Pure Services

Servicing Otago
Homes and Businesses

Bird mites

Bird mites are found wherever birds and their nests are located. They also tend to inhabit poultry houses and farms, as well as homes with pet birds. Their populations grow fast – eggs hatch in some species after three days and mature into adults within another five. 

Bird mites feed on the blood of birds, but when nests are disturbed, the young leave the nest or the birds die, the mites need to find a new host, which can bring thousands of them into your home. They will bite humans but can’t survive on them alone. They will die after about three weeks without a bird to feed from.

Bird mites inject saliva into human skin, often causing severe rashes, irritation and itching. They don’t transmit serious diseases, but can cause infections. Their bites are very unpleasant and should be treated by a doctor.

Bird mites are hard to see as they are clear in colour, until they bite the skin and blood has been digested. Then, they appear reddish to blackish in colour. Bird mites can’t fly but they can float down from the ceiling on to a host’s skin or float down from trees outside onto humans, thus transporting them into the home.

How to reduce the risk of infestation

It’s essential to identify the correct type of bird mite before attempting to treat the infestation otherwise the treatment will be futile. Also, if trying to remove nests where mites may be breeding, it is easy to bring them inside on you without realising because they are hard to see. That’s why it pays to get Pure Services to deal with any bird mite problems. 

To keep mites from invading your household, here’s some guidelines:

  • If you know the species of bird mites that are a potential problem, have any nests of their host birds removed from near your home. 
  • If you are going to remove any nests yourself, wear protective clothing, gloves and a mask to avoid transferring any mites.
  • Repair broken tiles or timber and cover roof cavities as these are potential entry points.
  • Get any poultry houses/aviaries/bird cages prone to mite infestations treated at least twice a year. 
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