U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran is no friend of oak mites.
The Kansas Republican helped get an item into the omnibus budget bill, which will be voted on by Congress this week, that directs the National Institute of Food and Agriculture “to study the recent infestation of oak mites and focus on suppression and eradication possibilities.”
The oak leaf itch mite has plagued the Kansas City area in recent years, leaving itchy red marks on the people unlucky enough to come in contact with the microscopic arachnid. Reports of bites have started early this year.
“We still know very little about how to prevent or predict oak leaf itch mite outbreaks, which is why ... I pushed for more research on how to suppress and eradicate the population,” said Moran, who sits on the budget subcommittee that deals with agriculture, in a statement.
“I’m pleased to see the omnibus funding bill reflect this priority in directing the National Institute of Food and Agriculture to study the recent infestation and focus on ways to eliminate these pests in the Kansas City area and around the country,” Moran said.