Harvest mites are particularly common in dogs and can be a real plague during the warm months of the year. Among other things, they cause severe itching and, in the worst case, can even lead to skin inflammation.
In the following we will explain how you can recognise harvest mites in your dog, what you can do against an infestation with the annoying parasites and what possibilities there are for prevention.
Harvest mites (Neotrombicula autumnalis) are also known as autumn grass mites or autumn mites. Like all mites, they are arachnids. As so-called ectoparasites, they attack the body of their host animals externally, where they then feed on body fluids.
As its name suggests, harvest mites live mainly in grasses. The adult mites lay their eggs there, from which larvae hatch after about four weeks. The larvae of the harvest mites climb on blades of grass or moss and wait there for a suitable host, such as a dog.
When they get the chance, they let themselves be stripped from the host and look for a suitable place on the body of the four-legged friend where they can scratch the skin. There they feed on the lymph and the cell juices for a few days. When they bite into a blood vessel, harvest mites also pick up the dog's blood.
Unlike larvae, adult harvest mites do not need a host. Once the larvae have finished their meal, they drop off from the dog's body and develop over several nymph stages into adult harvest mites, which live on the ground as running mites, spend the winter there and lay eggs.
Harvest mites infest dogs especially in those areas that come into contact with the ground. They prefer above all thin skin, through which they get through with their mouth parts as well as possible. They therefore particularly like to sit between the toes, in the armpits, in the face or at the ears, but can also occur in the chest and stomach area.
The saliva secretion secreted by harvest mites during biting causes severe itching in affected dogs. As the owner, you can easily recognize a possible infestation by licking and scratching the affected areas.
At least in animals with light skin, the larvae of the harvest mites are also clearly visible in the form of small orange dots. Due to their small body size of just 0.2 to 0.3 mm they can easily be overlooked. A detailed control of the coat is therefore indispensable in case of suspicion.
Fortunately, there are no known diseases that can be transmitted from harvest mites to dogs.
If the infestation with grass mites is not given the necessary attention and the annoying parasites are not treated, this can have further unpleasant consequences for the affected dogs.
Excessive licking and scratching can lead to inflammation of the skin over time. Since grass mites like to attach themselves to the ears of dogs, the development of a so-called blood ear is also possible.
Unlike other parasites, such as fleas, harvest mites disappear on their own. Since they cause severe itching in most dogs, affected quadrupeds should still be treated.
If you want to rule out an infestation with harvest mites in your dog in general, the only thing you can do during the warm months of the year is to completely forego walks in nature, including the lawn in your own garden.
However, for most dog owners, such restrictions on walking are unlikely to come into question. After all, running around on meadows and fields is part of a happy dog's life.
Instead, most dog owners rely on a combination of coat care and special preparations against the annoying parasites. The larvae of the harvest mite can be removed quite easily from the dog's coat by combing and showering, while various products are intended to prevent infestation from the outset.
When it comes to the treatment and prevention of parasitic infections such as harvest mites, dog owners can choose from a whole range of different products.
The use of spot-ons, sprays and special collars promises effective protection against harvest mites and other parasites and is also intended to help with an existing infestation.
For the good of your dog, however, you should pay close attention to what active ingredients the mite protection of your choice contains. Because it is not uncommon for these to be insect poisons.
These may kill the harvest mites on the body of the dog. Especially with regular use, however, they can have unforeseeable consequences for the health of the four-legged friend.
In order to avoid health risks, we recommend that you only use natural active ingredients for the prevention of grass mite infestation in dogs.
For example, use Bellfor Anti-Grass Mite Spray as a harmless alternative. The spray contains only selected natural ingredients and is therefore particularly well tolerated.
The fats and oils contained, such as insect fat from the larvae of the black soldier fly, are rich in lauric acid and other ingredients that have a deterrent effect on grass mites.
This makes Bellfor Anti-Grass Mite Spray for Dogs ideal for daily use. It also has a lasting effect of up to six hours.
Harvest mites are among the mite species that are particularly frequently infested by dogs. The larvae of the small parasites lurk on grasses during the warm season, from where they reach the body of the animals.
The harvest mite larvae feed on the body fluids of the dog. After their meal, which can last several days, they drop off again and grow into adult harvest mites on the ground.
A harvest mite infestation causes severe itching in affected dogs and can also lead to skin inflammation due to excessive scratching and licking.
For prevention we recommend Bellfor Anti-Grass Mite Spray. In contrast to mite repellents with chemical active ingredients, the natural ingredients of the spray protect your dog from harvest mites without side effects.