A mite is the cause of walking dandruff, also called cheyletiellosis, in animals and people. The unusual name comes from the motion of the visible mites, which makes the dandruff appear to "walk" on the infected individual.
The symptoms of walking dandruff in people include itching of the skin and blisters on the skin, according to Trinity Equine Practice. The mites causing the condition may also be visible. The symptoms usually disappear in people when contact with an infected animal is stopped.
The mites infect people through direct contact with an infected animal. Treating the animal with walking dandruff eliminates the possibility of transference to people.
Use topical insecticides to treat animals and people infected with walking dandruff, according to UC Davis. Also treat any bedding, carpets and furnishings that may have been in contact with infected individuals.
The large mite is an obligatory mite, which means that it must rely on the host to live. A human infection of walking dandruff usually clears up after three weeks because the life cycle of the mites cannot be completed on a human host, according to UC Davis.
Walking dandruff is highly contagious, but an animal with the mite may not show symptoms of mites. The condition does not last on humans, but it can be very uncomfortable for the duration of the infection.