Question by Rachel: Can the scabies mite be killed with freezing temperatures?
I am using permethrin cream, and washing all my bedding and clothes, but I am concerned that my old dryer may not get hot enough to kill the buggers. I have heard that freezing items such as pillows for 48hours can kill the mite, but I have also heard that there is a chance that colder temperatures can make them go dormant and live even longer without a host. Does anyone know the answer either from experience or knowing all there is to know about this parasite?
Answer by Aqwa
•Human and canine scabies mites can survive and remain infestive (capable of penetration) for 24-36 hours off-host under room conditions (21°C and 40-80% relative humidity). Lower temperature and high relative humidity may increase survival time up to 19 days for canine scabies mites. At temperatures below 20°C S. scabiei are virtually immobile whereas at 35°C their activity is greatly increased. Dislodged mites respond to host odor and thermal stimuli by actively seeking their source.
•Seasonable trends of occurences of scabies that have been documented in the Israeli Army for over 20 years have shown a higher incidence of scabies in winter than in summer. This can be partly explained by increased survival rate of the mites in cooler temperatures in the environment away from the host, whereas, cold weather encourages ovecrowding of the mite on the host. Mites also can be sensitive to human sweat that contains microbicides.
Don’t worry – washing and drying will kill ALL MITES for sure, even under optimal conditions they do not survive more than a few days.
Scabies mites do not have dormant stages. When they die, they die
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