Harvest mites misery for dogs
Autumn is no longer around the corner it’s definitely here. In the UK there is definitely that crisp fresh smell in the air. Autumn for us means lovely long walks in the woods with the dogs. Plus the beaches opening up to dogs again. Unfortunately Autumn also means the scourge of the harvest mite. Little red dots of misery for your dog that can make them itch and scratch like crazy.
Harvest mites larvae hang about in the long grass and latch on to your dog as he passes. Hook into the skin and produce digestive enzymes that will irritate you dog. They are most active during the day. They like areas with less fur, so check under arm pits and on the belly.
As well as being super itchy they can also cause hair loss and potential infection. Minnie, who loves a rummage in the long grass, picked some of these little blighters last year. It was a battle to get rid of them and caused itching for months.
They appeared in a couple of patches at the base of her tail and on her hind quarters. They are driving us all crazy as she spins around and around chewing to relieve the itching. (That is not her in the photo above.)
Treatment of harvest mites
To treat harvest mites you can use a good neem oil mixed with a carrier oil (never use it neat) such as coconut. Apply it freely and often. Neem oil is a natural pesticide, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anti fungal. Mix this with coconut oil which contains many of the same miracle properties, you should get the better of the nasty little hitchhikers.
In addition to rubbing this into the affected area you can use a neem based shampoo. We use Ekoneem Organic Neem Oil shampoo bar. It is a good idea to leave the shampoo on for at least 10 minutes before rinsing. You can buy this from a few good suppliers online, myitchydog.co.uk is one that springs to mind.
Prevention better than cure!
Harvest mites are more active during the day. To try and prevent your dog getting infected you could alter your walking routine to early evening. Also, try spraying him with a neem oil solution before you go out on walks, also good for preventing ticks as it acts as a repellent. If you are noticing a neem oil theme here, it’s because we think neem oil is one of the most useful products around at the moment and can be used for a whole host of things around the house as well as medical! Read Neem Oil for Dogs and Why you Can’t Live Without It.
The upshot is I thoroughly recommend you put some in your medical box. You can buy it from Ekconeem.com. As well as my Itchy Dog mentioned above. These are not affiliate links, we use these products on our dogs.