Is your pet suddenly scratching a lot and flea treatment isn’t working, it could possibly be Harvest Mites.
For those of you who have never heard of them.
What are harvest mites?
Harvest mites are part of the the spider family, they’re tiny insects that attach and feed off warm-bodied animals like cats, dogs and rabbits. The larvae are very small, and will look like tiny red or orange particles.
Where would you find them?
Harvest mites are found in bushy and thick spots in parks, gardens, woods, cornfields and even indoors. They prefer thick vegetation like long grass and are most active during the day – especially when it’s dry and sunny. Mite season starts in late August and goes on until October.
What can they do to our pets?
On contact to the pet they will attach their fangs to your pet’s skin and inject digestive enzymes to break down skin cells and feed off these. They’ll stay there for 2-3 days, gradually growing in size. By day 5, the mites will finally drop off.
You may start to see your pet scratching just a few hours after they’ve been bitten. This can continue for weeks, which is why it can get a little uncomfortable!
Check areas where skin is thinnest: ears, front legs, toes, armpits and chest and usually areas that are close to the ground. Some pets have a stronger reaction, like allergies (with reddened or crusty skin) or, if they scratch a lot, a bacterial infection.
What can we do to prevent them?
Pets that go outdoors will be at higher risk of infestation. You can prevent this by walking your dog during the cooler hours (like early morning or late afternoon) and keeping active when outside. For example, avoid sitting under the sun for prolonged periods during these months.
What’s the best treatment?
There is no specific treatment available just yet, but products that soothe and repair the skin can help. A visit to the vet is usually recommended, as they’ll be able to prescribe what’s most suitable for your pet
Can they be harmful to humans
There is no need to worry! Mites can attach to our feet and ankles, but they won’t stay there long. You can use insect bite cream for any irritation.