A walk in the woods, picking flowers in a meadow or working in the garden can all be enough for a grass mite bite. The changing climate in recent decades and the wrong behavior when going for walks make it easy for the parasites to find victims. They bite humans and animals in search of protein-rich food.
What is a grass mite bite?
According to DIGOPAUL.COM, the arachnids live in the ground where they lay their eggs and the larvae hatch in the summer. Not the adult grass mites, but the orange-red larvae are responsible for the bites. In warm weather, the larvae, which are around 0.3 millimeters in size, come to the surface. The mites and larvae are very small and cannot be seen with the naked eye.
They gather in bright and slightly damp places, for example on meadows and in gardens. For their further development, the larvae need humans and animals as hosts. The ankles, back of the knees, loins and armpits are primarily affected by grass mite bites. The larvae have a bite tool that they use to penetrate the skin. When a grass mite bites, an enzyme contained in the animal’s saliva gets into the wound and dissolves the top layer of skin.
This leads to nodules and wheals, some of which only appear hours after the grass mite bite. The itching that is also triggered can become even more intense three days later and last for up to two weeks. The affected person does not notice the grass mite bite itself, since the mouthparts penetrate only fractions of a millimeter. The animals feed on the lymph fluid and cell sap, not on blood.
Also known as fall, autumn grass and harvest mites, grass mites sneak up on their prey, which are warm-blooded humans and animals, on their little legs. The larvae squat in colonies on blades of grass, in bushes or on the ground. If a creature passes by that has optimal operating temperatures of around 30 to 40 degrees Celsius, the larvae settle on the host.
They usually get onto their feet, from which they wander up their legs and bite into suitable places. There the grass mite bite leads to an unbearable itching. The larvae like to choose comfortable places, which include warm and humid areas, such as the edges of socks, the waistband of pants, underwear, armpits.
If the larvae have eaten up to about three times their size when the grass mite bites, they drop. Over the next four to six weeks they will transform into a nymph.
Symptoms, Ailments & Signs
A few hours after the grass mite bite, redness appears, so it is often confused with mosquito bites. A typical symptom is severe itching. Increased scratching often leads to inflammation.
Therefore, it is important not to scratch the wheals. The bite site can be disinfected with a cotton ball soaked in alcohol. Soothing ointments help against the itching. Itching can last up to 14 days, but is most severe in the first three days. The grass mite bite develops into reddish, mostly slightly swollen pustules that contain small water blisters.
Anyone who discovers numerous bites on their body after spending time outdoors, sometimes around 200 bites and in rows next to each other, and suffers from severe itching, was probably bitten by grass mites. Here it is important to pay attention to the places mentioned, which grass mites mainly seek out.
A special treatment is not necessary, as is the case with fleas and lice, because the larvae do not stay on the skin for very long, but disappear after a few hours. The symptoms are unpleasant, but the mite itself is harmless. It does not suck blood, does not transmit diseases and, moreover, transmission from person to person is not possible.
As a rule, the bite of grass mites causes various infections and inflammations in the patient’s body. The affected areas are red and affected by itching. The itching gets worse when the patient scratches the affected area. In most cases, the itching persists for two weeks after the bite and can cause discomfort.
However, there are no further complications or complaints. The symptoms are most severe on the third day after the bite and can thereby reduce the patient’s quality of life. The grass mite bite is not treated by a doctor and also does not lead to a reduced life expectancy. After the symptoms and itching have subsided, there are no further complications.
Those affected can treat the grass mite bite themselves with simple home remedies and thereby limit the pain and itching. If the itching or infection is unbearable, treatment can be with antibiotics or creams and ointments. The treatment of the grass mite bite always leads to a positive course of the disease.
When should you go to the doctor?
In the case of a grass mite bite, there is usually no need to see a doctor. By using insect repellents that are repeatedly applied to the affected area after a sting or bite, the symptoms can be significantly alleviated. The medication can be purchased in pharmacies and drugstores without a prescription.
If no further complications occur, the bite site heals completely within a few weeks and the patient is symptom-free. A doctor’s visit is necessary as soon as the entry point becomes inflamed. Pathogens can penetrate the organism through the open wounds and lead to further diseases.
Therefore, a doctor should be consulted for clarification as soon as there is pus formation, fever or an enlargement of the wound. If the itching of the grass mite bite leads to severe problems in everyday life or psychological abnormalities, a doctor should be asked for help. If allergic reactions occur, it is also advisable to consult a doctor.
If there is severe swelling at the bite site, fever, sweating or if redness spreads unusually far, a doctor should be consulted. People who have mobility problems due to grass mite bites should see a doctor immediately. A doctor must be consulted in the event of numbness, severe sensory disturbances, unsteady gait or pain.
Treatment & Therapy
The skin changes caused by the grass mite bite can be treated locally with an alcohol poultice or an antipruritic ointment for disinfection. You can also dab it with vinegar or lemon juice. Salt water is also a tried and tested remedy. Envelopes with quark from the fridge can also reduce the itching to a tolerable level.
There are also tablets containing the active ingredient cetirizine that are available over the counter in pharmacies. You usually have to take an antihistamine to treat the itching. In severe cases, the doctor can also prescribe a cortisone ointment. The clothes worn should be washed and it is also advisable to take a shower and vacuum the apartment.
Outlook & Forecast
Grass mites are harmless parasites whose bites do not usually cause any serious health problems. If a grass mite bite is immediately cooled and treated with a disinfectant, inflammation, itching and the like will subside within a few days. Medical treatment is usually not required.
Only allergy sufferers should seek medical advice as further allergic reactions may occur. An allergic reaction also subsides quickly if the patient is treated in the doctor’s office and does not scratch the bite. If the injury becomes infected, a serious infection can result.
Possible subsequent symptoms are pain and redness. Rarely does the inflammation spread to the surrounding tissue layers, which can cause further symptoms depending on the body region. In general, however, grass mite bites promise a positive prognosis.
The only danger is the formation of scars. People who are repeatedly exposed to grass mites, for example harvest workers or holidaymakers in tropical regions, may suffer permanent skin changes. Only very rarely do the larvae remain in the body after the bite and lay eggs there. This can cause various complications such as skin damage or gastrointestinal problems.
In order to avoid a grass mite bite, closed clothing and high shoes, such as rubber boots, should be worn. Socks can be worn over long pants. However, all this is uncomfortable in midsummer. It is therefore advisable to rub yourself with an insect repellent before going into nature. Clothing can also be treated with it.
Anyone who has lain in a meadow should take a shower and also change their clothes. Textiles that have been worn in the garden, including underwear, should be removed before entering the apartment. If you want to determine whether your garden is infested with grass mites, you can place a white sheet on the lawn on sunny days.
In the case of a grass mite bite, no special type of aftercare is usually possible or necessary. The patient can usually treat this bite relatively easily by a doctor, so that there are no special complications or other restrictions and complaints. Self-help treatment is also possible, so that a doctor does not always have to be consulted.
First and foremost, however, the source of the mites should be avoided in the event of a grass mite bite. Those affected should not stay in the respective areas and should protect themselves from the mites in any case. In most cases, the complaints can be resolved with the help ofQuarkor relieved relatively well with the help of salt water. However, if the grass mite bite causes shock or serious symptoms, a doctor must be consulted.
The bite is treated with medication. The bite wounds can also be treated with a cream. It should be applied regularly to alleviate the symptoms. The clothing should be washed as quickly as possible so that the mites can no longer work out. As a rule, the life expectancy of those affected is not reduced by the grass mite bite.
You can do that yourself
In the case of a grass mite bite, those affected have some means of self-help available. As a rule, the symptoms do not last long, but they can be very uncomfortable in different parts of the body.
Since the grass mite bite causes severe itching, scratching should be avoided at all costs. This will only increase the itching and slow healing. Parents in particular must warn their children not to scratch the bite. The itching can be relieved with creams or ointments from drugstores and pharmacies.
Likewise, lemon juice, salt water or onion juice relieve itching and can speed up healing. In serious cases, ointments with cortisone can also be used or an antihistamine can be taken. Neem oil can also help against the symptoms of grass mite bites. This is applied to the affected area and can also accelerate healing.
In order to avoid the grass mite bite, closed clothing should always be worn for protection. High shoes or boots can also prevent the mites from entering. If the mites have gotten into the bed, the bed linen should be washed in the washing machine at at least 60 degrees.