What causes feather mites in horses?

Feather mites are a problem often seen in the breeds with more feathers (as the name suggests), and is caused by the Chorioptic mite. They’re smaller than lice and not visible to the naked eye. Feather mites cause irritation and itching in horses.

How do you prevent feather mites in horses?

Clean the horse’s skin, especially around any scabs or sores, to remove dead skin cells before treatment. This reduces the places for mites to hide and also interferes with their food source.

Where do horse mites come from?

Where do mites come from and how do horses get them? Mites can live in numerous places, but in an equine environment are most commonly found in (and transmitted by) straw and hay, the wings of birds, and other infected horses.

How do you get rid of feather mites in horses?

There are no licensed treatments for mites in horses. However the commonly used treatment is Dectomax, an injectable drug licensed for use in cattle. Two treatments are given 10-14 days apart.

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Where do horses get feather mites from?


The mite feeds on the skin debris and have a three week life cycle, hatching from eggs laid on the skin surface. The can live in the environment, off the horse, for around 70 days.

Can you see feather mites on horses?

Mange mites aren’t visible to the naked eye. They are found in the feathers, making the horse incredibly itchy and causing scabs to form. The mites live on the surface of the skin and feed on dead skin flakes. Sometimes the crusts they produce can move – making it seem as if the horse has “walking dandruff” .

Can humans get horse feather mites?

Sarcoptes scabiei var. equi. Sarcoptic mites of horses are a species-specific strain of Sarcoptes scabiei, a mite species that infests also sheep, cattle, pigs, other livestock and also humans. This means that it can be transmitted to humans.

How do you prevent horse mites?

Mites not only infest the horse itself, but also their surroundings, such as other horses, the barn, and any tack, blankets, saddle pads, and brushes. As such, be sure to wash all blankets, pads, and brushes. It would be best to use a separate set of blankets, pads, and brushes for any horse that is allergic to mites.

What time of year do horses get mites?

Horses with a lower resistance are more susceptible to mite allergy. In autumn the horses’ resistance is running at full capacity. In addition to large fluctuations in temperature, the change of season initiates the shedding process of horses as well.

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What kills feather mites?

A relatively safe method of treatment is to put one drop of 0.1% ivermectin in propylene glycol on the bare skin; however, the mites are killed only after sucking blood. Other ectoparasites may cause some irritation or feather damage.

How do you know if horse has mites?

Signs that could point towards horses being infected by mite

Itchiness, particularly around the legs. Leg pounding. Horse rubs its legs together. Horse bites its legs.

Can horse mites bite humans?

Mites are species specific, so even if they get on you, they’ll die in a few days. … You might experience an itchy rash or bumps from the mites, but over-the-counter anti-itch products should take care of the problem. If the itching or rash doesn’t go away in a couple of days, see the doctor.

Can feather mites live on humans?

They will bite humans they encounter but cannot survive on humans. As a result of their ‘test biting’ while searching for a new bird host, the mites inject saliva. This can lead to severe irritation with rashes and intense itching. Scratching of the bites may result in secondary infections.

Can feather mites cause lameness?

Chorioptic mange mites can be the indirect cause of lameness in long term/chronic cases. If left untreated the horse will constantly stamp his feet which affects the joints eventually.

What does mange look like in horses?

Mange. Appearance: small, round bumps at first, soon followed by bald spots, with scaly, thickened skin, usually on the lower legs of draft horses with heavy feathering, although any horse can be affected. In more serious cases the skin may be rubbed raw and show signs of secondary infections.

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How do you treat chickens for feather mites?

How to Naturally Treat Mites & Lice

  1. Dust Baths. If you don’t have a dust bath area for your chickens, consider making one in your yard. …
  2. Diatomaceous Earth. Diatomaceous Earth (DE) may sound scary, but it is actually a naturally occurring type of sedimentary rock. …
  3. Keep the Coop Clean. …
  4. Coop Mite Spray. …
  5. Garlic Juice.


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