On a hot summer's day, red mites 1 to 2mm long can be seen scurrying out in the open in the full sun's glare on walls, roofs, paths, fences and other algae-lichen-moss covered structures. These are velvet mites. Mites are a very mixed group of arachnids. Typically they are small and globular with short legs. There are hundreds of different species of mites in Britain living in every conceivable habitat. Some are predators, others involved in the processes of decomposing organic matter while some are important agricultural, veterinary and medical pests.