Ten species have been recorded from bees: Tyrophagus curvipenis, T. debrivorus, T. longior, T. mixtus, T. perniciosus, T. putrescentiae, T. savasi, T. similis, T. tropicus, and T. vanheurni.
In bee nests probably feeds primarily on moldy debris and nematodes, without causing any damage to the bees. In laboratory experiments, Tyrophagus putrescentiae was able to feed on a wide range of food items: bee bread, pollen, beehive debris, dead brood bees, mold, honey, propolis, combs and wax. This species, like Carpoglyphus lactis, was able to consume royal jelly. However, another species, Tyrophagus longior, did not reproduce on this food source (Chmielewski, 1991c).
The genus Tyrophagus includes many species commonly found on various organic substances in human-related habitats, such as human dwellings, granaries, various agricultural situations, and even onboard spacecraft. Feeding stages occur on stored products, including grains, cereals, dried fruits, seeds, cheese, fresh produce, as well as animal food, insect cultures and house dust. Often attracted to moldy and wet materials. Also known as an agricultural pest that damages young plants, especially in greenhouses and nurseries. In the field can be found in soil, litter, decomposing plant materials, nests of birds, mammals, honey bees (Apis spp.), bumble bees (Bombus sp.), stingless bees (Meliponini), and solitary bees.
Most species of Tyrophagus do not form phoretic deutonymphs and may disperse as feeding stages by active movements, air currents, or by various organisms, including ground beetles and bees (Apis, Bombus).
Many species of Tyrophagus are habitat generalists. However, one lineage, Tyrophagus formicetorum and related species, is restricted to ant nests and has not been found anywhere else, indicating that this lineage is specialized to ants. Species in this lineage do form phoretic deutonymphs.
Tyrophagus causes allergic reactions and dermatitis in sensitive individuals. Multiple cases of severe anaphylaxis have been reported after ingesting mite-infested food (pancake syndrome, okonomiyaki syndrome, or oral mite anaphylaxis) (reviewed in Sanchez-Borges and Fernandez-Caldas, 2015).