Cheyletiellosis may occur in dogs (caused by C yasguri), cats (caused by C blakei), or rabbits (caused by C parasitivorax) and can also cause a transient infestation in humans that come in contact with pets carrying the mites. An increased incidence of mites may be observed in immunocompromised patients, in geographic regions where routine flea prevention is not practiced, or following exposure to high-volume housing situations (eg, catteries, breeding facilities).

Cheyletiella spp mites have a standard life cycle of egg, larva, nymph, and adult that can be completed in roughly 21 days. Mite life stages can be identified via direct examination of collected debris using a powerful magnifying lens or via microscopic examination of superficial skin scrapings, acetate tape impressions, and fecal flotation specimens. Cheyletiella spp mites are obligate parasites, as larvae, nymph, and adult male mites die soon after leaving the host; however, adult female mites are more robust and may survive up to 10 days off the host