Bird Mites: What Exactly
What are bird mites? That’s a
good question and one many people who have come in contact with the pests
would like an answer to. Some of our customers get them confused with dust
These tiny insects, though
primarily associated with birds, can also affect humans and the result is
generally pretty unpleasant. The first step in combating bird mites is
understanding exactly what they are and their habits.
the name implies, bird mites are a species of mite that feeds on birds.
Their primary food source is blood and they will attach themselves to a bird
and feed until they are engorged. Mites will target most birds, but they are
most commonly associated with starlings, sparrows, pigeons and chickens. ‘
Mites can be most readily found in and around bird nests, where they feed on
featherless hatchlings. They are tiny and clear in color when they are not
feeding, which makes them difficult to spot against the skin. As they feed
and become full of blood, they become darker in color and easier to spot.
They are potentially harmful
Though their primary target is birds, these mites can also become a nuisance
for humans. This is particularly true when birds build nests on or near a
house. Once the nest is abandoned, the mites will move on and start looking
for a new food source. Since they are so tiny, it is easy for them to gain
entry into a home through the smallest of cracks and crevices and cause an
Because they feed on blood, these mites will be attracted to any living
being in the house, including humans and pets. They don’t cause serious
problems, but their bites can cause irritation and itching and result in
clumps of tiny red bumps on the skin.
When most people think of mites and allergies, they primarily think of dust
mites. While dust mites are the most common cause of allergic reaction in
humans, they are far from the only culprit. Bird mites can be a real issue
too and will require some of the same preventative measures that are taken
for dust mites, including washing bedding regularly in hot water, using the
special dust mite covers on your mattress and pillows and vacuuming and
dusting your home thoroughly. Many of our customers have also found using
portable steam cleaners helps to kill the mites and their eggs just like
they do for bed bugs.
While cleaning bedding and surfaces will help, the only way to completely
stop an infestation is by removing the infested nest. Get rid of the nest
and seal up any cracks or crevices in your walls and you should be able to
protect your home from bird mites.
Bird mites can be an uncomfortable issue for your whole family, but you can
stop them in their tracks if you know what to look for and what action to
take. Always be aware of any bird nests on or near your home and take steps
to remove them before mites can start to spread. Your family will thank you
for it and you’ll all feel much better.