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The scabies mite


Who are the scabies mite ?

Scabies is an infectious, highly contagious skin disease caused by mite parasites related to ticks and spiders. This mite parasite penetrates the superficial layer of the skin. It occurs at all ages, in all populations, and in all socio-economic backgrounds. Scabies is common, affecting an estimated 300 million people worldwide.

We will focus here mainly on scabies affecting animals. There are several types: dog scabies, sheep scabies, etc. These different types of scabies can be transmitted to humans, who represent a parasitic dead end (they cannot transmit it to another human). Animal scabies also manifests itself as itching.

There are 3 types of scabies

The ruminants are affected by 3 types of scabies :

  1. Psoroptic or common scabies (Psoroptes ovis) : the parasite lives on the skin or under the desquamations. Common in sheep, it causes extensive scaling all over the body.
  2. Sarcoptics (sarcoptes sabei var. bovis or var. Ovis) : the parasite digs tunnels in the skin. Common in cattle and sheep.
  3. Chorioptics (chorioptes bovis) : the parasite lives on the skin or under the desquamations on the legs and feet of animals. Common in cattle and sheep.

When the presence of Psoroptic or Sarcoptic mange is detected, the herd must be quarantined and treated.

The life cycle of scabies parasites (sarcoptes)

After contaminating the skin, the sarcoptes mate on their new host.

The fertilised female then digs a gallery in the superficial layers of the skin. She lays 2 to 3 eggs there every day. Over a lifetime of 1 month, she lays an average of 40 eggs. Each egg hatches in 3 to 5 days and produces a larva, which becomes a male or female adult in 2 to 3 weeks.

The young females wait in their gallery to be impregnated by a male. After mating, the males die and the females rise to the surface of the skin to find a suitable place and dig a gallery in which they will live and lay eggs until they die.

It is the female sarcoptes that are responsible for the symptoms of scabies

Scabies, a nuisance for animals

In general, scabies affects the health of animals in four different ways :

  1. Skin lesions that can develop into dermatitis.
  2. Loss of blood.
  3. Allergic reactions.
  4. Vectors of bacteria that create ideal conditions for the development of infectious diseases. 

How do you get rid of scabies on an animal ?

Spray on our ALT'O ZINSECT parasite repellent spray or gel after cleaning the animals (brushing or thorough washing and drying).

Depending on the extent of the lesions, one or two sprays at 15-day intervals are recommended.

It is advisable to apply a continuous film over the whole animal, concentrating on areas with lesions.

For sheep, shear the areas before treatment and then apply our ALT'O ZINSECT spray.


Beware : scabies is highly contagious

First and foremost, in the case of common scabies in humans or animals, it is important that the diagnosis is made with certainty by a health professional. It is particularly important to strictly follow all the treatment instructions given by the doctor and pharmacist to eradicate the parasite (local treatment with a body cream or lotion, or oral treatment). Incomplete treatment will not cure the patient, and exposes those around him or her to contamination.

Above all, don't forget to treat the immediate environment :
In the case of scabies in your home (people or pets), it is important to treat the affected person's environment. Depending on the case, it may be necessary to treat bedding and clothing (if they cannot be washed at 60°C), as well as shoes, mattresses, armchairs, etc.

To treat, you can use all the insecticides used to combat mites :
1. Small Insect Insecticide (4J diluted at 1.5%). Allow 500ml / 5 m2 of surface treated.

2. You can also use ECODOO anti-mite spray (alcohol + pyrethrum).

3. The 3rd solution is to treat with ARIES anti-mite spray (alcohol + neem).

Simple cleaning (vacuuming, washing) of the premises should be carried out. (vacuum carpets). Cold, inert surfaces are not contaminated (plastics, crockery, cutlery, pens, notebooks, etc.). Absorbent surfaces (sofas, fabric armchairs, mattresses, etc.) are rarely contaminated in cases of common scabies. In the case of profuse or crusted scabies, they should be treated with an acaricide spray.

The entire treatment of the affected person, their family and friends, and their clothing should always be repeated a second time, one week later.

N.B.: Parasites can be killed by cold. Clothes can therefore be placed in a freezer overnight.

They can also be killed by heat at 60°C: a tumble dryer cycle at 60°C is sufficient. Dry cleaning is also effective.

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Frequently asked questions about scabies

Q : Hello, and thank you in advance if you can advise us before ordering on which product to spray for scabies. Best regards.

A : If it's for an animal, the scabies treatment can be effective with our ALT'O ZINSECT insect repellent. On the other hand, if it affects humans, we advise you to contact your GP for a full and accurate diagnosis before embarking on treatment.

Q : My dog has scabies : can it pass it on to me ?

A : Yes, dog scabies is caused by a different Sarcoptes from human scabies. However, dogs can infect humans, but in this case the person has a localised, benign form of scabies and cannot transmit the parasite to another human. This is known as a parasite deadlock.

Q : How do I know if I have scabies and how long does it last ?

A : Scabies mainly manifests itself as itching and scratching lesions on the skin. Intense scratching, particularly at night, between the fingers, but also sometimes on the wrists, forearms, elbows, armpits, navel, thighs, buttocks, male genitals and female mammary aureoles, is very hard to tolerate.The diagnosis is made during a medical consultation. If properly treated, scabies is cured, although the itching may persist for 2 to 4 weeks.

Q : What is the incubation period for scabies ?

A : The incubation period, which is the time between contact with the parasite and signs of the disease, varies between 3 and 6 weeks. So you can transmit the disease without knowing it.

Q : What can be done to prevent transmission of the parasite to those around the person who has the disease ?

A : Our 3 tips for doing so :

- Hand washing :
Washing your hands with soap and water is essential to eliminate the parasite from the skin and limit contamination. But be careful! Hydro-alcoholic solutions are not effective against sarcoptes.

- Avoidance :
People infected with scabies should not attend school or work for up to 3 days after the start of treatment.

- Protective measures :
Those treating the infected person and their laundry must protect themselves during the treatment by wearing gloves and a gown.