because little has been published on techniques for experimenting with mites, most of the researchers who have studied mites in recent years provided information that is synthesized below.