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Harvest Mites and your pet...

Harvest Mites and your pet...
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What is a harvest mite?

Trombicula Autumnalis  is a small orange coloured mite that can cause skin irritation to dogs, cats and other animals.

What do they look like?

The adult mite has eight legs, and lives in vegetation; it is the six-legged larvae which are parasitic and live on animals (including humans) and birds. They are orange or yellow in colour, and at 0.2-0.6mm long barely visible to the naked eye.

When are they most common?

Harvest mite infestation is most common in the late summer and early autumn. The larvae crawl onto the host animal and are most commonly found around the base of the ears (especially in cats) or between the toes, although they can affect any area which is poorly covered by hair.

How do they cause irritation?

The harvest mites feed on tissue fluid, injecting a fluid to break down skin cells. This process can cause considerable irritation and itching in sensitive individuals. The resultant scratching can further damage the skin, and allow a secondary infection to develop.

Are they contagious?

Harvest mites are not contagious between animals and people; however, people can acquire harvest mites at the same time as their pet by being in the same environment.

How are they diagnosed?

Diagnosis is made by the classic appearance and distribution of lesions and can be confirmed by observing the mites under the microscope.

What's the recommended treatment?

The mites are quite resistant to treatment with many flea products, however, your vet will be able to provide a suitable treatment. Sometimes additional medication is necessary to manage skin irritation or infection.

If you have any further questions about harvest mites or any other aspect of your pet’s health, please do not hesitate to contact us for advice.