What are Grass Mites?
Grass mites are tiny arachnids that spend their entire lives on the surface of plants. Their body is less than a millimeter long and has eight legs, two antennae, two eyes and a pair of pedipalps that look like small pincers.
The bodies are red, orange or yellow in color. Some species have wings that allow them to fly short distances to new plants. They can’t bite but they do feed on plant cells by sucking the fluid out of them with their mouthparts. This damage causes leaves to become brown or yellow and eventually drop off.
The mites feed on more than just grass; they can also be found infesting flowers like Queen Anne’s lace (Daucus carota) and other herbs such as chamomile (Matricaria recutita). Other common plants include dill (Anethum graveolens), fennel (Foeniculum vulgare), goldenrod.
Are Grass Mites Harmful for Dogs?
Grass mites are harmful for dogs because they can cause severe itching and irritation. Moreover, grass mites can occasionally bite a dog’s skin thus causing a hypersensitivity to the bite.
In addition, grass mites may also carry other diseases which are harmful for dogs if they are not treated immediately.
It is very important to know that dogs are capable of hosting the same species as humans, but they are more sensitive to their effects than us.
This means that if you have a dog in your house, you should be on the lookout for symptoms such as: excessive licking or scratching, hair loss and even bleeding from the paws or other areas. If these symptoms appear, it’s time to take your pet to see a vet immediately.
When Do Grass Mites Appear?
Grass mites appear in the fall when grass is dry, and are common in late summer through the autumn. With cold weather, they survive as eggs or larvae in soil or on plant debris. The mites then develop into adults in the spring.
They also can be carried by wind from one lawn to another. Once a lawn is infested, it will remain that way unless you apply proper control measures to eliminate them.
How do I know which kind of grass mite I have?
Red Mite (firmicola) Grass Mite (c oleoptera) Winter Grass Mite ( s parganii ) A red mite appears reddish-brown and may have a yellowish cast. It is about half the size of a pinhead and has eight legs and two antennae.
Red mites overwinter as eggs under leaf sheaths or grass stems near the soil surface.
How to Spot Grass Mites in Dogs?
When you are checking your dog for grass mites, it is important to move slowly. It’s easy for your dog to get scared and run away.
This will make the process more difficult and you might not be able to find any mites at all. If you don’t have a magnifying glass, I definitely suggest getting one of those.
They are inexpensive and very useful when searching your pet for insects. An alternative way is using a flashlight with an adjustable focus.
The best place to start the search is in between the toes and around the armpits (where skin folds), as this is where they like to reside. If you notice there are some small red dots on these areas, chances are there are some mites living there too!
If you find any suspicious spots, check them carefully using your fingers or a small brush. Then examine them with your magnifying glass or flashlight/flashlight attachment (if you have one).
How Do I Prevent My Dog from Getting Grass Mites?
Your veterinarian, groomer or pet-sitter can recommend an effective treatment for your pet.
If you have a dog that has been diagnosed with grass mites, the following tips may help keep the mites under control:
Keep your dog’s coat clipped short to avoid contact with grass and soil.
Use an insecticide shampoo on your pet at least once a week, especially during spring and summer months. Follow manufacturer’s instructions on the product label.
Do not allow your dog to play in grassy areas if you know they are infested with mites. This includes parks, golf courses and other recreational areas where dogs are allowed off-leash.
If possible, take your dog for walks on gravel paths or paved streets instead of grassy areas where they could be exposed to mites.
Keep in mind that even if your dog is not currently experiencing symptoms, it is possible for them to play in the park and then bring mites home
How to Treat a Dog with Grass Mites?
There are several things you can do to treat your dog if he has been diagnosed with grass mites.
You should clean his bedding, dog toys and anything else that he may have come into contact with when he was outside, in hot water.
Vacuum the entire house as well to get rid of any leftover mites or eggs that may be lingering around.
Using a flea spray or topical treatment for dogs is also recommended and will keep your dog from having another infestation.
Check his skin regularly for evidence of another infestation so that you can treat him quickly before they multiply and cause any more problems.
Some symptoms that your dog may have grass mites include itching, scratching and biting at the skin surrounding the ears.
The dog may also rub his head on the ground in an effort to relieve some of the irritation that is present.
You may also notice your dog shaking his head frequently or rubbing against hard surfaces such as walls or fences.
If you notice these symptoms in your dog, take him to see your veterinarian for diagnosis and treatment.
Your doctor will need to examine your dog and determine if mites are causing his symptoms.
A microscope may be used to look at a sample of debris from the skin near the ears for mites and eggs.
Your veterinarian will recommend a course of treatment based on what type of mite is present and how severe their presence is on your pet’s body.
Some dogs only need a topical medication applied to the area where they are affected, while others require oral medications to kill any remaining mites in their system.
Possible Treatments for Grass Mites in Dogs
Some ways of getting rid of grass mites from your dog are:
1. A special shampoo will help in the removal of these tiny mites from your dog’s fur. Regular bathing of your dog with this kind of shampoo can help you get rid of these parasites.
This kind of shampoo is available in pet supply stores or veterinary clinics and is especially formulated to kill these pesky little creatures.
2. Another good way to eliminate grass mites from your dog’s fur is by using a flea comb.
It has very fine teeth that can slip underneath the hair and remove any dead skin, dandruff as well as the mites themselves.
3. (NOT RECOMMENDED) A spray insecticide containing pyrethrins, permethrin, or lindane will also work in getting rid of these insects from your pet’s fur and skin.
The only downside to a lot of bug sprays is that they are not safe for dogs and they can cause other health problems like vomiting, diarrhea, seizures and even death if used excessively or improperly.