Bird Mites

What Are Bird Mites?

Bird mites are small parasites that you’ll find wherever you find birds and bird nests in warmer parts of the world. There are a few different species of bird mite, but the most common ones found in North America are called Demanyssus Gallinae (the chicken mite) and Ornithonyssus Sylviarum (the northern fowl mite).

Bird mites live in birds’ nests and feed on the blood of the birds. They can multiply very rapidly but the northern fowl mite won’t survive more than a few weeks without a meal of blood, although the chicken mite has been known to survive for months.

What Do Bird Mites Look Like?

Bird mites are barely visible to the human eye as they’re less than 1mm long. They’re also very mobile.

Bird mites are oval-shaped, have a thin covering of hair and have eight legs. They’re partially transparent until they’ve digested blood when they’ll turn black-red.

Bird Mites On Humans

Bird mites usually feed on the blood of birds. When the bird mites’ source of food disappears, such as when the young birds leave their nests, they’ll move into the house looking for other sources of blood. The bird mites won’t actually live on humans, though they will feed on them by biting them.

Bird Mite Bites

When you’ve been bitten by a bird mite, you’ll experience symptoms such as very bad itching and skin irritation, as well as maybe some swelling and/or redness of the skin. You can also get infections from scratching the bites too much because they itch so much.

It’s the saliva from the bird mites that causes this extreme itching. The itching can last for days after the bite – long after the bird mite has gone – even when you can no longer see any sign of the bite.

You’ll often get bitten at night because your bed is a great breeding ground for bird mites and they become active at night and will bite you while you sleep.

How To Get Rid Of Bird Mites

It can be very hard to get rid of a bird mite infestation in your house. To get rid of them, you must of course first identify them as the cause of your bites.

Then you should try and locate and remove any bird nests from around your house (following all regulations, of course). Look for nests in the chimney, under the eaves, in wall cavities, porches, window ledges, roof spaces, etc. It’s important that you always make sure you wear a mask when you’re removing bird nests.

Then you should make sure you prevent any more bird nests in your house by repairing tiles, fixing holes, blocking cavities, etc. This maintenance should be done on a regular basis.

To get rid of the bird mites, you should treat the affected area with an approved insecticide.

Because bird mites are parasites, they can’t survive without the blood of a host mammal. As they won’t live on humans they can’t complete their lifecycle once birds and nesting have been removed from your house.

3 thoughts on “Bird Mites”

  1. Thanks for your post, not many people are aware of Bird Mites and the more coverage they get then the more that people will be able to overcome the problem if ever they come into contact with them.

  2. Bird mites are a living nightmare when your home has been infested had 2 birds nest last year and nests were not removed your information is very limited I done my research believe nobody would believe a bird mite is so intelligent for being microscopic.

  3. I’ve had bird mites before when we got a hedgehog from a breeder that also bred birds. Took us two months to get rid of them….used insecticides, vacuumed, washed all clothes everything! Believe it or not, the only thing that got rid of them permanently was Lysol spray. (A friend of mine told me to try it, as he had used it for ahem, crabs…) Had to get the hedgehog a shot of ivermectin at the vets. We couldn’t figure what was bitting us until I had put a white blanket over the hedgehogs cage and the next day, it was covered in mites. Worst experience ever!!


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