How to Kill Chiggers on Pets

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Pets that spend time outside can get chiggers, which cause uncomfortable itching.
Pets that spend time outside can get chiggers, which cause uncomfortable itching. (Image: Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

Chiggers are specific type of mite, the Trombiculidae, that are in the larval stage. Chiggers attach themselves to the skin of your pet by inserting a small part of their mouth into a depression on the skin, for instance, a hair follicle or pore. The itching is caused by the digestive saliva injected into the body during the feeding process and generally does not begin until two to three days after the initial bite.

Things You'll Need

  • Pet brush
  • Shampoo
  • Pyrethin-based dip
  • Anti-parasite creams

Brush your pet thoroughly to remove as many chiggers as possible. Do this outside; rather than possibly infesting your home with the mites.

Give the pet a hot soapy bath. Use a shampoo specifically designed for your type of pet to minimize skin irritation. In most instances, this will be enough to eradicate the pests.

Use a pyrethin-based dip according to manufacturer’s directions, if your pet continues to have problems with chiggers. Most dips require more than one application.

Treat with a topical anti-parasite cream, if the itching continues to be a problem. Some animals are more sensitive to the bites than others and the irritation is more difficult to relieve.

Contact your veterinarian if the discomfort persists. Common treatments they can provide include stronger anti-bacterial cream and steroids.

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