Ectoparasites are parasites that attach themselves to the outer layer of skin of their hosts. There, they feed and thrive for the entire life cycle of the particular parasite. They are completely dependent on the host for nourishment, a fact that can seriously impair the general health of the host over time. There are examples of these types of parasites that actively feed off humans as well as different types of animals.
It is not unusual for ectoparasites to exist in colonies. These colonies effectively create nests on the outer layer of skin, creating a breeding ground where the parasites can multiply. When this happens, the host is weakened at an accelerated rate, sometimes to the point of incapacitation. Without treatment, there is the possibility of death at some point.
There are a number of different human ectoparasites. Body and head lice are two prime examples. Various types of mites are also part of the ectoparasite family, including nasal mites. Animals may experience these unwelcome parasites in the form of nest mites or feather mites. Both humans and animals may be plagued by an ectoparasite infestation that involves fleas or mosquitoes.
Fortunately, there are ways to exercise ectoparasite control. In the way of preventive measures, it is a good idea to fumigate interior spaces as soon as any evidence of mites, lice, and other forms of ectoparasites are found. This is true whether the parasites are currently nesting on a human or animal host. Removing the general threat will help to minimize the changes of the parasites spreading to others living in the household.
At the same time, each individual within the home should be treated to remove any possible traces of mites or lice from the body. This includes washing with specialized cleansers that are designed to kill the parasites and destroy their colonies. Many forms of ectoparasites will thrive in areas of the skin where body hair is present. This means that the individual must use the cleanser from head to toe in order to get rid of the pests. Depending on the severity of the infestation, it may be necessary to undergo several treatments before the external parasites are removed.
All types of parasites, including ectoparasites, are capable of doing a great deal of physical damage over time. In addition to draining the energy of the host, the pests can also transmit bacteria and viruses to the host. When this is the case, the host will weaken at a faster rate, making it necessary to address some sort of bodily ailment as well as get rid of the parasites in order to regain health.