Harvest Mites are tiny bright orange animals that surface in the warmer months of late July to early October. They are found in dense vegetation and will latch onto any passing animals or people.
They inject a harmless fluid into the animal, which is then used to liquefy the surrounding cells so that they can be sucked back up by the mite. Although the mites themselves do not pose a risk, they do cause itching and a lot of dogs become allergic to the fluid injected by the mite. This can result in inflammation and crusting of the skin, often leading to a secondary bacterial infection as the dog scratches.
The mites attach to places where the fur is less dense, such as in-between toes, around ears, armpits and tummies. If your dog is affected by harvest mites you can try to relieve symptoms by bathing them in an insecticidal shampoo. They may require a trip to the vets and antibiotics to settle any inflammation should it occur.
Frontline spray can be used fortnightly during the harvest mite season. We recommend keeping lawns and borders tidy, and checking pets after walking in overgrown areas.
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