Can Vaseline Kill Mites

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Mites are one of the most annoying pests. Its infestation inside your home or on a pet animal is stressful. Many techniques are famous for eliminating mites ranging from commercially available insecticides to homemade remedies. One well-known tip is the use of petroleum jelly. But can Vaseline kill mites?  

No, Vaseline cannot kill mites. However, it can help control the population of mites to some extent. Vaseline or petroleum jelly can eradicate mites’ infestation when mixed with at least five to ten percent sulfur. Applying Vaseline on pet animals infected with mites can heal affected areas by moisturizing.  

Continue reading to find more detail on the use of Vaseline in mite infestation.  

What Is Vaseline?

Vaseline is a semisolid jelly-like substance that has a smooth or firm consistency. The main ingredient of Vaseline is petroleum jelly, also known as petrolatum.

Petroleum jelly consists of a combination of mineral oil and waxes. Unlike other petroleum products, Vaseline is safe to use on the skin.  

It is a moisturizer that helps create a water-resistant barrier on the skin. Dermatologists recommend Vaseline for people with dry skin, post-surgery wounds, chaffed skin, and burns.

It shows equally effective results on the sensitive skin-like area around the eyes. Due to its safe ingredients and little to no side effect, Vaseline is now commonly used as a makeup remover.  

Apart from its use on humans, Vaseline is also safe to use on animals. Applying Vaseline on dog paws regularly after walking prevents cracking and injury. It also moisturizes wounds and heals rashes on the animal’s skin.  

Will Vaseline Suffocate Mites?

It is not scientifically proven that Vaseline suffocates mites. This statement is considered a myth by many professionals. However, the use of Vaseline on animals suffering from mites has shown positive results.

Vaseline has a smooth thick texture. It creates a barrier or a thick layer on the skin when applied, which is why it is famous among people with dry skin.  

When applied to the skin, it will create a slippery surface, so mites are not able to crawl or move around. It also decreases their meal supply which is dead skin cells or blood, so mites will die without their ability to move and eat. Mites can fall off the animal’s body due to the slippery surface.  

Regularly applying Vaseline to the infected areas can decrease the mites’ population.

However, the results are not a hundred percent as Vaseline only acts as a barrier and has no active ingredient which can kill the parasite. Therefore, to kill mites, mix a poisonous agent like sulfur with Vaseline. You may also be interested to read does kerosine oil kill mites?

Can You Suffocate Mites?

Mites infestation on humans or animals causes extreme discomfort, and getting rid of them is complicated. One of the most effective ways to kill mites is by applying ointments that kill them within a few minutes.

Antibiotics and steroid ointments are famous for killing mites. However, do not use drugs on your skin or pet animal without a doctor’s or vet’s prescription.  

The combination of antibiotics and steroids causes smooth and slippery skin. The effects are similar to Vaseline, which prevents mites from moving around, and can suffocate them.

But this ointment contains active ingredients that will kill the mites. Additionally, steroids have anti-inflammatory properties and reduce the inflammation caused by mites.  

What To Mix With Vaseline To Kill Mites?

Vaseline itself contains no active ingredients which can kill mites. Therefore, mixing it with five to ten percent sulfur shows positive results. Sulfur is an active constituent of many insecticides. There are many shampoos available on the market made from sulfur.  

Research on patients with scabies by Khudaier Al-Kayalli and Burooj Razooqi shows that Vaseline significantly decreases mite infection in humans. The two groups of patients with scabies infection were treated with different ointments to see the results.

The patient treated with the sulfur ointment, which consisted of more Vaseline, displayed no signs of relapse. However, people treated with Sulphur mixed with Clobetasol ointment had reoccurring scabies infections.  

Therefore, mixing sulfur-based products with Vaseline will give hundred percent results by killing all the mites.

To kill mites from pet animals, you can use Vaseline after giving the animal a good shower with sulfur shampoo or mix the Vaseline with the sulfur ointment.

Is Vaseline Acaricidal?

Acaricide is a poisonous substance used for killing mites. It is different from insecticides. Insecticide is a mixture of substances used the prevention insects.

On the other hand, the acaridan destroys the mite population. Vaseline is not acaricidal. It has shown some positive results in eliminating mite infestation but is not poisonous enough to completely kill them.  

Vaseline limits mite movement and can suffocate them leading to death. But it does not have any toxic ingredients which assist in the killing of mites.

Therefore, Vaseline itself is not considered acaricidal. Contrarily, essential oils like tea trees are acaricidal.

Vaseline Vs Tea Tree Which Is Better to Kill Mites?

Both are cheap and effective options. Tea tree is one of the best and most available methods. It is acaricidal, antipruritic, and anti-inflammatory.

Therefore, it is considered the best option to treat mite infection in humans. The tea trees reduce itching and heal bumps and rashes. But it is not effective in killing mite eggs.  

You can use tea tree oil either by directly applying it on the skin after a shower or preparing a spray by mixing one cup of water with a few drops of pure tea tree oil and spraying it on the bedding. Avoid using pure tea tree oil directly on the skin as it will cause skin disease.  

On the other hand, Vaseline kills mites by creating a barrier and limiting their movement. It does not have an ingredient that will kill mites instantly, so Vaseline is famous for suffocating mites. People with tea tree allergies can always opt for Vaseline to reduce the mite infection.

How To Use Vaseline to kill Mites On Pet Animals?

Ear mites’ infestation in pet animals causes distress due to excessive itching and pain. Vaseline is safe to use on pet animals. It soothes the itching and pain caused by mites and can kill a few. However, it is better to double-check with the vet before using Vaseline inside pet animals’ ears.  

Follow the steps below to apply Vaseline to pet animals.  

  • Gently use a cotton ball to clean the infected area.  
  • Take a cotton ball and drop a generous amount of Vaseline on it. Apply it carefully inside the pet animal’s ear.  
  • Do not be harsh and never go back and forth with the cotton ball. Swipe the cotton ball from inwards to outward. Never push the Vaseline deep inside the ear.  
  • Leave it on for a few hours, then use a clean cotton ball to wipe clean it.  

You will have to repeat this process for a few weeks or until the infection is healed. However, remember Vaseline can only kill a limited number of mites. Your pet animal will still require proper medical treatment.  

What Are The Other Methods To Kill Mites?  

Skin diseases caused by mites cause itching and discomfort. The infection can spread from animals to humans. Mites are so tiny that they are not visible to the naked eye.

Therefore, mite infestation on the skin can go unnoticed for a long time until it shows symptoms. The initial symptoms are similar to flu and accompanied by blisters, rashes, redness, and dry and flaky skin.  

Vaseline is safe to use on skin in mite infestation. Apart from Vaseline, you can use the following tricks to eliminate mite infestation. However, before using anything on the skin, double-check your allergy. Always do a patch test before applying it all over the body.

Clean The Clutter  

The first step to eliminating mites or any other pest infestation from the house is the cleaning and removing all the clutters, including a pile of dirty laundry, abounded boxes, and stacks of old newspapers and magazines.

Mites are of many different types and can take any place and spread into the entire house. If you have a pet animal, check the pet house, bedding, and cage, to confirm the presence of mites.

Never leave the pile of laundry lying around for more than two days. Moist and damp clothes can be the source of dust mites.  

Vacuum

 After clearing away all the mess, vacuum the entire home. Vacuum bedding, carpets, cushion covers, and curtains in the washing machine at least three to four times before washing.

Machine washing alone cannot eliminate the mite infestation, especially from the upholstery. Regularly dust and wipe your CD, book collection, picture frames, vases, and other collectible items around your house.

Dry Cleaning  

Dry cleaning clothes, carpets, and curtains can completely eradicate the mites as it exposes mites to a high temperature of about 220 degrees, at which mites cannot survive.

Beddings and carpets are hosts to thousands of mites. These mites instantly die at a high temperature of dry heat. Killing mites only takes fifteen minutes at a minimum temperature of 137 degrees Fahrenheit.

Essential Oils  

Essential oil like neem, tea tree, and clove are most effective in killing mites. All these oils have acaricidal properties and are safe to use on the skin. If you have a mite infection, the safest way to treat the rashes on the skin is to apply a few drops of diluted essential oil. It will kill mites and their eggs and will reduce inflammation significantly. Surprisingly Kerosene oil also kills mites.

Conclusion  

Vaseline does not contain any active ingredients which can kill mites. It is made of petroleum jelly and has a thick texture. When applied to the skin, it creates a barrier and reduces friction, immobilizing the mites. So, they are not able to move around. So, Vaseline suffocates the mites.

However, the use of Vaseline does not give results instantly. Neither it shows a hundred percent positive results. However, mixing sulfur with Vaseline will increase the mortality rate of mites. On the other hand, essential oils have acaricidal properties.  

 References

Treatment of scabies by sulphur ointment mixed with clobetasol Dipropionate ointment

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