A mite bit of a problem

Did you know that there is a mite problem? Among other things, they appear to have infested the dog food supply chain, and it may even be that through this vector, mites may affect both humans and dogs with allergy more widely than previously. This is an interesting emerging disease, in a way.

To start to get a grasp on this squishy problem (squishy because mites are weakly sclerotized, obviously) check out this post: Mold Mites at Jafsica.com.

Comments

  1. #1 gwen
    June 22, 2010

    Yikes! Yuck, I have a Lab and routinely buy 40# bags for convenience. I keep it in a large sealed storage container, but routinely refill with a small amount of the old food left. Is there anyway to prevent infestation? That info is not given in the article. Yuck.

  2. #2 Greg Laden
    June 22, 2010

    You should ask Jafsica in a comment on her post about that .

  3. #3 jaf
    June 23, 2010

    Gwen, the biggest problem of infestation arises in conditions of high relative humidity, warm temperatures and older food. The older the food, the bigger the problem.

    The problem is not in the manufacturing plants but in the retail facilities (and sometimes in warehouses). But, mostly, it’s in the retail facilities, especially grocery stores. (We do not have evidence, but we suspect that they came to the grocery stores on bird seed and migrated down the aisle and found the dog food. The problem is worst in stores with poor rotation.

    Your house is not likely to get infested unless you bring in an infested bag and they find a place to hide. If a bag is infested you, you will know. They literally destroy the food!

    It is not a problem for most people or dogs but can be a source of irritation, especially in dogs with atopic dermatitis. The biggest problem is that it eats the food–and quickly at optimal conditions!

    My recommendations: Once every few months, wash out your dog food container and thoroughly dry it. Also, check the dates on your dog food!

    Also, this was a tiny post about mold mites. There will be many more to come, as it is my focal species for my thesis research!

    Another point I want to make, just to clarify something Greg said. While this particular mite is weakly sclerlotized (and thus squishy), some mites are heavily sclerotized. But, that’s probably just me being nit picky ;)