The most common way to get scabies is through direct skin-to-skin contact. However, scabies can be contracted by wearing an infected persons clothing, using their personal hygiene products, such as hair brush or comb. Scabies mites are very sensitive to their environment, but can live off of a host body for 24-36 hours under most conditions. It is difficult, if not impossible, to catch scabies by shaking hands, hanging your coat next to someone who has it, or even sharing bedclothes that had mites in them the night before. Sexual physical contact can easily transmit scabies. In fact, sexual contact is the most common form of the transmission of scabies. In the past, scabies has been considered by many to be a sexually transmitted disease. However, other forms of physical contact, such as mothers hugging their children, also spread the mites.
Can you get scabies from your pet?
Dogs and cats are infected by different types of mites than those which infect us humans. Animals cannot contract or spread human scabies. Scabies on dogs is called mange. When dog or cat mites land on a human, they fail to thrive and produce only a temporary mild itch. This is unlike human scabies which gets worse until the condition is treated.