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Ear Mites in Dogs – Symptoms & Treatments

There are a number of pests that can live in your home, and these pests can not only be a bother to you, but also to your family dog.  One such pest is the ear mite.

Most Common Type of Ear Mite

There are a number of different types of mites that can live in your pup’s ears.  However, the most common type of ear mite is the Otodectes cynotis.  This tiny has parasite eight legs and it actually feeds on the wax and oils in your dog’s ear canal. These parasites are so tiny they can rarely be seen by the naked eye. Typically, your veterinarian will have to do a scraping for them; he or she will then put this scraping under a microscope to see if your dog has mites: That is how small these mites are!

Life Cycle

The individual ear mite only has a three-week life cycle; however, they breed, so you will get more and more mites as time goes on.

Checking For Mites at Home

If you can’t wait until you see the vet, you can check for mites at home.  Try this easy trick:

  1. First, take a cotton ball and gently swab the area of your dog’s ear, making sure not to get too deep.
  2. Next, examine this with a magnifying glass. If you can see little white specks, your dog has ear mites.

Now that you have determined the problem, you can start to treat your dog.  It is imperative that you get rid of the ear mites right away, because they will only get worse.  When your dog scratches his ears vigorously, he is allowing yeast and bacteria to be rubbed into his skin. This can lead to the development of secondary bacterial infections.

But you can prevent this!  Now that you know your dog has ear mites, you can treat them.

Symptoms of Ear Mites

Here are some symptoms of ear mites that you should not ignore:

If your dog begins shaking his head a lot, it could be ear mites. If he is favoring one side of his head (one side is listing a bit, one ear is down more than the other) you need to check it out.

If your dog is scratching around his ears, vigorously, it could be ear mites.

Additionally, check inside your dog’s ear for a buildup that looks like coffee grounds (it will be dark brown or black in color). This is a first indicator of ear mites.

If you notice any blood inside of his ear canal, this is a sign of an advanced infestation, and you should immediately see your vet.

Your dog’s ear flaps can become red and inflamed, as well as crusted and scabbed

Ear mites can also cause skin infections and permanent loss of hearing, so it is very important to check your dog’s ears regularly.

These parasites can also cause a strong odor in the ears, and this can be an early warning side.

Puppies

Ear mites are common in dogs of any age, but most often occur in puppies.  This is because puppies have not yet built up a strong immunity. So, if you have a puppy, it is important that you check his or her ears often, and be on the lookout for signs of ear mites.

At Home Treatment for Ear Mites

Ear mites are easy to detect at home, and easy to treat at home! Which is great for owners; it gives you a sense of peace, because you can help your pup easily, and you can do it inexpensively.

Mineral oil is the best and easiest treatment for ear mites. It will get rid of them quickly and painlessly!

  1. First, you will need a bottle of plain mineral oil (Only use mineral oil–not olive oil or any other kind of oil!  Not only will another type not work, it could make the infestation worse.) and an eye dropper.
  2. Now, clean dog’s ears in order to get rid of any ear wax and dirt. This will ensure that there is nowhere for the ear mites to hide (and nothing for them to want to eat!).
  3. Once they are clean, use the eye dropper and drop two drops of mineral oil inside each of your dog’s ears.  Then massage the oil into your dog’s ear canals.
  4. Next, soak a cotton ball in mineral oil and use it to thoroughly wipe the insides of your dog’s ears.
  5. Your last step is to give your dog’s ears a good massage to make sure that the mineral oil has been fully distributed (and he or she will really appreciate the ear rub, too!).

You will want to repeat this treatment twice a week for a month to make sure that any remaining mites are killed off. This will also prevent any new generations of mites from hatching.

Pest Control

Keeping your home free of all pests is a good way to keep your pups free from ear mites!  Having year round pest control will keep your home healthy, and your pets healthy.

Further Resources for Ear Mites in Dogs:

Ear Analysis for Pets

Do Dust Mites Bite People or Pets?NeverPest.com

How to Get Rid of Dust Mites & Allergies at Home

They’re creepy crawlers and they’re too small to be spotted by the naked human eye. They feed off dead skin and they are everywhere. Dust mites invade every home and can cause havoc on a person’s allergies. Measuring less than 1/100th of an inch, dust mites are kin to spiders and other arachnids. They live in the fibers of bedding, furniture upholstery, carpets and other cloths found in the home.

Allergies are the number one reason to remove as many dust mites from your home as possible. The dust mites themselves cannot bite humans, but as they grow they shed their skin and leave feces in their habitat. These are the second most common reason for allergic reactions, with pollen coming in first place. A person allergic to dust mites can suffer from a mild reaction, like itchy eyes or a runny nose, to a severe asthma attack.

Removing Dust Mites

  • While it is nearly impossible to completely remove dust mites from your home there are things that can be done to reduce their numbers. A few changes to cleaning routines and a bit of redecorating could have you breathing better in no time.
  • Bedding, clothing, curtains and most washable things should be run through the washing machine once a week or so. Use the hot water setting on the washing machine to ensure all dust mites are killed. For clothing and other fabrics not used often enough to justify such constant washings consider plastic covers and slips.
  • For fabrics that can’t be washed, like carpets and furniture, use a vacuum to remove the mites. Try to find a vacuum with a HEPA filter to help clean the air as you vacuum and make sure to get all the nooks and crannies instead of just the surface. Using a steam cleaner once a month can also help reduce dust mite populations.
  • Mattresses and box springs are both difficult to clean and really important to clear of dust mites. Hopefully, you spend six to eight hours a day or night sleeping in the bed. This is a long time to be inhaling allergens. There are mattress covers that are made to repel dust mites. These are often also made to repel pollen, stains and bed Box spring covers can also be bought to protect the fabric there.
  • For pillows and other bits of bedding that can’t be washed an overnight freeze can kill off the dust mites. Use a damp cloth or hand vacuum to remove any dead dust mites and other allergens from the items after removing from the freezer.

Removing Dust Mites Due to Severe Allergies

For some people even the most rigorous cleaning can’t help reduce the number of allergic attacks caused by dust mites. In these extreme cases there are a number of things that can be done, but they do require a larger change.

  • Removing the carpeting in your home will drastically reduce the livable habitats for dust mites. Replace carpet with lanolin, wood or tile flooring. Put rubber mats at the entrances to reduce track through and small, washable throw rugs can be put down to help ward away the morning chill. Sweep and mop several times a week to remove dust build up.
  • Replace curtains with blinds. Blinds can be wiped down with a wet cloth to remove dust buildup and don’t offer a home to dust mites. If you miss the color curtains bring into your home there are a number of designer blinds or you can get creative and paint your own.
  • Add an air filter to your home. These can be either directly installed into some central heating and cooling units or bought as standalone units. Changing the air filter on your heating and cooling system is recommended once a month and cleaning a standalone filter should be done once a week.
  • Control the humidity in your home. Use a dehumidifier to keep the relative humidity right at or below 50%. Dust mites can’t thrive in these drier conditions. Keep an eye out for leaks in piping and repair any that appear quickly. Use ventilation fans in the kitchen and bathroom as well.
  • For children stuffed animals are a must, but these cuddly toys can pose a challenge in the war against the dust mites. You can freeze the toys for 24 hours to then hand vacuum to remove the dead dust mites. There are “asthma friendly” toys that may be used to replace stuffed animals if needed.

While the war on dust mites is never ending there are many ways you can win the battles. Depending on your level of allergies and your determination dust mites can be fought back well beyond tolerable levels to as near annihilated as possible. With dedicated cleaning and a few changes to your home you’ll be breathing better in no time.

Red Spider Mite Control : Problems With Spider Mites

Spider mites are garden pests that feed on a variety of different plants. There are two kinds of spider mites, European and Southern. The Southern spider mites are the most common types as European are most often found infesting apple trees. Spider mites are arachnids that are related to spiders but have smaller bodies that the average spider. There are different signs to look for to determine if your garden and shrubbery are being taken over by red spider mites. Then you will need to take some steps to get rid of them before they destroy your plants.

There are two kinds of Southern spider mites including red spider mites and multiple colored spider mites. Red mites are more commonly found. Camellias and Azaleas tend to be the favorite plant of red spider mites. Look under the leaves for a dusty appearance and even some webbing on branches and/or leaves. With a magnifying glass, you will be able to see the dusty appearance is actually the red spider mites. They are so tiny that they trick you into thinking the leaves are just dingy looking. Eventually, after some time, the spider mites will completely destroy the plant.

When are spider mites most active?

Red spider mites are more active during the Spring and Fall seasons as they are more active during cool weather. They multiply very quickly with the female laying up to 20 eggs each day with a life cycle of four weeks. Eggs hatch within three days in the best conditions and can become adults within five days. This can lead to a massive infestation if it isn’t handled immediately.

How to get rid of red mites?

If you notice you have a problem then consider getting some natural predators that feed on these insects including the lovely ladybug and lacewings. They will serve a great advantage of preventing your garden from looking terrible by the damage caused by the red spider mites. You can purchase them from any garden supply center.

Other types of methods to get rid of the spider mites is to use an insecticidal soap that you can clean the leaves of the plant. Test on a few leaves first and check the leaves a few days later to determine if it damaged the plant even more. If the leaves remain intact then continue with the treatment. Sometimes insecticidal soaps can be damaging to a plant depending on its sensitivity. Using pesticides could eliminate many of the natural predators of the red spider mites which could cause another problem as the mites may just leave the area they are infesting and continue onward to another area of your garden.

Red Spider Mite Prevention

Take measures to prevent red spider mites by checking the leaves of the plants often. Remove any debris around the soil, branches and leaves of the plant. Make sure they are dust free by watering every day and keeping them clear of anything that could damage them. Take measure to keep them healthy by feeding the soil as needed and keeping the areas moist. Red spider mites prefer dry areas and begin to infest a plant when it is not watered enough. Monitor your plants regularly and if you notice an appearance by red spider mites then consider the lowest level of toxic treatment and move on to something more severe if needed. Stay organic at first to see if the red spider mites will disappear.

When analyzing your plants to determine if you have red spider mites, start at the lower leaves as they start out on the bottom since they are more hidden. If you have to take spraying pesticide methods it can become time-consuming and costly as well. If you prefer to avoid the entire situation then use red spider mite predators to help get rid of them from the very beginning. If you have to make a large purchase for spider mite predators then that can be costly as well. Maintaining your plants from the start is the best way to not lose a lot of money on pesticides and predators.

If you only have one plant that appears to have red spider mites then you may want to get rid of it all together before they continue on to your other plants. It will be cheaper, in the long run, to simply get rid of it. If you see a major problem occurring then give it some time for the predators to take care of the problem. This could take some time to get rid of all of the spider mites as they multiply quickly, but as long as you are relentless and willing to spend a lot of time to remove the mites you will succeed over time in getting rid of the pesky insects.

Just keep in mind that when you have a garden that you will always have to take steps in keeping away a large variety of mites and insects that will damage your plants as red spider mites are just one of the many to worry about.

Further Resources for Red Spider Mites:

Spider Mite Problems in Landscaping – University of Kentucky

 

Dust Mite Bites – Are They Real?

Dust mites are microscopic and feed on dead human and animal skin. As everyone sheds skin throughout the night while sleeping, the dust mites come along and eat. If you have several animals there will be dead skin lying around from your pets as well. They live in the home within the furniture, beds, and carpets. Within the months of July and August dust mites increase in population as it is typically warm and humid. There are various ways to maintain dust mites to a minimum since you cannot completely get rid of them, and prevent them getting out of hand.

Understand dust mites ideal living conditions as one way to help prevent a congestion of them in your home. They live in temperatures of 70 degrees or warmer and a humidity level of 75 to 80 percent. You can purchase a hygromteter to measure humidity in your home and using a dehumidifier and air conditioner will help lower the humidity level in your home. They cannot live in cold temperatures and in dry areas. As more than 20 million American are allergic to dust mites, making you feel like you have a bad cold or even hard to even breathe, it is important to make sure that dust mites don’t get out of control and are minimized.

Looking into a few ways to maintain your home from having too many dust mites and causing severe allergy problems, consider washing bedding once a week in hot water and drying in a hot temperature dryer. Even though dust mites like warm weather, they cannot survive hot water and severe dry heat. They must have some humidity to thrive and reproduce.

Vacuum twice a week if you have carpets. Use a HEPA filtered vacuum to ensure no escape from these microscopic critters and change the filter as often as the machine recommends. If you don’t have carpets, then mop up the floors at least twice a week or use a steam mop to make sure that any dust mites living in the floors will immediately be killed. Many steam mops are capable of killing allergens and germs that are on your hard floors and some can be used to clean furniture.

Use a steamer to clean your furniture upholstery once a week. Dust mites are not as commonly infesting in the furniture as much as they are in beds and carpets, but this needs to be done to make sure that dust mites don’t take over your home. Use pillows that have polyester fibers instead of feathers or kapok. Dust mites are unable to infest in polyester.

Dust mites can live up to 19 days and a female dust mite that mates and has her eggs fertilized can live up to 70 days. Each female can lay up to 100 eggs within five weeks. This leads to a massive amount of dust mites that can accumulate in your home especially without using correct procedures to get rid of them. Pillows tend to be the hot spot for dust mites to accumulate as the moisture from a person’s body tends to be vibrant of humidity and it’s an ideal spot for bacteria to build up from your face, breath, saliva and hair. Using a foam memory pillow can help eliminate many dust mites from living on your pillow.

As dust mites also find your mattress a hot spot to infest in, consider using air tight dust mite plastic covering for both your mattress and box spring. This will not get rid of all of the dust mites but it will prevent them from multiplying as fast as they would if you didn’t have plastic surrounding the mattress. Using a memory foam mattress can also help prevent dust mites from accumulating where you sleep. Many foam mattresses come with a cover that helps prevent moisture from building up within the mattress. Some people tend to sweat when they sleep or become hot, making it an ideal environment for dust mites, but memory foam mattresses tends to prevent this from happening.

Taking all of these precautions and maintaining a regular cleaning regimen will help eliminate dust mites from growing in large populations. As you will never be able to completely get rid of 100 percent of the dust mites in your home, you will be able to prevent them from infesting, increasing allergies and making the air you breathe unclean. Some dust mites will live through the cold months and can survive dry heat but they will not thrive and reproduce as much as they do in a warm and humid environment. By following these steps in getting rid of current dust mites you will find your allergy and breathing is much better. You will notice that the air seems fresher and less congested. With a dehumidifier placed in your bedroom and living room will also help improve the air you breathe.

Further Dust Mite Bite Resources:

House Dust Mites – University of Kentucky

Mites in Your Cat’s Ears??? – NeverPest.com

 

Ear Mites in Cats – Symptoms and Remedies

Ear mites are most commonly found in outside cats and kittens, but indoor pets can also become victims of this extremely tiny crab like parasite. They are very difficult to see, but if you look extremely close you may be able to see little white dots. Ear mites are hard to see with the naked eye, yet there are signs that you will know if your pet has them with waxy secretion, ear inflammation, a strong odor and excessive scratching. Not only are there various ways to get ear mites and signs to detect that your pet has them, there is treatment to help get rid of ear mites in cats.

If you notice that your cat is shaking his/her head a lot and has scratch marks around the exterior of the ear along with obstruction to the ear canal, then chances are your pet has ear mites. If you feel that ear mites are a possibility then have your pet checked by your veterinarian. If you have several pets in your home then have all  of them checked once it is determined one has ear mites as they are extremely contagious. It’s extremely rare that humans can be infected.

Some of the causes of ear mites in cats is if they come in contact with an animal that has them. They make up 50 percent of all feline infections. Cats are more susceptible to ear mites than dogs. If your cat goes outside they can end up with ear mites unless you take some precautions. Use Revolution or some form of flea and tick treatment. These are topical monthly treatment that help prevent your pet from attracting fleas, ticks and other parasites. This type of treatment can help cats fight against multiple types of parasites including round worms and hookworms along with ear mites.

If you notice that your cat has ear mites and take them to the veterinarian for a diagnosis then the doctor will prescribe medicine to give your pet on a regular basis until it is all gone. You will apply drops in the ear once or twice daily, you can clean the ears with cotton and an ear cleaner, but make sure you swipe gently and not deep in the ear, and you may be given an antibiotic on top of the various treatments provided. There is an anti-parasite shampoo that you can use to bathe your cat in called pyrethrin to help prevent ear mites from spreading outside the ears and onto the skin where they will experience hair loss if the ear mites go untreated along with more extreme cases including loss of hearing and seizures.

Make sure to complete the full cycle of any medication given by the veterinarian to prevent the ear mites from returning and to ensure the ear mites are completely gone. Ear drops or antibiotics will usually last for up to one month. As ear mites in cats can last up to a three week life cycle, it is important to remove every single mite as they live off the wax and oils in the cat’s ears. They can infect the internal and external parts of the ear canal and it can lead to skin and ear infections without the proper treatment. You will notice dark discharge coming from the ears when the ear mites are out of control. Loss of hair and an obstruction to hearing will occur as the cat suffers long term problems with ear mites.

With routine cleaning of your pet’s ears will help keep ear mites away. Keep bedding clean especially if your pet has had them once before. Chances are they will return if regular upkeep is not maintained. Ear mites may find a place to survive and return its ugly head onto your pets once again if the bedding from all of your pets are not cleaned at least once a week. Always take precautions to keep these pesty parasites away from your cats and dogs in your home. Keep a keen eye on your pet by checking the ears regularly and making sure that there isn’t any brown residue accumulating. By gently cleaning your pet’s ears once a month and maintaining clean ears you will always be on top of possible ear mites that could occur.

By following the multiple ways to examine your cat’s ears and keeping not only the ears clean but the bedding, you will be able to maintain a clean environment for your pet. It will be highly possible to avoid ever having to see ear mites. However, if it does occur at some point you will be able to detect them right away and then take the proper steps to get rid of them. It can be a long process, but at least your pets will live a happy and ear mite free life.

Further Resources for Ear Mites in Cats:

Felin Ear Disorders – Cornell University

Can Bird Mites Affect Cats? – NeverPest.com