Bird mites are tiny parasites that bite humans when their original hosts are gone. Bird mites can enter our homes by migrating from an empty bird nest on our property, from pet birds or other animals that may have carried them inside. Mites are barely visible to the naked eye. They have 8 legs and a round body and generally go unnoticed until they have built up substantial numbers to be a major infestation. They are not insects, but arachnids.
Symptoms of a bird mite infestation
Symptoms of a bird mite infestation include itchiness, a crawling sensation, persistent rashes that can be mistaken for scabies & small red bumps on the body. Bird mites are more active from dusk until dawn, but can be active during other times of the day.
The bird mite lifecycle consist of: egg, larva, nymph and mature adult. They can complete this cycle in about 7 days depending on their environment. The mature mite has four pair of legs but the nymph only has three pairs of legs. They have sharp, protruding mouthpieces that allows them to penetrate skin in order to obtain blood from their host. Female mites require blood in order to reproduce. The female mite makes up approximately 95% of the population. They secrete a pheromone to communicate with others which is why they can so quickly swarm the host mammal. This is why they often bite in large numbers and can multiply so quickly once they have a host.
For treatment of bird mites, it is important that you use a fully trained pest control company who are members of the BPCA such as AG Pest Management. If bird mites are not treated correctly, there is a chance that they can become resistant to the chemicals used. Don’t use a pest control company unless they have extensive experience in treating bird mites.