3 Facts about grass mites in dogs (With emergency tips)

What the grass mite is all about and what precautions you can takeso that your pelt-nose has no increased risk, I show you in this guide. In addition, I have for this article advice from the veterinarian Mag.med.vet. Emin Jasarevic caught up. So be curious!

Grass
Article Overview

Grass mites are extremely annoying troublemakers that can be a nuisance not only to us humans, but also to our four-legged friends.

This is not the adult grass mite itself, which causes the enormous itching in some of our four-legged friends.

It is the larva. The intense itching can last up to a week. Even if the larva is not a direct carrier of infection, the consequences of itching can cause infections.

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The grass mite

Grass mites belong to the arachnids. There are about 20,000 researched species of them. The grass mite belongs to the walking mites.

Actually, strictly speaking, the grass mite is the harvest mite (Neotrombicula autumnalis). It is also known as the autumn mite or autumn grass mite.

The true grass mite (Bryobia graminum) is smaller than the harvest mite and its bite does not cause as severe an itch.

Grass mites love warm climates. They are now found throughout Central Europe.

The adult grass mite itself does not live like a parasite. The culprits are their larvae. Their peak season runs from May to October.

The bite

When bitten, the larvae secrete a substance that causes itching after about three to 24 hours.

The bite itself is not felt, dhe larva penetrates only a few millimeters into the skin with its biting tool. The larvae feed on tissue fluid and lymphatic fluid, not on blood.

In contrast, adult grass mites are vegetarians, so to speak. They feed on plant sap.

The larvae themselves are not direct carriers of infection. Nevertheless, the intense itching and subsequent scratching of the bite sites can lead to secondary infections.

How do I recognize a grass mite?

Mite

The larva is only 0.2 to 0.3 millimeters in size and is difficult to see with the naked eye.

You can use the following method to determine if they have nested in your garden:

Put a white cloth e.g. kitchen paper or a white sheet of paper on the lawn on a dry sunny day. The reflective surface will attract the larvae. If you see orange to red spots on the surface of the "decoy", then these are grass mites.

Heavy rain and frost forces the mites to crawl about 50 cm into the ground.

They like best the tips of blades of grass when the weather is nice. If the lawn is very close to the apartment, they can also make themselves comfortable in the apartment.

You can use the following methods to detect if your four-legged friend is infested with grass mites: 

Should your darling be a light, not very dense coat it will be easier for you to detect the mites. An orange to reddish crust on your pet's skin could be a sign of mites.

If your furry Too dense coat should have, you can take a comb (eg flea comb) to help. Put a white cloth under the comb. Stroke the comb against the hair growth. If after shaking out the comb small orange to red colored particles have landed on the cloth, then they are probably grass mites.

Inspect the following lots in particular:

  • Paw, toes, also spaces
  • Eyelid
  • Ear area
  • Chest and abdomen
  • Tail root
  • Back (if your dog likes to roll around
These are the areas through which your fur bearer comes in contact with the ground or grass and brushes off the larvae.

What are the symptoms?

The larva looks for a thin spot on your pet's skin to bite into. After the larva has "scratched" the surface of the skin, it releases a secretion. This causes the tissue to detach.

The secretion can lead to strong itching lead. Your four-legged friend will start scratching, licking and nibbling at the spots. 

Wounds can occur in the process. Bacterial infections, skin fungus, a weakened immune system can be the result.

How can I help my dog?

Not all dogs have severe itching after a bite from a mite larva. If your four-legged friend is sensitive to the mites, you must observe him closely.

He will try to relieve his itch with scratching, licking and nibbling at the bite site. However, this leads to sores.

If the areas are inflamed or badly affected, you need to call your veterinarian immediately. Your veterinarian will look at the skin areas and prescribe appropriate treatment. He can also look to see if they are really grass mite larvae or even talk about an allergy.

So that your protégé does not have to host the annoying larvae for too long, you can after a walk, rinse well the paws, legs, chest and abdomen with lukewarm water. Do not forget the spaces between the toes. If he should have rolled, it is best to rinse off completely.

As with infestations of ticks or fleas, you should clean blankets, pillows, toys (stuffed animals, etc.), dog bed, etc. well to prevent spread.

Arrangements in the garden

Should you have a garden with a lawn where your darling likes to romp, you can take the following measures:

  • Mow the lawn weekly. The larvae like to stay at the tips of the grass blades. Thus, you block their favorite place to stay.
  • Please note that larvae in grass clippings are still alive. Do not dispose of the waste in your own compost pile, but take it to the nearest recycling center or container.
  • Another favorite place of residence of pests are moss. Moss can form between the grass. That is why it is good if the garden is regularly dethatched.
  • It is best to fertilize the lawn with lime-nitrogen at the beginning of May. Let the lawn dry first. Then mow it and apply the fertilizer.
  • The mites do not like wetness. Water the lawn regularly. This will force the mites to hide in the soil.

Is there any prevention for my dog?

Some specialized sites recommend tea tree oil for the fight against the annoying mites. However, you should note that tea tree oil can cause severe allergies in dogs. It is better if your vet decides that and if necessary, prescribes a preparation to which tea tree oil is added. He can also recommend you a suitable parasite shampoo.

You can before going for a walk your protégé with Organic coconut oil rub. Coconut oil also helps to reduce itching and heal the affected areas faster. It has a very high lauric acid content. The parasites do not like that at all.

How to use the coconut oil and more tips about it you can read on our page for Coconut oil experienced

Nevertheless, you should check your dog regularly, as herbal remedies do not provide 100%igen protection.

Mites love meadows and forests. During the season of larvae (May - October) change the route of your walk and prefer roads.

Go for a walk in the morning, as the mites are not so active at that time.

If you do find yourself stroking through the meadow with your loved one, wash it off thoroughly with lukewarm water.

After every walk, check your four-legged friend's coat for any infestation.

Recommendation from the vet

There is no 100% effective protection against grass mite larvae.

The good news with grass mites is that they are not direct disease transmitters ofhe are.

Nevertheless, they are a nuisance because they can cause severe itching in some dogs, which poses secondary infection risks.

I recommend, that you do not wait long at all in case of a strong itching and consult your veterinarian. He can decide after an intensive examination, whether really grass mites are at work or another parasite

He can also determine whether it is a "normal" itch or even an allergy. Accordingly, the methods of treatment will change.

It is important that your dearest friend is delivered from these parasites as quickly and gently as possible.

Examined by the veterinarian Mag.med.vet. Emin Jasarevic
Examined by the veterinarian Mag.med.vet. Emin Jasarevic

I am a veterinarian and writer on animal health topics. Animals are my passion and it is my personal concern to create medically accurate articles and videos to inform pet owners as much as possible.

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