Are Dust Mites Living in Your Horse’s Blankets?
A study conducted in Sydney, Australia, revealed that house dust mites can take up residence in your horse’s blankets. House dust mites are microscopic critters that feed on dead skin cells. While it isn’t clear if dust mites cause allergic reactions in horses, some horses who suffer from allergies will test positive to dust mites. In the Australian study, all the stored blankets that were tested contained dust mites.
To reduce the level of dust mites living in your blankets, it is best to wash them frequently and dry them in the sun. Dust mites don’t survive well in hot, dry conditions. Older blankets can house both live and dead mites; even the dead mites can cause an allergic response. If you have a very sensitive horse, it is best to start with new blankets and clean them frequently. When storing your blankets, wash and dry them first, then store them in a clean airtight container or plastic bag. Store each blanket individually to reduce cross-contamination.