Mites are tiny mites that prefer forests and humid, grassy areas. With their small claws, chiggers connect to a host, such as a human or animal such as your dog, when in areas that they frequent. Once in its host, the Chigger feeds on the skin cells and will eventually fall off, leaving behind large red welts that are very irritating and itchy. Luckily there are ways to protect your dog from chiggers. There is a common questions that how long can chiggers live on clothes? This article covers all of such answers.
- Mow the lawn often to avoid the tall, wet, grassy areas that chiggers prefer. If your dog frequents the yard, this step will prevent chiggers from your pet.
- Supervising your dog around piles of straw, wood chips, mulch, tall gardens, or any thick vegetation, which can hide many pests such as mites.
- Treat your entire yard for mites and other pests at least once a month throughout the spring season, and then again in the fall for adult mites not reproducing. Make sure the product you use to control pests is safe to use around pets.
- Protect your pet before entering untreated areas by using a repellent. Find a repellent that protects against fleas, ticks, and mites, including mites. I only use repellants that are safe for dogs – not all human repellants are safe for use on animals. If you are unsure about a repellent, consult your vet.
Tips and Warnings
- Bathe your dog immediately with regular dog shampoo if you suspect that your dog has mites. The insect tends to fall off in the bathroom.
- If your dog has irritating red bumps on his body due to mites or other pests, use a Chigger bite ointment, found in most pet stores, or an anti-itch cream. Your vet can prescribe a special cream or advise the best option to use for your dog.
- Products that contain permethrin are effective in preventing pests from your dog. It is widely available through veterinarians. The average chiggers life-span is 50-70 days but they can be treated and get rid within very short time-period.
Signs Your Dog Has Chiggers
It is a myth that chiggers burrow into the skin; they actually look a lot like fleas and crawl on Spike’s skin where they bite. Their saliva contains digestive enzymes that break down the skin and, as the skin dies, they feed on the oozing fluid. Once Spike has picked up chiggers, you will start to notice that they itch excessively with small red bumps on the skin. If you treat it regularly for fleas and have ruled out allergies, consider chiggers as the potential cause, especially if you’ve taken Spike into a wooded area or been exposed to areas with tall or thick vegetation.
Don’t wear nail polish
A popular wives tale recommended using nail polish on red bites. You don’t want to use nail polish on Spike. There are other more natural ways to get rid of chiggers on your pet. If you treat it regularly for fleas and have ruled out allergies, consider chiggers as the potential cause, especially if you’ve taken Spike into a wooded area or been exposed to areas with tall or thick vegetation. Oatmeal and green tea baths
Regular bathing will help eliminate chiggers. After a long walk or hike through the woods, give Spike a bath. If you notice an itch, consider an oatmeal or green tea bath. You can use an oatmeal-based shampoo or add about 1/3 cup of colloidal oatmeal (or finely ground oatmeal) to warm bath water to help soothe itchiness and eliminate chiggers. You can also use green tea to help soothe itchy skin; Make some green tea bags, dilute it in cold water, and pour it over your dog.
Epsom salt and dish soap
If you have Epsom salt on hand, fill the tub with warm water and add up to two cups of Epsom salt. Soak Spike in the water, pouring it over him. Use mild dish soap to bathe it, while soaking it in the Epsom salt. The dish soap will kill the chiggers and the Epsom salt will help with the itchiness. Consider washing Spike’s leash and collar, as well as removing chiggers. If you notice an itch, consider an oatmeal or green tea bath. You can use an oatmeal-based shampoo or add about 1/3 cup of colloidal oatmeal (or finely ground oatmeal) to warm bath water to help soothe itchiness and eliminate chiggers.