Among bee hosts, three generalist species of Thyreophagus have been found in debris from beehives of Apis: Thyreophagus corticalis, Thyreophagus entomophagus, and Thyreophagus odyneri. Under laboratory conditions, these species prefer bee bread, pollen, bee hive debris, and mold; Th. entomophagus has also been observed feeding and reproducing on dead brood bees, and the two other species on wax and combs; no reproduction has occurred on honey, royal jelly, or propolis for either species (Chmielewski, 1991c).
Feeding stages of Th. entomophagus have also been found on a museum specimen of the bumble bee Bombus lapidarius. A species of Thyreophagus was found in moldy nest material of stingless bees in the Neotropics (our data, Fig. 13).
Species of this genus inhabit different habitats and as phoretic deutonymphs use a large array of animals for dispersal: collembolans, beetles, ichneumonids, ants, fleas, birds, and mammals. Adults and other feeding stages are found in decomposing plant material, forest litter, soil, stored food including flour, sporocarps of bracket fungi, flowers, house dust, nests of birds, or on rodents themselves. Some species are associated with scale insects (Diaspididae) and were suggested to be "parasitic." Thyreophagus entomophagus attacks entomological collections and can be found on insect museum specimens. It is not always clear whether the occurence of this mite results from deutonymphs that molt on the same hosts and subsequently establish a colony or because of mites that spread from different insect specimens stored in museums.