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How To Control Bird Mitesblood sucking bird mite

There are a variety of different tiny bugs that like to bite us humans. Another one of them is the bird mite which as you can problem tell by the name, focus most of their attention feeding off of birds and only start biting humans when birds are unavailable. Bird mites are a type of mite parasite which gets its main source of food by feeding on the blood of birds and poultry. These include birds like pigeons, sparrows and other wild birds. They are also known as chicken mites when they are hanging around farms and feeding on chickens and hens.

Bird mites usually find their way inside a home when a human has a pet bird of some type that they have been using as a host. If you and/or your pet bird is suffering from these little irritating biters, there is a way to deal with them and we here at Solutions Pest and Lawn can help with our DIY advice and professional-grade products.

Bird Mite Background Information

Bird mites (Dermanyssus gallinae) are also commonly known as the red mite, poultry mite, red poultry mite, roost mite and chicken mite. They are a tiny ectoparasite mainly of birds and chickens. Mobile and hardly seen by the naked eye, bird mites are oval-shaped, have eight legs and have short hairs on their bodies.

The color of a bird mite is a transparent looking white. After they consume blood, much like a bed bug they turn a reddish burgundy or brown. Mite eggs are white in color and oval in shape, but they cannot be seen without the aid of a magnifying glass or microscope. The same applies to larvae and nymphs. The proper identification of a bird mite may be difficult to do without the help of an experienced entomologist.

Bird mites can be found in warmers regions throughout the United States and worldwide. Although bird mites aren’t picky in the kind of bird they choose to reside on, they remain loyal to and often spend their entire lives on the host they choose. Should a bird mite host die, thousands of mites migrate in search of a new host.

During this period of wandering in search of a new host, bird mites can find their way into homes by the thousands. Some of the reported ways that bird mites have invaded a home is through birds living close to humans that have abandoned their nest which may have been lodged into chimneys, attics, gutters or window mounted air conditioning units. While these wandering bird mites have been known to bite humans, they do not look towards humans as a long-term host. These bites are known to cause skin irritation similar to mosquito bites and bed bug bites but are not much more than a nuisance.

 

How To Get Rid Of Bird Mites: Solutions 4 Step Process

At Solutions Pest & Lawn, our phones are usually ringing off the hook from frustrated customers who are desperately looking for a solution to get rid of bird mites in their home. When we receive these calls from customers, the situations they relate sound very similar to one another. Here is just a sampling of what we have heard: "Me and my family are constantly coming down with itchy bites from some tiny insect attacking us that we can’t see, what do we do? We have tried pest control chemicals from the big box stores and we are still being bitten by bird mites, HELP! I want bird mites gone but I don’t want to use toxic chemicals, how do I get rid of bird mites naturally?”

These are the steps we wish to share with you so you can find peace in your own home and protect you and your family from bird mites.

Step 1: Identification. When you’re getting bitten by an insect that is so tiny that it’s hard to detect, this leaves the door open for misdiagnosis because there are a number of different insects that can give you “mysterious bites” so if you decide to tackle bird mites the DIY way, you will need to first get a proper identification of the insect to be sure that it is a bird mite.

Proper identification is important because treatments for insects are not uniform. Depending on what insect you are encountering, there are specific treatment methods and products we recommend to be used to eliminate them. If you were to confuse bird mites with another bug like bedbugs, noseeums, or biting gnats, you could waste time and money using a treatment method that will not be successful in controlling them.

For bird mites, this can be easier said than done because they are so small. What you can do to make it easier to identify bird mites is to try to lay out some clear packing tape sticky side up near areas where you have found there to be activity. On table surfaces using a soft paint brush you could sweep the insects onto the tape. In cases where you are getting itchy bird mite bites on your skin, something you can do is gently lay tape down on the itchy area and lift. You may be able to capture some mites this way and be able to identify them as bird mites.

Use a magnifying glass to observe the tape with the bugs. If you have trouble with identifying the insect yourself, you can always take a closeup photo of the bug and send it to our email at identification@solutionsstores.com. We have entomologists on staff who can correctly identify the insect and will promptly respond to you with the correct ID.

 

Step 2: Inspection. Once you have correctly identified the bird mites, you can proceed to the next phase of the control program. It’s important to conduct a thorough inspection of your home to locate the source of the infestation.


The most common locations for an infestation of bird mites are bedrooms, however they can be found in any area of a house or apartment, especially if you know there is a birds nest nearby. Birds which have set up a nest in our around your home (a tree in your yard, your chimney or attic) can be a big indicator of why you have bird mite problem. Also if there are dead birds decomposing on your property somewhere or birds hiding in your air conditioning vents can all be possible sources of the bird mite infestation in your home.Locate the prime areas and note them down before proceeding to the next step.

 

Step 3: Control. Before breaking out the pesticides, sanitation will have to be conducted first. We highly recommend starting out by vacuuming your home and paying special attention to the infested areas of the home. Vacuum your carpets, rugs, curtains and furniture thoroughly and then take the vacuum bag or canister and either dump out the bag immediately or wash the plastic canister with hot water and soap to ensure the bird mites caught inside are killed. An alternative is placing the canister in the freezer and letting them mites freeze to death before washing, cleaning and replacing. After a detailed cleanup, you can then move on to chemical bird mite control. Sterifab has proven to work great against killing bird mite infestations so apply Sterifab on couches, chairs and other upholstered furniture where you may spend time lounging.

Secondly, we recommend dusting with either D-fense Dust or Alpine Dust if you want a more natural ingredient. Apply the dust, preferably using a handheld pesticide duster, in all cracks and crevices around the perimeter of the room making sure to focus in on those cracks and crevices around infested areas. Treat your carpets and rugs with a thin coat. To allow the dust to penetrate deeply into the carpets, we recommend using a broom and raking (not sweeping) back and forth to cause to really get deep into the carpeting.

If necessary you may have to reapply the treatment products every few days until you no longer are suffering any bird mite bites. No matter what you use, It is very important to read the label and follow the instructions.

 

Step 4: Prevention. Preventing bird mites from reinfesting will require some preventative measures so you shouldn't hang your hat after successfully controlling them. Make sure to prevent birds establishing themselves in or around your house by possibly laying out bird repellent and blocking off areas where birds often perch themselves onto. Aside from this you can use the same insecticide products suggested in step three as a preventative barrier treatment to make the area less appealing for bird mites.

 

Strategies for Controlling Bird Mites

Much like a female mosquito, a female bird need requires a lot of blood to reproduce. When they have lost contact with their original host, a bird mite will aggressively go on a hunt for a new host and will bite humans. If your home becomes infested with blood-hungry bird mites, there are some helpful strategies to implement to eradicate these little irritants.

  • Find their nest: The first step in eliminating a bird mite infestation is to locate a bird nest where they frequent. Common places where the nest  can be found are in bedrooms, roof spaces, on window ledges, in walls’ cavities, in chimneys, around porches, in foundations and basements or anywhere where a bird’s nest has been. There also very well may be a dead bird somewhere on the property perhaps in the chimney, attic or a/c unit which may be the source of the bird mite infestation. If you find the nest, remove it promptly.

  • Vacuuming:  Regularly vacuuming infested rooms will dramatically reduce the number of mites. Make sure carpets, rugs, curtains and furniture are all thoroughly vacuumed and dispose of the bag as soon as vacuuming is complete or place the bag in the freezer if it’s a reuseable bag to kill the mites.

  • Sanitation measures: Washing all bed sheets, covers and pillowcases can help to deplete the bird mite population. Also general cleanliness and housecleaning practices can also go a long way in eliminating bird mites.

 

Solutions Recommended Products for Bird Mites

Bird Mite control can be accomplished either through the use of a broad-spectrum pesticide such as Steri-Fab or Bedlam Plus Bed Bug Killer. You can also use natural means of pest elimination by using Diatomaceous Earth(Alpine Dust Insecticide) or one of our other natural products. Make sure to evenly apply it over a wide area to give you the best chance of getting rid of all the Bird Mites that are taking infesting your home.

Feel free to browse our bird mite control products below and if you ever need any help with your order or are in need of free expert advice regarding a DIY pest control issue you have, we are always standing by to assist you.

 

Learn More About Bird Mites

Many property owners are not aware of bird mites until their homes and pets are infested by the pests and then they are in for a rude awakening in the form of irritating bites and frustration because the mites are so small they can go undetected and continue to torture victims without penalty.

 

While bird mites are no bigger than the tip of a pen, the bird mite is a terrible 8 legged creature that wreaks destruction on its hosts and is amazingly hard to get rid of. Discovered everywhere throughout the world, there are two principle types of the bird mite in the United States, and both have fundamentally the same as attributes and nuisance designs.

 

The name of this pest would have you believe that they are only attracted to birds, but they bird mites actually have a pretty wide range of hosts that they like to be parasitic towards. While they are notorious for infesting chicken coops and birds nests, the bird mite just requires a warm-blooded animal from where they can gather blood.

 

Unlike other parasites which stay attached to their host for the duration of their lives, the bird mite will feast upon a host and release their hold, returning for more each night, similar to a bed bug. Bird mites are very aggressive and damaging, but even more importantly they will readily use a human as their host and can infest a home at an alarming rate within a matter of days without us suspecting it because of their size making it seem like they’re invisible.

Quick Facts About Bird Mites

  • Bird mites are basically impossible to see with the naked eye without the aid of a magnifying glass. As a result, you will most likely be bitten quite a few times before you even realize that they are present in your home.

  • Despite the fact that their primary hosts are birds, the bird mite will search out another casualty when a nest is abandoned. Bird mites can be brought into homes by means of pets, rodents or even on your clothing

  • Primarily a nocturnal parasite, the bird mites go after their host as the host dozes off or winds up stationary (staring at the TV, perusing a book in bed, and so on.). On the off chance that the host is mobile amid the day the bird mite will go into hiding.

  • It is not uncommon for bird mites to increase into the high thousands in a very small measure of time.

  • In the event that the mite makes it into your home, the bedroom is the most likely place they will reside (however they will spread all through the entire house if not dealt with in a timely fashion).

  • The bird mite prefers warm, damp areas, and will attempt to gather around the facial, armpit and crotch areas of a human host.

  • The parasites utilize their sharp faculties to discover new hosts; they can quickly detect areas of warmth, movement and large amounts of CO2.

  • Bird mites can easily hitch a ride on your pets.


Where Do Bird Mites Live?

Unfortunately, there is no real formula to track down exactly what areas the bird mites will reside in. While pesky bird mites prefer warmer temperatures and high humidity levels, they can survive in below freezing conditions for a period of time. The bird mite has the amazing and frustrating ability to adapt very quickly to its surroundings thanks to its ever-changing DNA, and therefore all climates are susceptible to bird mite outbreaks.

The biggest piece of advice is to be mindful of your surroundings. If you live in a home, take care to trim trees and remove old nests in order to dissuade birds from making your lawn their home. If you are buying furniture make sure to discuss its previous conditions – did the neighborhood have a bird problem? If you are looking to buy a house, keep in mind that warm areas near the ocean will generally be at higher risk.

The Life Cycle Of a Bird Mite

Bird mites are able to develop at a alarmingly fast rate. In the span of a week, the mite will have experienced its change from egg to pre-adult to adult and will on the hunt for a host in a matter of days. While bird mites will mate, the majority of a population is nearly entirely made up of females, who need a blood meal for the purposes of laying eggs.

 

Both juvenile and adult mites are able to feed and will transform from a grayish shade of color to dark red after they have fed off their host. Adult bird mites can live for drawn out stretches of time if not killed and flourish in gatherings. Once a mite has discovered an appropriate host, the parasite will pull in different mites to partake in the feast. Colonies of bird mites can reach into the thousands quickly, causing the lifecycle to begin once again with new eggs being incubated day by day.


Symptoms of Bird Mite Bites

While the bird mite is rarely seen by us, we can definitely feel their presence upon their first bite, which can be terribly unpleasant. The bite of a bird mite has been described as looking like a bull’s-eye on a dartboard; a small pinprick hole will be dark red and fade outward in a circular pattern.

  • Itching is the primary symptom of a bird mite bite and can be extremely irritating (a solid anti-itch medication or essential oils is suggested for relief).

  • Victims have described the sensation of ‘creepy crawlies’ once bitten.

  • Bird mites like to feed in groups, and while one may experience what looks to be a rash, but what it actually is are a number of bites all in one location.

  • Aside from an irritating itch, bird mites can also carry diseases that can affect animals and potentially humans. If you have a severe case of itchiness and redness from bird mite bites that doesn’t seem to go away, you may want to see a doctor to check for any further infections.

 

Additional Resources:

 

Bird Mites | Insect ID - Russell Labs Site Hosting - UW-Madison

 

[PDF]bird mites - Department of Entomology

 

Bird Mite Control & Removal - Get Rid of Chicken Mites - PestWorld.org

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