There are a wide range of mites, but the most common that humans are in contact with are dust mites, chiggers, scabies, clover mites, rodent and bird mites and itch mites. According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, mites rarely transmit diseases to humans, but can cause an itchy skin irritation when presented in large numbers. The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention states that the type of mites that cause mange on pets doesn't affect humans; instead, humans contract scabies, an irritating rash caused when the scabies mite burrows into the upper layer of skin. You can treat and prevent scabies in a few ways.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- HEPA-filtered vacuum
- Plastic mattress and pillow covers
Contact your physician and let him know you've been in contact with an animal with mange. Your doctor will likely prescribe a lotion containing insecticide, but be careful not to overuse the lotion because it may cause skin reactions or sensitivity.
Wash all undergarments, clothing and bed linen in hot, soapy water. Not only should you wash the infested person's belongings, but also those of anyone in recent proximity to that person. According to the North Carolina Cooperative Extension's Department of Entomology, human scabies mites cannot survive away from a host for more than 24 hours.
Vacuum rugs, overstuffed furniture, mattresses and bed frames with a HEPA-filtered vacuum cleaner to remove mites and the organic debris they feed on. Encase mattresses and pillows in plastic covers and regularly change bed linen so mites can't reproduce as often.
Tips and warnings
- Wash your hands after coming in contact with animals or persons infected with mites to prevent transmission.
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