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Storage mites

Storage Mites Storage mite

Grain storage mites (Acarus siro, Tyrophagus putrescentiae) feed on mold that grows on food. Storage mites thrive in environments where there is moisture or increased humidity, but are most frequently found in dry food items such as flour, grains, dried fruits, cereal, and dry dog and cat foods. Most contamination of dry pet food by storage mites occurs once the bags have been opened.

Allergies to storage mites are common in cats and dogs. Pets are exposed to this mite through ingestion or inhalation when consuming contaminated foods. Immunotherapy (allergy injections or sublingual drops) can be effective in reducing clinical signs. Although it is not possible to eliminate mites from the environment, control measures may be useful in decreasing a pet’s exposure to storage mites.

The following steps may help control the population of storage mites:

1. Do not stockpile food. Purchase only what is needed to maintain a 30-day supply or less.

2. Prior to purchase, check the food bag for tears or holes.

3. Store pet foods in airtight containers in a cool, dry environment.

4. Divide the bag of pet food into one-week portions and place into freezer-safe storage containers. Keep the container of food in the freezer until it is needed to prevent mite contamination.

5. Wash food storage containers frequently with detergent and hot water. Dry completely before refilling with food.

6. These measures may be used for pet treats as well.


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