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Diatomaceous Earth For Mites

Demodex Mite

Mites have always been a nuisance for the pet owner and causes the owner to spend more than needed on medications.  Furthermore, veterinarians seem to misdiagnose mites for hot spots or allergies and have a hard time explaining how to control fleas and mites on their animals and pets.  This causes the pet owner and the pet itself more grieve.  Diatomaceous can be applied as a mite treatment to kill off the infestation of the mites on your pets or even in chicken coops where mites are located in a chickens dust bath area.  Targets both full grown and developing mites which in turn will take out the gestational period and will add a prevention for the future.  Because DE does so well against insects, mites will be no match as the DE will absorb the oils and fats right from the insect.

How to Identify a Mite

Mite eating skin

Mites are very similar in appearance to ticks but much smaller, mites have round or tic-tac shaped bodies.  Believe it or not mites are classified as arachnids.  Mites have eight legs. Their size varies but most mites are usually invisible to the naked eye. The largest mites measure about 6 mm long, while the smallest are about 0.1 mm.  The color of mites is all over the spectrum; most mites appear tan, brown, or reddish-brown, but some are bright red, blue, or green in color

Mite Behavior & Life Cycle

mite life cycle

There are two common types of mites that affect humans and animals alike.  One is the Demodex canis (demodex mite) and the other is the Sarcoptes scabiei (scabies mite).  The demodex mite causes a skin irritation called demodectic mange and the scabies mite causes a skin condition which we are familiar with called scabies.  Primarily, the demodex mite doesn't cause too many problems in humans or animals unless we are young, have a suppressed immune system, or are on medications that suppress the immune system.  Scabies mites are more worrisome as they are contagious and can live in your household infecting other animals and people in the environment.  After fertilization, female mites can lay 2 to 3 eggs under the skin a day.  The eggs layed are not visible to the human eye but they are there.  Once hatched the mite becomes a larvae and they burrow into the skin and remain there for 3 to 4 days before molting into a nymph.  These nymphs are found under the skin and even on hair folicles.  Again being too small to see with the naked eye.  Once past the nymph stage, they become adults and will remain burrowed in the skin, feeding, until a male can find a moulting pouch on the skin to fertilize.

How to Apply Diatomaceous Earth to Kill Mites

Using diatomaceous earth to control and eliminate mites is an effective and natural solution. Diatomaceous earth is a fine powder made from fossilized diatoms, and it works by dehydrating and disrupting the exoskeleton of insects, including mites and lice.  Remember, diatomaceous earth is a mechanical insecticide and takes time to work. It's a non-toxic alternative, but proper application and patience are key to its success in controlling mites.

Indoor Application Instructions

Step 1:  Clean pet areas like bedding, around food dishes, and any kennels or again bedding.  Be sure wash thoroughly and replace any straw or hay they may have used if they have an outdoor dog house.  For cats, you want to make sure the food dishes and around them are cleaned.  The cat box is another breeding ground for mites so be sure to clean the litter often and apply this product in and around the box to help prevent further spread of the infestation.

Step 2:  Apply the product in a light and even fashion to all locations stated in Step 1 of the instructions.  Be sure to give it 5 days before cleaning and reapplying for another 5 days.  This is long enough to see a dramatic reduction in population of the mite.

Step 3:  Most importantly is to get this product on your pet to help kill off the already embedded mites.  Mites will burrow under the skin and feed on it causing a rash or redness called mange.  Take a look at the mange rash on a dog quick.

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is what will happen to them if we do not kill them.  From mange, comes skin infections and rounds of steroids and antibiotics.  So before this happens please apply the powder onto the fur coat of the animal, being sure not to miss a spot other than the face and eyes.  Be sure the application is visible and then rub that down to the skin, even the infected mange skin.  When the mite surfaces, they will come into the application and because DE absorbs moisture so well, they will be dehydrated to death.

Step 4:  (Optional) After you get rid of these nasty mites be sure to keep a light and visible application on bedding, cat boxes, kennels, and the grounds in which they love to play on, outside.  During the warm months this can prove effective against not only mites but fleas also.

Dog with Scabies
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