Excerpt from Chapter 20 of Steve Tvedten's book "The Best Control"
(Used here with permission.)

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Sarcoptes scabiei var. hominis (DeGeer)

You may be asked to treat buildings where scabies mite infestations have occurred.  Volatile, pesticide poisons should not be applied.  Scabies mites are parasites of humans, dogs, pigs, horses and sheep; the species of one host does not parasitize other hosts.  Mites only live on the host.

Scabies mites are microscopic.  The only way to be  certain of an infestation is to have skin scrapings made and inspected under a microscope.  However, physicians with experience can usually make accurate diagnoses without laboratory procedures.

Infestation - Scabies are transmitted by direct personal contact only* e.g. sexual contact.  Crowded conditions, particularly where children sleep together, spread scabies infestations most quickly.  A scabies mite infestation begins when a fertilized female cuts into the skin and burrows in the upper layer of skin.  She lays eggs in the burrows. Larvae hatch in the burrows and come to the surface to molt.  Two nymphal stages and the adult stage are spent on the skin surface; only fertilized females burrow beneath the skin surface.

Favored places of infestation include the skin between fingers, at the bend of elbows and knees and under breasts.  Though the idea of mite burrowing, even if it is only in the epidermis, might bring on itching, these sensations do not develop for a month after the initial infestation; it takes two or three generations with subsequent secretions and excretions to bring about sensitivity to burrowing.

Treatment - Treatment is relatively simple.  Pesticide ointments or creams prescribed by physicians may be applied from the neck down to every member of the family; bedding and underwear must be routinely laundered in borax and dried on hot cycles, or isolated for a week; mites cannot survive without a blood source for more than 5 - 7 days.

Because of their sensitivity to heat, try using a sauna.  We also recommend treatment with Not Nice to Lice® or borax.  One effective treatment for dog scabies (mange) is to cover the whole dog with used motor oil (fresh oil will not work).  No volatile pesticide application to rooms or objects is indicated under any circumstances.  Remember, Norwegian scabies are resistant to lindane and lindane was banned as an agriculture insecticide because it was too toxic.  Elimite (5% permethrin) Dermal Cream also has 37% formaldehyde. NTP, IARC and OSHA all list formaldehyde as a suspect carcinogen.  Try washing clothing and personally soaking with Kleen Kill/Kleen-Away Naturally® enzyme cleaner or peppermint soaps and/or borax and then rinsing thoroughly.

(Note:  There are now hundreds of reports that there is a parasite that is being picked up from all types of surfaces without personal contact.)