You may never have seen these microscopic bugs in action, but you have probably spotted the inflamed, red and itchy rashes they leave behind on your pet’s body.
Chiggers are a species of mites which latch onto and feed off your pet’s body. They feed for about four days before going through an entire life cycle which can last almost two months!
They’re hard to spot because it’s actually the larval stage that causes the real pain. And while they really are so tiny at this stage, their formal name is mighty: Trombiculiasis; and the pain they cause on your pet (or you) also packs a wallop!
To keep these suckers under control, there are a few things you should know.
Avoid Tall Grasses and Dense Forests
The best advice to avoid your pup from contracting any rash, especially chiggers, is to stay away from anywhere these bugs can hide. While it is possible for your pet to make contact with chiggers in your own backyard, it is far less controlled wherever there is lots of overgrowth.
Lots of Baths
If your pet does happen to get a bite or two (hundred), be sure to give your furbaby a bath. This will loosen the bugs! To soothe itch and inflammation, douse some cooled steep green tea over your pet or create an oatmeal bath mixture. Another great way to loosen the bugs is to run a bath of Epsom salt and a few drops of liquid soap.
Keep the Inflamed Area Cool
To relieve itchiness, swelling and pain, use ice packs or create your own to apply on itchy spots. Anything from pea packs to ice cubes in plastic bags will work. Just be sure to wrap a towel around the pack as a barrier to your pet’s skin.
All Natural Alternative for Itch and Swelling
Hydrocortisone is also recommended for chigger bites on your pet. If after-use itching and swelling persist, it’s time to see a vet. The treatment may call for glucocorticoids prescribed for severe itching, and possibly antibiotics if our pet develops a secondary skin infection.
Overall, chiggers are a tiny pest that, although cumbersome, can be manageable. By being smart about where you walk and being attentive to bites, your pet can have a chigger-free and active summer!
Craig Davis, CEO and Chief Happiness Officer at www.vet-organics.com
Craig is the founder of Vet Organics, where he and his team share additional pet-related articles on the company’s blog. Vet Organics is an eCommerce provider of EcoEars and an array of premium natural products dedicated to the health and wellness of pets.