From late August through to October Harvest Mites are looking out for their next victim to feed off. Most active on dry, sunny days they gather in large groups on long grass, undergrowth, bushes and plants waiting to pounce on our pooches. If you’re unlucky enough to encounter them they’ll swarm around your dog’s legs, neck and chest, tummies and undercarriage.
Unlike fleas and ticks which burrow in to suck blood, the harvest mites feeds through small hooked fangs stabbed into the skin surface. For the next two-three days they continue to feed causing great irritation. Your dog might start scratching within hours of exposure to harvest mites, but the irritation can actually last for several weeks. Your dog’s natural reaction of biting and scratching the area can cause damage to the skin leading to infection.
So if you notice your dog scratching always investigate. Spread the hair and check the skin, if there’s reddish or orange dust – these mites are just 0.2 mm long so appear dust like, then your dog might have picked up these nasty critters.
If you notice any symptoms or want to discuss possible preventatives – consult your vet. As the mites are active during the day, early morning and late evening walks means you have less chance of coming into contact with them.
Harvest Mites really are unpleasant pests, they cause great irritation and aren’t fussy who they feed off, any warm blooded creatures are at risk.