Scabies mites are extremely contagious; the mites can be transferred to humans from pets, furniture and clothing. Scabies mites can live without a host in the environment for 2 to 3 days. Once the mites come in contact with the host, they burrow into the skin and lay eggs. This results in intense itching, infected sores and hair loss. In humans, a mite infestation is called scabies, while in an animal, a scabies infestation is called sarcoptic mange.
Things You'll Need
- Stockade fencing
- Pet parasite prevention medication
- Lawn service
- Contractor bags
- Storage shed or garage
- Anti-parasite spray with permethrin
- Humane animal control service
Enclose the yard with stockade fencing. This will eliminate contact between household dogs and stray animals that may be infested with scabies. This will also prevent most mammals from entering the yard (squirrels are an exception; they can climb any type of fencing—including fences with barbed wire—and enter the yard by climbing over the house or via a nearby tree).
Monitor the fence weekly; look at the bottom of the fence to look for holes that would allow animals to pass beneath the fence. If gaps are found, use a shovel to push soil or landscaping rocks against the fence to eliminate the gap.
Treat household pets who access the yard with anti-parasite medication that contains ivermectin on a monthly basis. An infested pet can transfer scabies mites to the yard, home, other pets and to humans.
Hire a lawn service to treat the lawn for parasites. These anti-parasite lawn treatments are designed to eliminate fleas, ticks, and other parasites like scabies mites. Regular bi-weekly or monthly lawn treatments are an ideal method for maintaining a parasite-free yard, particularly in the case of a household with pets.
Seal all lawn furniture cushions and outdoor pillows inside heavy-duty contractor bags for a period of two weeks to kill all existing mites (the mites and their eggs eventually die without access to a host).
Bring the furniture cushions and pillows outside only when they are in use. Place them in plastic bags and store them in a garage, shed or deck box when not in use.
Spray outdoor deck furniture, trampolines, mesh swings and hammocks with an anti-parasite spray containing permethrin about 20 minutes prior to use. This will kill any parasites or eggs that may have been deposited on the furniture and other items that humans will contact directly.
Monitor the yard for infested animals. The symptoms of sarcoptic mange are unmistakable in a wild animal--widespread fur loss, large areas of sores and scabs. If an infested animal is located, contact a humane animal service, which can trap, medicate and release the affected animal and any others that may be found in the immediate area.
Tips & Warnings
- Burrowing animals are not a real concern, as they spend a majority of time underground and are not apt to carry or transmit scabies mites.
- Monitor the news for reports of scabies outbreaks. When wild animals are affected, it tends to spread like wildfire and ultimately, pets and humans may be affected. More aggressive measures (more frequent anti-parasite lawn treatments) are recommended if a local scabies outbreak is reported.
- If a human or pet is affected by scabies, all humans and animals in the household will need to be treated. In addition, the entire house--carpets, bedding, clothing, and furniture will need to be treated with an anti-parasite spray containing permethrin.
- Scabies mites are not seasonal; an outbreak can occur at any time of year, so it's important to remain vigilant.
- Scabies will not go away on its own; it will only get worse. For this reason, it's essential to seek treatment quickly, as skin infections and permanent scarring can result.
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
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