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The Season for Harvest mites

  • Harvest mites or 'Trombiculodis' is a small orange mite, these look like simple orange pollen powder on your pet that is more common around late summer particularly in the region of
    Southern Spain.
  • It is easily spotted as tiny orange dots/ powder on your pets skin
  • It can cause intensely itchy reactions on your pet, and is often found in small crevices, such as between the toes or in the folds of the ears. 
  • It can possibly be treated by using topical sprays bought from the vets
  • It can definitely be treated at Posh Pets Salon in a bath treatment for dogs & in a powder
    treatment for cats. Our treatments are tried and tested and do work!!!

What is a harvest mite?
The harvest mite (Trombicula autumnalis) is a tiny mite the larval stage of which causes considerable discomfort to cats and dogs during the late summer and autumn. The mite is particularly abundant in chalky areas and gardens where soft fruit is grown.
The larval stage when it has six legs is the only stage which attacks warm blooded animals. All other stages live in the environment and are not parasitic. The larvae congregate on small clods of earth or on vegetation. They are active during the day and particularly in dry sunny weather, ideal conditions are in Southern Spain. When a warm blooded animal comes into contact with the larvae they swarm onto it and attach onto skin particularly in sparsely haired thin skinned areas. The larvae feed for 2 to 3 days and they drop off onto the ground to complete the life cycle. The larval mite is orange and only just visible to the naked eye. The larva burrows into the skin and causes much pain and discomfort.
We treat many pets on a daily basis at present, including all our own dogs here at our home.

Effects that harvest mites have on cats!!
The six legged larval mite attaches to the skin of cats to feed. It fixes onto the skin by small hooked fangs and then injects fluid into the skin which liquefies cells. The resulting liquefied food is sucked back by the mite. The fluid injected by the mite is very irritant, it actually makes my little dog “ Paris” scream with pain. An irritation in a cat causes the cat to scratch, bite and lick which may result in extensive self-inflicted injury. The resulting skin lesions vary from crusted spots to areas of hair loss to raw moist bleeding areas.
In cats mites are most commonly found on the ear flaps, on the sparsely haired area in front of the ears and between the toes but they can be found almost anywhere on the body.
Individual cats vary greatly in their sensitivity to mites. Extreme sensitivity probably reflects the development of an allergy to the mite or its products and affected cats will cause severe self-inflicted damage to themselves.

How can you tell if your pet has harvest mites!

  • Sudden intense irritation and scratching in July or August would make you suspicious that
    harvest mites might be involved although other ectoparasites and some forms of allergic skin disease can cause similar symptoms.
  • We at Posh Pets Spain can make a diagnosis by identifying the mite. Congregations of mites
    may be seen as intensely orange spots on the skin.
  • Diagnosis can be difficult if cats are presented some time after the problem started as by then
    the cat may have licked or scratched off all the mites.

Can you get rid of harvest mites from your cat?
Some insecticides licensed for on-animal flea control will effectively kill harvest mites provided that
they reach the skin and not just the fur. This is more readily achieved with a foam or pump-on liquid than with an aerosol spray or powder. The problem is that unless the product has excellent residual action as soon as the cat returns to the infested environment it will collect more mites. Avoid this by your cat being restricted to indoors during the mite season. Fortunately there are now some flea
control products available with good residual action which may be able to prevent or considerably reduce reinfestation. Such products should be applied to the cat during the harvest mite season (July to October) at the highest frequency suggested in the instructions.

What can you do to stop my cat itching?
In most cases treatment for the mites will rapidly make the cat feel more comfortable. In cats which are very sensitive to mites additional treatment with anti-inflammatory therapy and occasionally physical restraints such as Elizabethan collars may be necessary to prevent further self-trauma. We use a product powder treatment for cats that kills the mites and in 95% of cases the product works successfully.

Harvest mites can affect people!
People can be affected by harvest mites. These are not caught from cats or dogs but from infested outdoor environments. People's ankles become affected by walking through infested vegetation but more generalized lesions can follow sitting or lying in infested areas. Most people think it is ants that are causing problems.   Typical human skin reactions consist of an intensely irritant rash. Specific treatment is usually unnecessary. Avoid infested areas, this is the best way of preventing the problem, make sure you take a shower or bath as soon as you can if your skin becomes inflamed or sensitive.

 

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